Agents Talk: Bright Educational
last updated 04 November 2019
Artwork: Andrés Landazabal
Ever wondered what it takes to work on amazing educational projects? Agents Susan Penny, Robbin Brosterman and Lucie Luddington talk all things Educational…
Susan Penny // Artwork: Brizida Magro
Susan Penny - Illustration Agent
One of our biggest challenges and opportunities is influencing the notion of what Educational artwork should look like. It’s true that to meet specific learning outcomes, briefs can be precise, but outside of this, there is room to experiment. This can lead to the emergence of a new style or finding a way to make an artists’ working process more efficient to convey a message or meet deadlines!
Experimenting and pushing boundaries is at the heart of what the Edu team stand for, and so we like to set our artists test briefs that encourage them to step a little outside their comfort zone. This could mean: working in new medium, like collage; testing their ability to capture the complicated plight and bravery of refugees; or helping to communicate a positive message about dealing with grief and mental health.
Often, the results are astounding, and an Educational development piece can be picked up by the agents in other Bright departments and can be a catalyst to new opportunity. Equally as important, that piece of artwork could speak to a child at just the right time and that is the invaluable result of embracing work with Edu.
Artwork: Andrés Landazabal // Robbin Brosterman
Robbin Brosterman - US Agent
At Bright Education US, we support leading Educational publishers in the US. Our clients publish innovative resources for students and teachers in all subjects for Grades K-12. We support our clients’ art needs on print and digital projects including literacy, math, social emotional learning, and more.
The projects can be small to very, very large—including, bilingual! Readers, picture books, board books, middle grade, learning materials (print and digital), text books, work books, videos… Our clients create products that will engage children of all ages at home and in classrooms so the art they commission is also creative and engaging and fun and inspiring!
Art for Education is no longer stuffy and staid. It’s just as exciting in style and quality as mainstream children’s publishing. Beautiful, rich, colourful, funny, bespoke, sensitive, smart; it runs the full gamut to entertain and keep the young reader interested and inspired to learn.
Educational projects inspire kids to read and learn. The beautiful, fun art that Bright artists create engages the reader and motivates them to stay on the page. The projects are also very inclusive and it’s wonderful to work on art that embrace diversity of all kind.
Bright Educational is great for artists to develop their craft by working on a vast array of different projects with varied scenes, compositions, briefs and deadlines. The artists also sharpen their time management skills as many of the projects have tighter deadlines with limited wiggle room.
Lucie Luddington // Artwork: Oliver Averill
Lucie Luddington - Senior Agent
I’ve been managing the Educational division since it’s infancy six years ago, and it’s been incredible how it’s grown. We work with educational publishers across the globe on everything from English Language Teaching books to huge maths programmes. Our biggest aim is to make sure that the books our artists work on are exciting for kids while also being informative, and we work carefully alongside the clients on the content. School books should never be boring!
We work with a HUGE range of briefs and styles. Artists working on educational will constantly be challenged and we encourage them to push themselves. It really is one of the most varied and exciting areas of publishing for illustrators to work in.
In addition, it can provide regular and reliable income for artists, with clear briefs and fair deadlines. When you’re trying to make a living from your art, Educational can offer a steady and consistent place to begin. Lots of well-known illustrators such as David Litchfield, Gareth Conway, Zoe Persico, Chris Chatterton and Maddie Frost have worked in Educational.
Another massive plus to working in Educational is that the artwork and books make a real, tangible difference. For so many children in the world, the only books they have access to are those given to them by school, so it is important we make sure the books are wonderful and inspire them to great things and to feel good about themselves.
You can get in touch with Susan here
You can get in touch with Robbin here
You can get in touch with Lucie here