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Bright Celebrates its 15th Anniversary

last updated 28 March 2018

The Bright Agency Celebrates its 15th Anniversary with Growth into New Territories Across Children’s Publishing and a New Design Focused Illustration Division

Bright artists and the team at the annual artist picnic in 2017

Since it was first established 15 years ago, The Bright Agency has grown tremendously as an independent, international literary and illustration company within the Children’s Publishing industry. A collective of specialist agents, Bright now works across all areas of art licensing, design, advertising and children’s publishing, with offices in London and New York.

“We are grateful to our clients and our artists for the opportunities to progress with them as the children’s publishing market has grown,” said Vicki Willden-Lebrecht, Bright’s MD and Founder. “Over the past 15 years we’ve been fortunate to work with some of the greatest authors, illustrators, art directors, publishers and brands and to share in some of their successes.”

Bright artists have seen The AOI, V&A Picture Book Illustration, Sainsbury’s Book Award, Waterstones Children’s Book Prize and LOLLIES Award winners within the last few years.

Alan's Big, Scary Teeth won the prestigious V&A Award and featured in the New York Times

Alan’s Big, Scary Teeth (Walker) by Jarvis won the prestigious V&A Award in 2017 and has had success internationally. Alan was also featured in the New York Times.

Bright artists winning awards over the years

Chairman Amanda Wood affirms that Bright’s achievements can be attributed to its roster of artists built over this time, saying, “Bright has been able to add value to their clients’ projects by attracting and retaining talented creatives, who have become trail blazers within their areas.”

Montage image of Bright's highlights

Lebrecht holds that an agent’s role has changed, and requires an approach that takes responsibility for not only the deal but the success of the project.

“Bright agents are focused on strategy and creative direction across international territories,” she says. “There were many challenges that initially came from being a small, unestablished business in an industry steeped in credibility that is often associated with heritage. Bright has really had to prove itself and the ethos it holds for its artists to be where it is today.”

While Bright initially focused on providing illustration for Children’s Publishing in the UK, in 2014 the agency set up an office in New York, and over the last ten years Bright has broadened its scope to cover all aspects of illustration across the globe, from author illustrated picture books to licensed artwork. The newest division, Bright Illustration, offers creative solutions for editorial, cover artwork, branding, packaging and character design projects.

“This growth was organic and came from listening to the career needs of our artist and the growing demand. This is how Bright is still run today – looking at our artists’ needs and skill sets and responding as a business. We are now looking at opportunities further afield for the children’s market, including China.”

She was featured in The Bookseller Daily at 2018’s Bologna Book Fair to support the publishing changes in China — and that they benefit her illustration clients. Read the full article here.

2015 saw the launch of The Bright Emporium, a gallery-come-bookshop hosting book launches and workshops to reach consumers directly with products exclusively by Bright artists.

EMPORIUM The Bright Emporium in London, opened in 2015.

“This is something no other agency had done,” says Lebrecht. “Bright doesn’t want to be an agency that offers a standard service to our artists or our clients. We are invested in offering much more by actively driving discoverability, and we hope to demonstrate this further throughout the year with a new website as part of a rebrand, and a couple of other exciting announcements to come.”

By “offering much more”, Bright’s plans to expand across new formats can be seen in Richard Scrivener of The Creative Rights Agency joining the Board of Bright as a Non-Executive Director in 2016. With a special responsibility to develop the company’s portfolio of film, TV and merchandising rights he is acknowledged to be an industry-leading expert in the publishing media sector.

Scrivener adds, “With a unique, innovative and entrepreneurial approach to rights management, I feel Bright is brilliantly positioned to exploit all the opportunities this new market has to offer.”

VICKI Bright’s founder and managing director, Vicki Willden-Lebrecht, was profiled in London’s Sunday Times for her outstanding business achievements as a female entrepreneur and working mother.

It is for this reason that Lebrecht herself is returning to agent work this year, having managed the company as MD more recently, with a focus on nurturing and developing talent at the early stage of an artist’s career but with a clear idea of long-term prospects.

Looking to the future, Lebrecht says, “In the year of our 15th Anniversary we are focusing on doing the best by our artists and our publishers for today and tomorrow, with joined up thinking across our territories to expand on co-editions and royalty opportunities. Our publishing clients’ trust and investment in our artists depends on the agencies continued ability to add value to their projects.”

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