Celebrating Bright's 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
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.”
As well as winning prestigious awards within the publishing sector such as the V&A Picture Book Illustration and Waterstones Children’s Book prizes, Bright artists have seen profile raising deals ranging from The Art File to The Early Learning Centre, Anthropology, the BBC and Harrods.
Bright Artist Jane Newland’s artwork applied to umbrellas and make up bags and as well as editorial projects, featuring on cover of magazines: Flow, Breath and Audrey Daybook.
Chairman Amanda Woods affirms that Bright’s achievements can be attributed to its roster of artists built over this time:
“Bright have been able to add value to their clients’ projects by attracting and retaining talented creatives, who have become trail blazers within their areas,” she said.
Lebrecht claims 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 different sectors within the illustration industry,” she says. While Bright initially focused on providing illustration for Children’s Publishing in the UK, in 2014 they set up an office in New York and over the last ten years it has broadened its scope to cover all aspects of illustration across the globe from author illustrated picture books to include licensed artwork under its Bright Art Licensing division. Established for 7 years, this area of the Agency specializes in illustration for the greetings, stationery, home and gift, and wall art sectors.
Ruth Hydes’ poster designs, commissioned by TFL, feature in a new exhibition at The London Transport Museum.
In Bright’s 15th year, the team are expanding to include a new division called Bright Illustration, finding creative solutions for advertising, editorial, branding, packaging and character design projects. Senior Agent Hannah Curtis said:
“We are very excited about the opportunities Bright Illustration offers our artists and the new partnerships that will be made. Illustrators are expertly paired with clients to achieve an array of brand objectives.”
“The three divisions now sat under the Agency are very complimentary: Bright artists can cross between the licensing, advertising and publishing divisions. This gives our artists a chance to develop within different areas of illustration, and find out what works best for the direction of their career.”
Lebrecht says “This growth was organic and came from listening to the career needs of our artists 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.”
In 2015 Bright opened The Bright Emporium, a gallery-come-bookshop hosting exhibitions and launches to reach consumers directly with products exclusively by their artists. “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 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.”
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.
The Bright Emporium in London, opened in 2015.
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 has said
“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.”
It is for this reason that Lebrecht herself is returning to Agent work this year, having managed the company as M.D. 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 said: “In the year of our 15th Anniversary we are focusing on doing the best by our artists and our clients for today and tomorrow, with joined up thinking across our territories to expand on brand, licensing and royalty opportunities. Our clients’ trust and investment in our artists depends on the agencies continued ability to add value to their projects.”
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.
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