James & Lucie Celebrate 10 Years at Bright
last updated 27 March 2020
Here at the Bright Agency, we love shouting out good news! From exciting book deals to award-winning art, we take pride in coming alongside our artists in celebrating accomplishments big and small. This month, we’re proud to turn the spotlight on star agents James Burns and Lucie Luddington as they celebrate their ten year Bright-Anniversary. James and Lucie have embodied the spirit of Bright since the very beginning and have been instrumental forces in growing the agency into what it is today. We’re beyond proud to call them our own as they commemorate this major milestone.
Congratulations to you both on a decade of incredible achievements, and here’s to many more years!
Left: James Burns, Right: Lucie Luddington
James began his journey with Bright as in intern in 2010 and has risen to great heights ever since! His talents were quickly recognized after joining the agency, and in a short time James advanced from intern to Founder Vicki Willden-Lebrecht’s Personal Assistant before later going on to climb the ranks from Junior to Senior Agent. Consistently proving his exemplary management skills, James moved from London to New York City in 2014 where he served as a key leader in establishing Bright’s first US brick and mortar office.
Left: James with Bright’s Founder Vicki Willden-Lebrecht and Senior Agent Hannah Curtis, 2011
Right: James and Vicki in Bright’s first New York City office, 2014
Today, James continues to be a leader in the industry as VP Managing Agent of the Bright US Office, expanding the amazing work for which the agency is known stateside. James continues to build a reputation in publishing by understanding the needs of his commercial and fiction audience. He passionately excels in placing and developing Bright’s wonderful roster and regularly provides time, advice, and portfolio direction to aspiring artists. With a keen eye for new talent, James continues to identify unpublished artists, fostering and elevating the next generation of publishing superstars.
James celebrating a successful 2018 with clients and artists at the Bright US Christmas Party
In the Words of James’ artists…
“James is that someone you want in your corner. He calms you down when you freak out over an injury to your hand or when you struggle to find the right words for a client email—he will translate your sentences into the most professional sounding words of magic! I‘m so very happy to be one of his artists!” — Maike Plenzke
“James has been such an important person in my illustration career path. I would never be able to find the balance I needed between my day job and freelance illustration without his constant support and guidance. Thank you, James for all you do for your artists!” — Alexandria Neonakis
“James is…bear with me…like the Hulk. The Incredible Hulk. He breaks open avenues and entrances and sometimes will crush a car with his bare hands. He does this with the confidence he has in himself and in his artist. I’m proud to call him my agent.” — Sibu Puthenveettil
“Even when I had just joined Bright, I can recall thinking that it was a company that would provide me with growth, support, and great enjoyment. Vicki and Lucie played such a vital role in investing the time and energy in me, showing me how to care for artists and help them reach their full potential. I will forever be grateful for them for taking the time and sharing their knowledge, as they still do. It is so rewarding to pass all that I’ve learned on to our super team working in the New York office. I can’t wait to see what the next ten years brings to both me and Bright!” — James Burns
Lucie Luddington is a Senior Agent based in Bright’s London office. Deeply knowledgeable and well-respected within her industry, Lucie has a strong instinct for her market and consistently works to build lasting relationships with a global roster of artists and clients around the clock. Known for her fun personality, she enjoys every aspect of what she does, and above all, thrives off the joy of matching an artist with a suitable client and commission; defining the ultimate partnership for both parties.
Lucie at the Bologna Children’s Book Fair, 2016
While she resides in the UK, Lucie’s energetic presence is felt by her clients around the world, and she has been instrumental in advancing Bright’s global initiatives spanning all the way to China! Working with Founder Vicki Willden-Lebrecht, Lucie was a pivotal player in building momentum and establishing a strong client base in China, allowing for Bright’s next phase of growth as the agency launched its China Division in 2019. Lucie and her team are working not only to create relationships between artists and publishers, but also to develop original concepts and author/illustrated titles with the first publication in simplified Chinese.
Lucie Luddington and Ilaria Vigilante at the Beijing International Book Fair, 2018
Read more Bright’s China Division here.
Over the years, Lucie has been instrumental to the many successes of Bright’s Education Division. With a profound understanding of the market, Lucie has worked diligently to establish the look and feel of Bright Education, consistently recruiting artists to meet the market’s ever-evolving trends and needs. Lucie continues to be an incredible support to all agents, especially Bright’s US Education Agent Robbin Brosterman. Each year, we look forward to welcoming Lucie in the US as she packs up her suitcase, flies across the pond, and hits the road, traveling across the United States to meet with clients all over the country.
Left: Artwork by Karl James Mountford, Right: Illustration by Liam Darcy
We love seeing the custom art our artists create, illustrating Lucie’s adventures in America year after year! Check out more from Lucie’s 2019 and 2020 US adventures.
Lucie persevering through an NYC snow storm in 2015
In the Words of Lucie’s Artists…
“Back in 2015, I sent my portfolio to Bright with hopes that it would be seen. Lucie picked up on this and that’s when all the magic started! I left my full-time job after a number of conversations with Lucie, she filled me with confidence and the drive to make a dream of mine a reality. Over the many years I have come across a lot of hard-working people, but I think Lucie takes the award for the hardest working person I have ever known. She is completely selfless and works tirelessly for all of the artists that work with her, making sure they are OK, getting paid, and are treated with respect.” — Dave Williams
“I started my collaboration with Bright under Lucie’s wing. She relentlessly provided care, guidance, and reassurance, everything you need when you start.” — Sebastien Braun
“I joined Bright in 2014, and most of the work I was getting then was educational projects with Lucie. I learnt how to work with actual clients and publishers which was all new to me then, knowing that Lucie was always there to help or cheer me on, day or night if needed. Looking back, these projects were the foundation for my career that I’ve been building on ever since, and I’m so grateful.” — Daniel Duncan
“Since working with Lucie, I have been incredibly busy—probably the busiest I’ve ever been in my life! It proves just how great she is at her job. A very Happy Anniversary to you, Lucie!” — Lisa Hunt
“Over the past ten years, Bright has become my second family. The artists, clients and team are pivotal to my daily life, and I cherish working at the company as well as the various opportunities it presents. Bright allows me to channel my energy into an industry I love and find opportunities for those we represent. Working alongside James during this time has been a joy, our various skills compliment each and he never fails to make me smile! Here is to another BRIGHT DECADE!” — Lucie Luddington
Congratulations, James and Lucie!
James’ first client meeting with Lucie, 2010