Thursday, 22 June 2017

We're Looking for a Trainee Agent!

Plum Pudding Illustration Agency has a vacancy for a bright and dynamic Trainee Agent. As well as being a diligent administrator, potential candidates should be keen to work closely with the illustrators represented by the agency and the clients we work with in securing a smooth and steady work flow.

Job Role:
- Expected to manage projects and artist deadlines
- Liase between publishers and illustrators and author/illustrators
- Meet with editors and designers to showcase and pitch artists works - travel required to London, other UK cities and occasionally abroad
- Work with artists to develop their work

Skills required:
- Proficient with Macs/email software/Microsoft office
- Organised/excellent time management
- Good communication skills
- Photoshop and InDesign skills preferable but not essential 
- Background or interest in children’s illustration and publishing is preferable but not essential

Salary: competitive

If you're interested in joining us here at PP, please email your CV and cover letter to: 

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Erica Jane Waters' Miss Bunsen to be published by Albert Whitman!

We're over the moon to be able to share the news that Albert Whitman has bought Miss Bunsen's School for Brilliant Girls, by PP author/illustrator Erica Jane Waters! Congratulations Erica!! The series follows three friends who attend a unique school full of extraordinary young female inventors, engineers and scientists. This bright and fun chapter book series promises to deliver inspiration for girls everywhere, and is full of bonkers inventions, tough competitions with rival schools, and one very smelly cat! Here are a few of Erica's characters...

We'll be sure to let you know when Miss Bunsen will be published!! 

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Alison Brown to Illustrate Bedtime Story Competition Winner!

We're delighted to be able to announce that Alison Brown will be illustrating the winning entry of  this year's Bedtime Story Competition, run by The Book People! Children aged 5-11 can enter the competition, the theme of which is friendship, and the winner will have their book published by Little Tiger Press and illustrated by Ali! Judges will include celebrity parents as well as publishing experts. You can sign up for an email notification from The Book People to stay in the loop with the competition here - happy writing!! 

Ali will also be running a workshop at this year's Bradford Literature Festival! Tickets are available here for a morning of reading Mighty Mo and drawing all the animals from the Golden Dodo Zoo!

Friday, 16 June 2017

Valeria Valenza Wins The Italian Andersen Award!

We're so excited to congratulate PP artist Valeria Valenza on winning the Italian Andersen Award, for her illustration of 'I Tre Porcellini D'India' (Three Little Guinea Pigs)! The prize is awarded for a title that delivers quality stories with perfectly matched illustrations to read together, while at the same time being suitable for early readers to read alone. Here are some of Valeria's gorgeous illustrations from the book:

You can see more of Valeria's work on her PP folio page here!

Thursday, 15 June 2017

Kate Pankhurst & Alison Brown at Bloomsbury's Illustrator Evening

On Tuesday, Kate Pankhurst and Alison Brown attended Bloomsbury's Illustrator Evening, alongside fellow illustrators Tom Percival, Emily Sutton, Sophy Henn and Chris Naylor-Ballesteros. Amongst others, they met people from indie bookshops, libraries, the press, as well as all the lovely Bloomsbury folk that they don’t usually get to meet face-to-face! You can read more about the event in The Bookseller here!

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

PP goes Behind the Book with Ana Gomez

This week, we've been catching up with PP illustrator Ana Gomez to talk all about her most recent picture book Bow-Wow-Meow, written by Blanca Lacasa and published by Nubeocho! Bow-Wow-Meow is a charming story about love, acceptance and being yourself, which gently introduces gender identity issues to young readers. 

Fabio is a beagle who struggles with an identity issue. He doesn't play fetch, he doesn't bark and he won't wag his tail, in fact, he doesn't seem to enjoy being a dog at all! His owner Max soon discovers that Fabio disappears every night, and one evening decides to follow him. To his surprise, he finds Fabio playing with a group of street cats, joining in climbing trees, sharpening his claws and even chasing mice! It seems Fabio is much happier living life as a cat! This comedic look at gender identity issues is easily accessible and understandable for young readers, and we love Ana's illustrations throughout! 

We asked Ana how she goes about creating her wonderful illustrations: 

"Firstly, I do the sketches with pencil on paper. To draw the sketches I go to a cafeteria in the morning, there is a relaxing atmosphere, so I like to think and draw there. I then scan the sketches and I make the illustrations completely digitally. I used to work with an Intuos tablet, but recently I have bought a digital screen."

Ana has been kind enough to share some of her sketches, to give you an insight into how the illustrations progress from this early stage to final full-colour artwork, ready for the book!

To read more about Ana's life as a children's illustrator, you can read our full interview with her here!

Ana's initial sketches for the layout of the page

Final artwork as seen in the book

Bow-Wow-Meow is available in the UK, Spain and Italy, and you can get the English version here. You can see more of Ana's work on her PP folio here!

Friday, 9 June 2017

Shining review for new PP illustrator Melissa Shultz-Jones!

'Have You Seen My Egg?' is the tale of a cockerel desperate to nurture an egg of his own. With gorgeous illustrations by Melissa Shultz-Jones, and written by Andrew Fairfield, the book has attracted a fantastic Kirkus review, which you can read here! Here is some of the wonderful artwork from the book...

'Have You Seen My Egg?' is published by 4kidz Publishing and is available here now!

Thursday, 8 June 2017

PP NYC Megatrip: Week Three, All the Highlights from BEA 2017!

With 3 days of client office meetings and two days of client meetings at Book Expo, week three shot by like lightning and has certainly been the most exciting of the trip! 

BEA is always an exciting and lucrative trip for Plum Pudding, and this year the Javits Centre was buzzing as always, with tons of authors, illustrators, agents, exhibitors and book lovers alike coming in their droves. I had a spectacular time as always - shooting from meeting to meeting, catching up with all the wonderful editors and art directors we work with, looking out for the latest trends and spotting so many illustrated titles from Plum Pudding artists on publishers’ stands!

Armed with our gorgeous plum-coloured portfolios of artwork, and spectacular book proposals to pitch, it was a pleasure as always to show off all of the best work from our talented illustrators and author/illustrators. As usual, publishers great and small, trade and commercial were hugely impressed, receiving them all with delight and enthusiasm, and I’m utterly delighted to say that we made some cracking book deals at the fair! I’m so excited to be able to wish our super talented author/illustrators Jo Rooks and Erica Jane Waters a HUGE congratulations! 

I’m delighted to say that Albert Whitman will be working with Erica Jane Waters on her fantastic girls’ middle-grade fiction series, Miss Bunsen’s School for Brilliant Girls, starting with a fantastic initial 3 book deal! Well done Erica! Here’s a sneaky peak of a few of the characters!

It’s also a great pleasure to be able to announce that Jo Rooks, one of our most recent signings, will be working with Magination Press on two picture books that she has author/illustrated in a two book deal! Check out this sneak peak of some early cover concepts.

I’m still waiting for feedback on several of the wonderful picture book and middle grade concepts that were so widely requested, but it’s clear to me more than ever that there is a huge value to our talented illustrators and author/illustrators working with our fantastic Plum Pudding agents on concept pitches for us to share with clients - so do keep sending us your ideas guys!

And it wasn’t just the incredible author/illustrated pitches that were so well received - so many of our artists’ work was greatly admired, with a huge array of requests from publishers to see more! Check out some of the art that editors and art directors were most impressed with at the fair.

Paula Bowles Click here for more!

Rebecca Gerlings Click for more!

Ashley King Click for more!

Brendan Kearney Click for more!

Marisa Morea Click for more!

Shahar Kober Click for more!

As always, I had the joy of spotting Plum Pudding art everywhere! Check out some of the wonderful artwork beaming from from their stands!

Sleeping Bear Press:
Hu Wan & the Sleeping Dragon - illus. by Jordi Solano
Grandma Loves You & When the Wind Blew - illus. by Petra Brown

Quarto Kids:
The Know-Nonsense Guide to Grammar/Money/Measurements - illus. by Brendan Kearney

As well as meeting with top industry professionals, BEA, Bologna, London and Frankfurt are always a fantastic opportunity to look out for current industry trends. At the fairs of 2017 so far, I have been keenly aware of a rise in concepts about diversity and acceptance, and I’m delighted that the desire for strong female characters is still strong! It’s a pleasure too, to see that more interactive novelty books are being made again, which only adds to the feeling that children’s books are, again, on the rise! Another trend that I’m still personally enjoying is the rise of more trade non-fiction and character lead non-fiction, and it's also clear that, in picture books, the desire for strong characters with series potential and more graphic art styles is more obvious than ever.

So once again BEA was lucrative, enjoyable and inspiring in equal measures. It’s clear that top industry professionals view Plum Pudding as a creative hub for incredible artwork and inspiring book proposals! It’s such a joy for all of us at Plum Pudding to see our influence in the children’s book industry grow as we continue to develop both current relationships with top editors and art directors and to forge new relationships too! Until Frankfurt!

Han x

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

A Busy Week for Jonny and Ashley!

Last week, PP artists Jonny Lambert and Ashley King were both busy giving talks, running workshops and signing books up and down the country! We thought we'd share some pictures from the events, and keep you up to date with what they've been up to..

Jonny Lambert was extremely busy with workshops at both Hay and West Dean College Festivals! On Tuesday at Hay, Jonny spoke to a packed-out audience about how he creates his incredible characters, as well as running a workshop at the Illustration Hot Desk, with demonstrations and plenty of crafting and mask-making! 

There were also plenty of creative kids at West Dean College Festival over the weekend, where Jonny ran another workshop! Look at the amazing animals they created in the workshop, from camels to lemurs and a few tigers here and there! 

Ashley King spent Sunday at Wychwood Festival, alongside author Sylvia Bishop, where the pair ran an event which included lots of storytelling and live illustration, as well as signing copies of The Bookshop Girl and Erica's Elephant! 

Ashley was also invited to the Waterstones in Cheltenham over the weekend, to draw on their 'Pillars  of Fame' in store, alongside work from Chris Riddell and David Litchfield! 

We hope you enjoyed seeing what Ashley and Jonny have been up to!