It's been a whirlwind of meetings these last few weeks with London Book Fair swiftly followed by the Children's Book Fair in Bologna. Several of our artist's work were featured on publisher's stands, and some exciting projects were announced. Egmont's stand paid lovely homage to the talented Júlia Sardà (and author Louise Greig), with a gigantic illustrated banner of 'Sweep', a picture book she has recently finished in collaboration with them.
Bologna Book Fair was a-buzz with news of Laura Ellen Anderson's first author-illustrated fiction (also Pickled ink's first literary deal). Her Amelia Fang series was acquired, at auction, by Egmont UK, with the first of three books, 'Amelia Fang and the Barbaric Ball', publishing in October this year. Gloriously gothic proofs with a die-cut cover were making a splash at the fair, with foreign publishers snapping up the rights ever since. We even made it into the Bologna edition of The Bookseller!
Elsewhere, the first of Laura's 'Famous Five' covers for Hodder were prominently on display at the Hachette stand.
Melissa Castrillón had a busy fair, signing copies of her gorgeous picture book with Topipittori, 'Che Bello', written by Antonella Capetti.
For the first time we got to see Hanako Clulow's beautiful illustrations for Frances Lincoln Children's Books in print and displayed next to each other. The '10 Reason's Why' series is written by Catherine Barr.
Spotted on the Nosy Crow stand was a copy of 'The Treasure of Pirate Frank', written by Mal Peet and Elspeth Graham and illustrated by Jez Tuya. Along with an early copy of Eve Coy's first author-illustrated picture book 'Looking After William', publishing with Andersen Press next year.
Finally, two of our artists, Cindy Wume and Ya-Ling Huang, also had their artwork on display as part of a showcase of Taiwanese illustrators at the fair.
Melissa's second picture book Che Bello has just published in Italy with Topipittori and, as we like to do here at Pickled ink, we thought we'd share some development artwork with you all on our blog.
As ever, Melissa's process is a fascinating one to get a glimpse into and its interesting to see just much colour influences her designs and layout choices from the very beginning, in comparison to a lot of artists who begin sketching ideas in black and white. More of these beautiful spreads can be seen in Melissa's online portfolio.
Early Cover Idea
Sketchbook Page - you can see the final image of the bottom left-hand sketch in Melissa's portfolio
Laura Ellen Anderson has worked on quite a few picture book and illustrated fiction projects over the years but last week saw the release of her first author-illustrated picture book 'I Don't Want Curly Hair', published by Bloomsbury UK.
Both Laura and Bloomsbury have put together some fantastic marketing pieces including an activity pack, gifs and this fun book trailer. There's also a competition to win a limited edition model of Curly Girl, handmade by Laura herself. Here on the blog we thought we'd share some of Laura's early drawings for the book. Scroll down to see more...
If any of our artists have a sketchbook that you wish you could spend hours studying, it's Melissa Castrillón. Truthfully, there was so much we wanted to include in this post but we tried to stick to a sensible amount of artwork!
Simon & Schuster have just published Melissa's first picture book in both the UK and US and while the final product is simply stunning (for images please click here), her early sketches and colour experiments are just as wonderful to pore over. Melissa's notes and thumbnails really show her thought-process and its a real treat to see how the final layouts for the book came about. We hope you enjoy seeing these as much as we have!
One thing we always love to show where we can is all the work our artists can go to get to the final illustration stage and we have some truly lovely roughs and character development to share with you today.
Welcome to Nowhere is based on real-life stories from the Syrian Crisis. We're biased, but we think Lucy's gorgeous, emotive paintings capture the sensitivity of the novel perfectly. Scroll down to see three of the final spreads come together.
Spread 1 Rough and Final
Spread 2 Roughs and Building Detail
Below we show the development work from our personal favourite artwork in the book, including character sketches, rough layout designs and finishing on the final artwork itself:
Happy New Year! To kick-start 2017 we thought we'd introduce our latest signing to the portfolio,
Lo Cole. Lo has been working as a printmaker and illustrator for many years (you may know his
controversial 'Pleasuredome' album sleeve artwork for Frankie Goes to Hollywood dating back to
1984!). However, recently he's turned his hand to children's books and we already have some
exciting projects in the pipeline and needless to say we are very excited to welcome another
talented illustrator to the portfolio. To view more of Lo's work, please click here.
Our annual Christmas Wrapping Paper is in the post on its way to publishers and agencies everywhere and we are starting to wind down for the year. With another four fantastic designs we thought it was only right to share them with you here on the blog! Now all that's left to say is a big thank you to our wonderful artists and clients for a great year and see you all in January 2017! Merry Christmas!
I’m very excited to write this, my first, blog post for Pickled ink and to let you all know that I’m open to text submissions.
Yup, you heard that right I AM OPEN TO SUBMISSIONS!
*Sits back and watches inbox explode*
My wish list?
I’d like to be able to say I’ll have one of those and two of those, but it doesn’t work like that. I won’t know until a story and voice leaps off the page that it’s the one I will walk over coals for. That it’s one that the market and reader has been waiting for, or that it’s the one that publishers didn’t know they wanted, until they read it. That’s the alchemy of reading; it’s unpredictable and always surprising.
So my submission list is wide open, without any restrictions on age, subject or genre. But I warn you; I’m very, very picky.
I’d love to find some clever, inventive middle grade. It’ll need to have original characters with quirk, a setting that’s as real and rich as our world, whether that’s with or without magic. It can be present, past or future as long as it’s believable.
As a child I devoured animal themed books like Where the Red Fern Grows and The Incredible Journey and would love to find a manuscript with an unbreakable child and animal friendship.
Marvel me with your YA fantasy world-building. Take me to worlds I never knew existed but once discovered won’t be able to live without.
Make me become Team Darcy/Edward/Neville with your characters. Make my heart quicken with an aspirational romance.
Shock and surprise me with a terrifying ghost story that keeps me up at night and scared to turn off the light.
Remind me what it feels like to be six and clever as clever.
Make me hear your voice in my head, even when the story is finished.
Make me chuckle and snort on public transport.
In short, make me miss my stop.
Yours in anticipation…
Send your first three chapters, a synopsis, and little bit about yourself to
A little about me and Pickled ink
I’ve worked in children’s publishing for over sixteen years. I’ve worked as an editor, publisher, reviewer, consultant, publicist and foreign literary scout. So you could say I’ve seen our wonderful industry from most sides of the fence. Perhaps though, all roads have been leading to agenting, and now I’m delighted and excited to find myself at Pickled ink.
Pickled ink is a relative new kid on the agency block. But in a short period they have grown a stunning list of illustrators. And now it’s time to look to the literary side, and that’s where I come in.
My aim is to curate a small stable of authors; a list that reflects the values and quality inherent in the illustration side of the agency. We are agents who edit, agents who advise, agents who manage and negotiate, but also agents who can act as creative sparks to ignite a new idea, or beacons to light a way ahead if the road gets dark.
I have an inkling there are some undiscovered Pickled inksters out there, so get in touch.
We have a visually stunning treat for you on the blog today. The Liszts, a rather gorgeous and unique picture book written by Kyo Maclear and illustrated by Júlia Sardà, is published by Andersen Press today (originally published in the US by Tundra Books). Quirky and off-beat, The Liszts introduces us to a family of obsessive list-makers. Mama makes lists of 'ghastly illnesses and the greatest football players of all time', while Papa lists 'dreaded chores', along with 'small winged insects'. Edward's days are full of lists (except on Sundays - which are listless), even the cat makes lists (of his enemies, naturally), until one day a stranger comes calling....
Júlia's illustrations work beautifully alongside the text, bringing another layer to the story. The artwork has truly been allowed to shine here with an embossed cover, bronze foiling and the decision not to disrupt the design with any sort of blurb on the back of the cover.
We thought we'd share some of Júlia's rough work with you, showing the progression from sketches through to final colour...