Astounding artist representation
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Astound US Inc is a new kind of Artist Representation business based in the borough of Manhattan in New York City, and now with offices in London.

We aim high - to Astound - by being the Agency with the best in contemporary children's book illustration, and both licensing and commercial art from around the world.

We back that up with excellence in every aspect: from the first presentation, to how we project manage, and all the way through to how we invoice.

We Astound by being good at what we do with a snappy, can-do, enthusiastic, talented and creative attitude. And yes, we're not expensive.

All those things that make for an 'astounding' outcome.

Our promise to artists: career advancement with the right clients, regular creative guidance, strong administrative support and on time payment

Drawn to better.


Be drawn to better.

No matter where you are in the world or at whichever stage of your freelance artist career you may be, we're passionate about helping your career be more successful and rewarding by creating the art you love most! We are on your side: we'll give you insider's tips and client feedback for your folio development, and also introduce you directly to leading children's publishing houses, greeting card companies, jigsaw puzzle and game manufacturers, poster and decorative product suppliers (tableware, stationery)… the list goes on!

We're here to discuss the artistic direction you'd like to pursue and make that a reality with you.

Our positive relationships with our artists have made us the most rapidly growing Artist Agency in New York, possibly the USA. Here in the center of the publishing world, we are just a few subway stops away from the biggest brands worldwide, but we don't stay local - our agents travel everywhere to showcase your portfolio (and custom-made promotional materials!), from coast to coast in the USA, to major fairs in Europe: Frankfurt, Bologna, London and beyond.

We spread the word about your talent through personalized mail-outs, regular correspondence with close contacts in the industry, and online campaigns in addition to our state of the art site - all free to you!

Our partnership with Collaborate Agency's highly experienced team of editors and designers means that we can also support you in developing original children's book ideas into full-fledged storybooks and presentations, which we bring to the biggest children's book fairs of the year.

Best of all, we make sure you're paid right on time.

Astound us! If you'd like to learn more and be represented by Astound US, please email contact@astound.us with a sampling of your favorite pieces (8-10 .jpgs under 2MB each).

Astound Team!


Kelly Breemer introduces ‘Sweet Dreams Moonbeams’ April 13 2018

Publishing Featurette

An interview with Kelly Breemer on her new title with Sara Conway and Rainstorm publishing.

 

2018 kicked off to a great start for #AstoundingArtist Kelly Breemer with the release of her new book Sweet Dreams Moonbeams in January. They say that for children, reading a picture book has the same happy effect as a hug and that’s certainly true for this soothing rhyming story written by  Sara Conway and published by Rainstorm. Kelly’s colourful characters and rich scenes are sure to make this book a bedtime favourite. To celebrate it’s success, Astound Illustration Agency have interviewed Kelly about her experience working on Sweet Dreams Moonbeams and her life as a children’s book illustrator, check out her answers below!

Rainstorm reached out to Astound Illustration Agency after seeing Kelly’s awesome instagram takeover in 2017! Kelly is taking over our instagram yet again this week so make sure to follow us for a sneak peak into what she’s been working on this year!

 

1) What is the story about?

Sweet Dreams Moonbeams is about animals in the forest who are getting ready to go to sleep. It is mostly mother & baby animals snuggling together. The text is like a lullaby, going from page to page, telling you which animals are getting sleepy and curling up in a nest or den!

 

2) Who was your favourite character to illustrate?

I loved the fact that this whole book was just drawing different animals! My favorite spread is the one with the foxes and bobcats. There’s just something about the composition and colors that work really well. Also, the foxes appear on the cover! I think I like them the most, because we designed the cover first, before starting with the interior spreads. So I tried out many different things with the foxes on the cover, like different styles of eyes, and that set the tone for the rest of the animals in the book. After the foxes, I liked drawing the bobcats the most, because there’s such a pretty pattern in their fur.

 

3) How did you make the illustrations?

First I made sketches of each spread. I got the text for the book, so I knew which animals had to be on each page. I always try to make an animal from memory instead of searching for photos of the animal on google or instagram. I think the animals are more drawn in my personal style this way! Of course, because I’m from the Netherlands, I had to look up some of the animals because I didn’t know what the English word meant, like “voles”.  After the sketches were approved, I started with the coloring process. This was done in Photoshop on my Macbook. Each page took a long time because I love adding details and texture and find it difficult to stop with that. Sometimes I started with the animals, sometimes with the background. To be honest,  I almost never draw the illustrations in the right order for example: I just start with a page or spread that I feel like drawing at that moment! Then, when all the spreads are basically done, I look over every page and see where I can add more details and texture, or play with light and shadow. The finishing touches!

 

4) What is your favourite part about illustrating picture books?

Ohhh where do I begin! It feels like my dream job come true. I love drawing animals and now I get to do it for a living! I love adding textures, details, shadows, lights, and see my illustrations becoming prettier. What also is very important to me, is the freedom of this job. Of course there are deadlines, and I have to plan ahead, but still, I can decide to make sketches on the couch, or in a coffee place, or at nighttime, whatever feels good at the moment. Also, the fact that your work gets printed and it becomes a physical thing that you can put on a book shelf, is just so brilliant to me! Finally – this might sound cheesy, but I also love the fact that kids will read this book before nighttime and remember it when they grow up! Like I did with my childhood books. The books that you read as a child, especially those with big bright illustrations, make a big impression and I’m so happy to contribute to that.

 

5) Which artists or illustrators influence your work?

When I was young, I grew up with Disney, and I and my dad would always draw Disney characters together! This was how I learned how to draw. Then when I went to study at art school, I was inspired by a lot of other (European) illustrators, especially those that had a screenprinting-quality to their work. Like Blexbolex, Emiliano Ponzi, Ben Newman’s Astro Cat, and Steve Scott. But I always visited a lot of museums too (with my dad) and looked at art from modern artists like Sam Francis, Karel Appel and Jackson Pollock. I think I eventually went on to create my own style inspired on all these different elements together; my style has a Disney-like joyful atmosphere, but I also like to play with a “screenprinting look”, so putting transparent layers over each other or work in contrasting colors. And just browsing around on instagram of course, I’m very active on instagram and it’s nice to follow other illustrators day to day, in contrast to seeing a piece of art in a museum that was made a long time ago!

 

6) What would be your dream storybook to illustrate?

Well I find this a very fun, and also pretty difficult question! I can’t really choose! My dream storybook would probably also be about animals, since I love to draw them. I also enjoy creating beautiful scenery and backgrounds, so maybe a group of animals going on an adventure through the jungle! Or the mountains! Or the ocean! Or space! Or all of the above. To be honest, it doesn’t really matter what the story would be about. It’s my responsibility as an illustrator to create a bright, magical, lovely scene: no matter where the story is located, who is starring in the story, or what the book is about! The past few months I’ve been working on a few different books with Astound, and they are all so very different from each other. To make each individual project as fun, exciting and creative as possible, is really a great part of doing this work!

 

You can see more of Kelly’s work here. If you have a project in mind for Kelly don’t hesitate to get in touch with one of our agents or at contact@astound.us.

 

 

Astound Artists Agency Manhattan is a new kind of artist representation based in New York City.  We aim high – to Astound – by being the illustration agency with the best contemporary children’s book illustrators and greeting card designers that the industry has to offer. We connect publishers and artists from around the globe, with our Astound Illustration Agency London offices now open in the UK. Astound US – Drawn to better.