Posted by: Kathy Temean | May 15, 2016

Take A Look Sunday – Anna Guillotte



Wilkinson Studios, Inc. is an international agency representing artists from around the world. We specialize in illustration for Publishing, Advertising, Editorial, and Corporate industries, creating artwork for Children’s and Adult Trade Books, Mass Market and Board Books, Graphic Novels, Educational Programs, Magazines, Print Ads, Packaging, Websites, and Apps. We also do Games, Puzzles, Toys, and Character Development, and have hundreds of images available for Licensing. Wilkinson Studios also represents their illustrator’s own authored works to the Publishing industry, and will be launching Wilkinson Studios Press through Ingram, a POD publishing venue designed to market and distribute their illustrator’s books both nationally and internationally.

Christine Wilkinson has been representing artists since 1985, and founded Wilkinson Studios, Inc. in 1998. Her business partner, Lisa O’Hara, has been with the company since the beginning, and is an integral part of their success. Both Chris and Lisa have graphic design and illustration backgrounds, bringing a broad understanding of the needs specific to publishers, editors, design, and art professionals. Wilkinson Studios also provides art management services, with a skilled staff of project management specialists involved in the important details of procurement, creation, quality control, and delivery of art for clients in almost every country.


“Happy trails to you, until we meet again!”  The theme song of Roy Rogers seems very appropriate not only for our submission today from Anna Guillotte, but for my travels last week – and the reason why I missed sending in this review earlier.  A 2000 mile road trip, skipping under Oklahoma thunderheads, rolling through the deserts of New Mexico, and gazing in awe across the mountain peaks of Colorado.  Not a lot of cell coverage or opportunities for wi-fi, at least for business stuff  😉   My apologies for keeping you waiting! – so now, let’s get started on our 2-for-1 Take a Look Sunday reviews!

Anna’s quirky little characters are very expressive in her spare, sketchy style – almost like the goofy cartoons you’d draw in your notebooks when the teacher wasn’t looking during class.  Her background as a comic artist is apparent in these 2 images – the exaggerated features to show emotions, the flat, bold handling of color, and stylized animal characters recall classic Sunday Funnies like “The Katzenjammer Kids” and “Boner’s Ark” with a bit of “Bill the Cat” thrown in for the overt reactions.

TKLAnna Gfinal-image1b

We are however, approaching these reviews from a Children’s Book point of view, rather than a comic strip, so the story – we assume – is broader than just the two frames we see here.  But what could the story be?  It’s always hard to tell with just the few images received with each submission, and that’s part of what we’re looking for – can the artist bring us into the story, can they TELL a story with just one or two images.  Anna’s 2 frames are each very obvious in what they’re saying, due to her exaggeration of the emotions shown in her comic style.  You can’t miss what’s going on.  But does that bring us into the wider, overall story that she’s telling in her book? (again, assuming that these images are from a book).  I’m not so sure….

Such palpable reactions usually come at high-points in a story, yet here we have two supposedly sequential images, and both are showing extreme responses – how can this heightened state be sustained throughout a whole book?  I think I’d be pretty exhausted by the end if each page had such intensified fervor.  I understand that this is a comic style approach, but I’d like to see her storyboard of the sequence of illustrations in her book – what is the visual flow of the story?  Can she maintain her style and tell her story without having to push each feeling in every image to the extreme?

From an art standpoint, I like the monochrome handling of the backgrounds, which allows the foreground and the important elements to pop out, but still gives us a sense of setting without over-doing the detail.  Her stylization of the characters however, makes them a bit ambiguous – is the blue guy a stuffed animal toy, or is he supposed to be a ‘real’ bear?  If he is a toy, maybe give him some stitching to help with identifying this; if he is a personified bear, then perhaps some other clothes to show he’s not a stuffed-animal toy bear.  The beret doesn’t read like a hat either, especially in the first image.  How about a baseball cap?

TKL AnnaGuillottefinal-image2a

It took a while to figure out that the other character is a snail – in the first image, it’s very hard to tell what he is and what he’s doing there, and to differentiate him from the “toy” that he’s holding.  You’ll need to work on this a bit, Anna, to clarify this visually.  Maybe making his shell more defined, and changing the positioning of his ‘arms’ will help, and in the second image, having his antenna sticking out from under the hat. It’s also not clear what the blue bear’s reaction in the second image is supposed to be – is he mad, or happy, or shocked?  This might be explained by the text, however just a hint of a smile or frown could help to define this.

The farm animals on stands in the second image are a really cute idea, and it brings out the difference between the characters and the ‘toys’ they are playing with.  But why then is the blue polka-dot horse floppy, and not a toy like the other farm animals?  Again, this might be explained in the text of the book, but just seeing these 2 frames caused me to question this.

A different style, and overall, refreshing and fun – work on the details a bit, and refine some of the issues, and you could have a lively story, Anna!

Thank you Chris for taking the time to share your expertise with us. It helps so many illustrators and is very much appreciated. Here is the Wilkinson Studios website link:

Here is a little bit about Anna:

Anna Guillotte is an illustrator, designer, and writer living in San Diego, California. She is currently developing several picture books and runs a weekly online comic called Spoonville.


If you do not have an agent and would like to be featured and hear what is working or how it could be tweaked to help you sell your work, then please send Two or Three SEQUENTIAL illustrations (Two/three with the SAME “story/characters‎”) to:

Kathy.temean (at) Illustrations should be at least 500 pixels wide. Please put ILLUSTRATOR PORTFOLIO in the subject area and include a blurb about yourself that I can use to introduce you to everyone.

Each Sunday one illustrator will be chosen.

CALL FOR ILLUSTRATORS: Remember I’m always looking for illustrations I can use with articles I post. Send to: Kathy.temean (at) Put ILLUSTRATION FOR BLOG in the subject area. Remember all illustration need to be 500 pixels wide. Include a blurb about yourself, too.

Talk tomorrow,


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