Posted by: Kathy Temean | June 5, 2016

Take A Look Sunday – Leon P. Strapko


2016 marks the 30th Anniversary of The Organisation!

Cue the popping of champagne corks and hurrahs!

They have agreed to host Take A Look Sunday from June through August!



The Organisation is run by Lorraine Owen with the fabulous assistance of Richard Merritt, Pauline Mason, Jane Gelosa and Steph Vickery. They are an international agency with offices in London and New York and their client base covers every genre and age group within Book Publishing. In addition they supply artwork for use in Advertising, Magazines, Design, Packaging, Apps, Games, Greetings Cards and Art for Interiors.

The company is built on the ethos that every artist should have a distinct style. They would be able to stand out and would never feel that their unique style was being duplicated within the agency. Currently the maximum amount of artists they represent is 60 and they operate a policy of adding new talent only when someone leaves.

“Lorraine and her agency are pretty much publishing royalty; The Organisation work with some of the very, very best illustration talents, and it’s always a thrill to be working with one of their stable They are on our ‘go-to’ list for all new commissions.

Organisation agents without fail are a joy to deal with, and contribute so much more than simple deal-making.” STRAWBERRIE DONNELLY, ART DIRECTOR

Here is Lorraine’s review:

“What a fabulous start to my reviewing stint!”

Congratulations Leon on 2 dramatic, eye catching pieces. Your mastery of digital art tricks the eye into thinking that these pieces have been created in a traditional manner.

What strikes me straight away is the perspective – far too often I see artworks which only use a level view  – boring!! From this piece it seems clear that Leon appreciates the way that Cinema tells a story – our engagement with a scene is enhanced by a dynamic composition.


Look at the way the first image takes us into the sky to view the ground from above – the mouse has a plan for the blissfully unaware cat below.

The light from the buildings cast a long shadow of the cat – without this the cat would be lost in the darkness. The curve of the buildings also enhance our sense of being high above ground.

The colour palette used is minimal and atmospheric – Leon understands that overusing every colour at his disposal confuses and distracts the eye.

Anyway onto the characters – Steampunk mouse – riding a crow-  what’s not to love! The angle of the birds head expertly conveys that he’s listening to orders from his mouse rider. Attack!!

Ok I realise I’m supposed to offer constructive criticism too so I feel that the hand holding the reins would not be seen as it would normally be on the other side of the neck. I also don’t like to see a piece signed by the artist – this makes it look less professional as piece of picture book art.


Look at the next piece – yet again another dynamic composition worthy of a Hitchcock film! The cat in perspective works incredibly well and is a really difficult piece to pull off. There is only one thing  that I find out of proportion and that is the cats eyes. I realise they need to be larger to convey the fear of a cat  terrorised by a flying mouse but something feels wrong. I love the way elements of the image breaks out of the rectangular frame as well. Again I would remove the signature.

These are 2 really accomplished artworks and it makes me want to see how the rest of the story pans out “


Lorraine welcome to Writing and Illustrating! Everyone is excited about reading your reviews. We’re off to a good start. Thanks!



A Little Bit about LORRAINE OWEN:

Prior to the birth of The Organisation I had been Art Director/designer for a number of major publishers designing book jackets. I loved working with illustrators and I can proudly say that I gave a number of successful illustrators their very first job. After 10 enjoyable years I followed my passion for illustration and became a founder of The Organisation.

My main job within the company is now finding new talent and helping existing artists develop their portfolio by critiquing and supplying ideas for new samples.

Someone once said that if you love your job you’ll never work a day in your life and that’s exactly how I feel.


A little bit about Leon P. Strapko:

Dad was also named Leon so Mom put the “P” in to avoid confusion. 

I’ve loved art and design since I could hold a crayon. Always drawing, painting, doing collage, making my own comic books — “making a mess” Mom called it. After I graduated from Parsons School of Design I got into direct marketing (where the money was) and was an art director for many years when I finally came to the realization that I’d rather be doing the art than doing the direction. 

Better late than never. I live in New York with my darling daughter Julia.



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 and your name should be in the .jpg title. 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 featured.

Talk tomorrow,



  1. Leon’s illos are fabulous (as evident by how little criticism there is for the pieces)!


  2. Thank you Lorraine for the kind words and constructive criticism! And thank you Kathy for “Take a Look Sunday” and everything you do at Writing & Illustrating!


  3. Welcome to the ‘crit group!’ Wonderful experience!


  4. Thank you Lorraine for the kind words and constructive criticism! And thanks Kathy for “Take a Look Sunday” and everything you do at Writing and Illustrating!


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