Posted by: Kathy Temean | July 3, 2016

Take A Look Sunday – Vaughan Duck


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 for Vaughan Duck:

Thank you for your submission. I think there is a great sense of fun in your imagery, with the bold colour and graphic styling. However, I do feel it is looking a little dated (the misaligned key lines, which I know are intended, make it look slightly old fashioned). You could even afford to lose the outlines – I notice some really lovely characters on your website…

Vaughan Duck

These are fantastic! Great colours, with lovely retro styling.

tkl Vanaugh Duck1

I would say at the moment  your submission looks too reliant on computer graphics. It is not necessarily a bad thing of course, but current trends (particularly in the UK and Europe) suggest a popularity with a graphic approach that includes elements of hand drawn art. It can still look bright and graphic, but with a touch of texture and ‘messing things up a bit’ would make a world of difference to your work, make it more expressive, and would have greater appear for picture book publishers. At the moment it feels a little more like educational illustration.

tkl vanaugh Duck 2

I love all the touches of detail you’ve added, such the little robot, and the dog – LOVE the dog dreaming of bones! It’s great to add extra points off interest for kids to look at and point out. It’s also great to see modern elements such as the colourful rucksack which makes the character current – it is surprising how often an artist doesn’t get the styling right for contemporary children, so the more reference you have for what todays children are wearing etc, the better. I’m not sure if it is just me, but I feel the child’s face looks a little old – it maybe that you just lose the bridge of the nose and make the jaw smaller. This is one of the things that consistently comes up when talking to publishers – getting children’s facial features right is THE most important thing (the conversations I’ve had with art directors about what kind of eyes they want! It’s harder than you think).

tkl vanaugh duck 3


I hope that helps you push on with your book. I think you have all the elements there, it’s just tweaking things to make it more current.

Vaughan Duck is an illustrator based in Australia. He has been working for book publishers since 1990 when his first picture book was published ‘The Ant Explorer.’ The internet has opened the world market to him, he can sit in his studio in the heat of an Australian summer while he works for a client on the other side of the world freezing in the depths of winter.

Australia is a small market for an illustrator to survive in – as a result you need to flexible. My folio reflects this with a huge range of illustration styles suitable for Children’s Books, Chapter Books and Text Books. In addition to illustrating I also create props which are photographed for use in kids craft books.

The three illustrations I have included are from a personal book project I am working on. The story is about our dreams and aspirations as children when we still believe we can achieve absolutely anything we can imagine.

For a better appreciation of my work please visit my website. or my SCBWI page

Lorraine. Thanks for taking the time to share your expertise with all of us.


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.


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. Hi. Thanks for the positive advice Lorraine. You mentioned a visit to my website where you found some characters you liked. These images weren’t attached in the blog and I am very interested to see which images in particular you liked. Are you able indicate which ones they were?

    Vaughan Duck


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