Posted by: Kathy Temean | June 3, 2020

ILLUSTRATOR OPPORTUNITY: CHAD W. BECKERMAN & INTERVIEW

CHAD W. BECKERMAN HAS JOINED THE CAT AGENCY

and building his list.

Agent Chad W. Beckerman brings over 20 years of illustration and design experience to the Agency. After studying illustration as an undergrad at RISD, Chad went on to be a Designer at Scholastic, a Senior Designer at Greenwillow Books, and then became the Creative Director at ABRAMS Kids and Comic Arts, where he spent 13 years overseeing the design of 250 books a year – from picture books, to novels, to graphic novels, and art and entertainment books. Chad is behind the aesthetic for over forty New York Times bestselling and award-winning books including the blockbuster Diary of a Wimpy Kid series by Jeff Kinney, the Caldecott honor and Corretta Scott King Award winning Trombone Story, illustrated by Brian Collier, and the Newbury Medal honor books El Deafo, and Heart of the Samurai.

He executed the design architecture for countless series including Origami Yoda by Tom Angelberger, The Questioneers (Iggy Peck, Rosie Revere, Ada Twist) by Andrea Beaty and David Roberts, Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales, Frank Einstein by Jon Scieszka and Brian Biggs, The Terrible Two by Mac Barnett and Jory John, The Sisters Grimm and Jared Chapman’s Vegetables in Underwear.

Chad’s greatest joy is working with illustrators, and as an agent he is busy curating and cultivating a unique group of artists who are inspiring and innovating in children’s literature. Chad represents illustrators and author/illustrators from all over the globe, who create artwork for all ages and genres. In addition to representing illustrators, Chad offers packaging of picture books, graphic novels and middle-grade series books through his design studio CWB Art & Design (www.chadwbeckerman.com).

Chad lives in Brooklyn, NY, with his cat, Kentucky. He has an impeccable eye, a quick wit and gave himself a pandemic haircut that you should ask to see.

I see you are already representing five illustrators. Did you work with them in your previous jobs or did you just see their work and contact them?

Actually six!

The only illustrator that I worked with before was Dion MBD, we worked on at the cover design for Boys in the Back Row ny Mike Jung, soon to be published by Arthur Levine at Levine Querido.

Dion MBD, because Dionisius Mehaga Bangun Djayasaputra is way too long to remember as he informed me, is an Indonesian illustrator/designer who is based in Brooklyn, NY. He works on ranges of projects such as editorial, publishing, and TV commercials. Dion received his Illustration BFA from Ringling College of Art Design in Florida where he grew his fascinations with clouds. Occasionally you can find him cloud-watching at one of the parks in Brooklyn. He enjoys YA, graphic novels, and picture books as they remind him of his childhood. He often gravitates towards stories that are tender with themes such as coming-of-age, grief, romance, and others that are close to our daily lives. Dion MBD : http://www.catugeau.com/#/dion-mbd/

Everyone else I have had my eye on for sometime or they were recommended to me.

Kyle Webster was first to join the team. We really wanted to work with each other while I was at ABRAMS but the timing didn’t work out as he was very busy. Developing. His digital brushes, for his own company https://www.kylebrush.com/,  the brand behind the world’s best-selling Photoshop brushes for professional illustrators, animators, and designers. His brushes were the first to be officially licensed by Adobe for inclusion in the Adobe library of tools for Photoshop.  These are the same brushed that a majority of illustrators use today. Thats amazing! So clearly Kyle is a master with his brushes. He is one of the most creative and versatile creators I know.

Each of the illustrators I am signing on are very different stylistically from each other. But similar that they are all more than just illustrators they are creators. They all fit into many different age groups, middle-grade, picture books, and graphic novels. They are storytellers not just with the images but they write as well. Kyle Webster : http://www.catugeau.com/#/kyle-webster/

Sarah Rebar is an illustrator based in Los Angeles.

She worked as a Senior Illustrator for the kid’s TV show, Sesame Street. She collaborated to create new muppets for Ahlan Sim Sim, an international co-production for young Syrian refugees, funded by the MacArthur genius grant. In addition, she illustrates kid’s books. She is part of the art collective, Ten Paces and Draw. She has done improv and comedy writing at The Magnet Theater, PIT, and UCB – and likes to tell weird stories with a sense of humor. Sarah Rebar : http://www.catugeau.com/#/sarah-rebar/

Melisa Fernández Nitsche is an illustrator, graphic designer and creative born and raised in Buenos Aires, Argentina. She has a bachelor’s degree in “Advertising and Communication”  She mainly works with digital pencil and gouache brushes. Her work has been featured in advertisement, children’s games and digital media. She seeks to create picture books, board books, book covers and early readers/chapter books. Melisa is interested in stories that convey tenderness, sensitivity, and imagination. Melisa Fernández Nitsche : http://www.catugeau.com/#/melisa-fernandez-nitsche/

Rachel Dukes is a cartoonist, illustrator, and the creator of the cat-centric webcomic collection Frankie Comics (Oni Press). A 2013 MFA graduate from The Center for Cartoon Studies, Rachel has created comics, illustration, and background designs for The Nib, BOOM! Studios, Lion Forge Comics, and Oni Press, among others. Rachel’s comic work has appeared in several anthologies, including BeyondOathBottoms UpAs You Were, and Tim’rous Beastie. Rachel is interested in creating graphic novels, picture books, and board books. They love coming-of-age and middle grade stories with stubborn protagonists, queer feelings, magical realism, and ⁠—of course!⁠— cats. Rachel Dukes : http://www.catugeau.com/#/new-artist-racheldukes/

Jamie Green is a maker and professional curious person living in Greenville, South Carolina. She just graduated from Ringling College of Art and Design. In 2019, she was recognized by the Society of Illustrators as the Zankel Scholar. Much like her hobbies, her work can be described as the feeling of being bundled up around a campfire or hiking through the autumn woods. It is a goal of hers to both intrigue and educate, combining nature and whimsy and creating a space for curiosity (as well as a bit of magic). Jamie strives to create picture books, illustrated educational books, magazine covers, interactive materials, and chapter book covers/interiors.

Every illustrator I am working with I have asked to work up a list of 100 things they like to draw. This exersice helps me understand who they are as illustrator and creators through their own personal interest. And in turn helps them understand them selves in that moment. And who knows there might be a book idea in that list. The idea was spawned John Hendrix’s book Drawing is Magic. Jamie Green : http://www.catugeau.com/#/jamie-green/

Since you studied illustration at RISD, do you find time to create any of your own illustrations?

I do occasionally . . . but I haven’t put those skills to use in quite some time professionally. I mainly doodle for myself these days. That said I do feel guilty I haven’t spent more time with my brushes, making.   While I was at RISD I was a TE for three classes. I learned later that this experince of helping individuals get better at their craft was more rewarding than developing my own craft. The  understanding of how and illustrator thought, felt and the anxieties of making came in handy when I need to communicate to an illustrator.

Can you tell us more about your design studio CWB Art & Design? 

Currently we are an all purpose book design studio. We design and concept childrens books from 0-5, design middle grade covers and interiors, art direct picture books, design adult art books and on our down time review illustrators portfolios. Not to sign or represent them but just to help them get to there next creative level. I have reviews portfolios from the most seasoned illustrator to the beginning illustrator and they all have the same thing in common, every one needs to step outside of there work to see it more clearly to figure out were to go next. To be able to help with that is an amazing feeling.

  1. http://www.chadwbeckerman.com/comic-artdirection
  2. http://www.chadwbeckerman.com/illustrationinfoandreviewsIn addition we collaborate with my brother’s photography studio, http://www.beckermanphotography.com/ to create photos for book covers  interior photos

When you say you package picture books, graphic novels, and middle grade books. Do you mean you will match up the agency’s illustrators with author’s who do not illustrate?

Yes, in time we aim to do just that. With my experience of developing the design and aesthetic of  multiple best-selling series  I will work with our team to help them make there picture books, graphic novels, and middle grade books more marketable by helping develop them as brands. Like I did at ABRAMS with Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Origami Yoda by Tom Angelberger, The Questioneers (Iggy Peck, Rosie Revere, Ada Twist) by Andrea Beaty and David Roberts, Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales, Frank Einstein by Jon Scieszka and Brian Biggs, The Terrible Two by Mac Barnett and Jory John and Jared Chapman’s Vegetables in Underwear.

http://www.chadwbeckerman.com/picturebooks#/vegetablesanunderwear/
http://www.chadwbeckerman.com/picturebooks#/rosiandiggy/
http://www.chadwbeckerman.com/novels#/theterribbletwo/
http://www.chadwbeckerman.com/novels#/wimpykid/
http://www.chadwbeckerman.com/novels#/nathahale/

Congratulations Chad! You have joined a great agency. I look forward to seeing the things you accomplished there.

The CAT Agency, Inc., formerly the CATugeau Artist Agency, is celebrating its 26th year in 2020! Thr boutique agency, founded in 1994 by Christina Tugeau, believes in the hands-on approach in representing a diverse group of talent from all over the world. Now led by Christy Ewers, and newly welcoming Chad W. Beckerman, they continue to strive for excellence in children’s literature, representing an ever-growing client list; offering an eclectic mix of styles, voices and talent. They represent many NYT Bestselling illustrators and award-winning authors and illustrators. http://www.catugeau.com 

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


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