Interview: Zoë Aubugeau-Williams, Nobrow

“My job is to tell as many people as possible about the amazing work of talented illustrators,” says Zoë Aubugeau-Williams of her role at Nobrow. Nobrow is a publishing house dedicated to publishing books that showcase groundbreaking graphic arts. Its imprint, Flying Eye Books, is similarly committed to bringing high-calibre illustrations into children’s books.

As the Marketing Co-ordinator for both, Aubugeau-Williams spends her time coming up with interesting ways to promote picture books. “I enjoy working with the illustrators and our brilliant design team to spread the message of their books in all different kinds of ways,” she says, “from creating animated book trailers, window displays… or stickers!”

Flying Eye Books

Part of promoting a picture book will involve drawing attention to its most eye-catching elements. On what first catches her attention in an illustrator’s portfolio, Aubugeau-Williams highlights colour as the most important factor: “I am a fiend for an interesting palette and that’s what most often draws me to pick something up!” More specifically to picture books, she also notes how key it is for illustrators to be able to convey a character’s personality and emotion: “I think that is what really resonates with children too”.

The Secret of Black Rock by Joe Todd-Stanton

It is for this reason that Aubugeau-Williams enjoys Tove Jansson’s illustrations so much, in particular the Moomins, which “manage to exude so much personality, character and sense of surrounding, whether they are B+W line drawings, coloured illustrations or comics”. She also cites Raymond Briggs and his ability to tell stories just through pictures, Charley Harper’s Golden Book of Biology (which she calls a “masterpiece”), and Lorena Alvarez, Blexbolex, Emily Hughes, Joe Todd-Stanton, and Robert Hunter (who she will be in conversation with at Picture Hooks Conference 2017).

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Nightlights by Lorena Alvarez