About

Our Creative Director Dave explores a seven meter Moon installation, with his inquisitive son, at Chichester Cathedral. The Sussex Downs backdrop, photographed by our resident photographer, was added for dramatic affect.

Brands come to us to help them communicate their message
to children in a way that is engaging, nurturing, entertaining,
and fuels their imaginations, their aspirations and dreams….

It’s a fact that as we get older and our understanding of the world deepens, we lose touch with our own childhood. We increasingly forget what it was to be a child. We have even less of an understanding of what it is to be a child in today’s society. As we are not exposed to the same media, the same technology, the same issues.

It’s a whole different challenge communicating with children than it is with adults. Brands increasingly recognise that they need a separate, experienced team, for better communication with kids.

We work with leading children’s communicators, authors, educational specialists, and children’s psychologists. We are learning important aspects of kid’s communications every day, adopting the best practices, and refining our engagement.

We are master storytellers, we have created literally 1000’s of children’s books for pretty much every publisher, many New York Times Best Sellers and Amazon no 1’s amongst them. We create 100’s of games and products every year, some of which are multi-award winners and we have worked with diverse brands from Pfizer to Ariana Grande, helping them communicate their message successfully.

Our Collaborate family has a ‘big-kid’ mentality, with studios based in Singapore, New York, London and Seville, we understand the local markets and different cultures. Everyday is playtime in our studios, and our playful approach to creativity helps us relate to children, seeing the world from their perspective.

We are the only Agency in the world with supplier contracted relationships with leading children’s educators such as Pearson, Oxford University Press, Cambridge University Press, Macmillan, Houghton Mifflin, and the BBC, to name drop just a few. This stands as testament to our specialisation in the subject of #kidscomms. We take it seriously, you should too.

If your brand wants help to maximise their #kidscomms potential, drop us a mail at [email protected]

Meet the team...

David

David

Over the last decade, Dave’s curious and energetic twin boys have helped him to fine tune his craft. Being able to take his work home and bounce ideas off his very own market research group has provided our Creative Director with some invaluable insight into what makes young minds tick.

Understanding and developing techniques, both overt and covert, to communicate inspiring messages to young minds is an underestimated art form and a skill that Dave is continually refining. He keeps on top of the latest trends in technology, publishing and licensing, helping him to create the right team dynamic and apply the right strategy to each and every project. This approach ensures brand messaging is always on point and delivered to younger audiences in the most effective and engaging ways.

When he’s not working on kidscomms… who are we trying to fool… Dave is always working on kidscomms!

Kate

Kate

Big Kid Kate, also known as Head of New Development, loves to connect brands with their younger audiences, it’s why she lands the big jobs. Ideas, imagination and interaction are her real superpowers, juggled with her weekend softplay parties with her son Jack where she listens intently to what might inspire our next kids campaign.

20 years in children’s publishing have given Kate the invaluable insight of what makes a bestselling children’s product. Her expertise is in storytelling and creating synergy between the client and their younger audiences, harnessing the creative prowess of Collaborate. By day you can find her on zoom sharing her insights and landing the next project, by night you will find her wrangling through an obstacle course of Lego bricks, Key stage 2 Literature, and education apps, before settling down to the next animated series on Disney+.

Recently Kate landed her dream project, art directing Ariana Grande’s first Comic book and helping to launch her latest fragrance to an audience of 4 million youtubers with a fantastic animation from Collaborate Agency. The animation was shortlisted for the Shark Awards but more importantly it gives Kate a lot of street cred amongst Jack’s friends.

Ed

Ed

Our COO, tasked with overseeing strategic business activities, improving overall business functions, training heads of departments, managing budgets, creating policies, and communicating business goals, His glasses are getting thicker and thicker as the years go on, but he definitely has an eye for a procedure!

A proud father of 2, and manager of the local junior surrey league football club for a good few seasons, he understands that communicating with kids and running a business requires 100% different skill sets. Sure the locker room chat can be about teams and working together but engaging young minds on the sports field is far more about individual feelings and emotion. Especially when it's him breaking down in tears!

Caroline

Caroline

The art of storytelling has been an obsession for Caroline since her early childhood when she would read and recite her favourite stories to anyone or anything that would listen! Fast forward a good few years, and you'll see her passionately reading her published children’s books aloud - again to anyone or anything that will listen!

Having worked in the Children's Publishing industry for over 20 years, Caroline LOVES to find a great children's book manuscript and aid the author in turning it into a future blockbuster! Along with her experience of commissioning great illustrators, she marries artwork and text to create the perfect synergy, which will captivate young minds and imagination. As a mum of two boys, she understands the need to engage children with exciting content to assist with their progress in reading. Her passion for bringing immersive and imaginative content to market through young literature is her drive and goal.

Carrie Knights

Carrie Knights

Collaborate's UK Design Manager, Carrie, is a highly skilled graphic designer and illustrator with over 20 years experience in the publishing industry. She offers extensive expertise in childrenʼs novelty, activity, picture storybooks and more – having contributed to hundreds of titles published worldwide. Carrie has a genuine passion for finding creative solutions that inspire and delight children. In 2021 Carrie was shortlisted for the Sheffield Children’s Book Award for ‘Dragon’s LOVE Ice Cream!’ and is presently shortlisted for the BookTrust Storytime Prize 2022-23 for ‘Can You Tickle a Tiger?’

Carrie began her career in publishing as a prototyper and soon progressed into graphic design. Her natural strength and ability for drawing and illustration is invaluable to her work in the kids book industry. Over the past ten years Carrie has honed her skills, collaborating with editors, illustration agencies, and freelance suppliers. She has a keen eye for identifying current and new trends and has created many new book formats and concepts – some being first to market! Carrie has illustrated over 30 books that have been published in a variety of languages, worldwide – all of which she has taken from concept stage to finished product.

In her spare time Carrie keeps and breeds mini rex rabbits that live in a customised cabin in her garden. She is a keen baker, and she has a collection of urban art. Her favourite artists include Prefab77 and Eelus. Carrie loves high heels, fast cars and action movies.

Nicole

Nicole

From a very young age, our designer and illustrator Nicole has loved drawing. You would often find her scribbling pictures onto napkins, sketchbooks and even her math homework. She grew up loving animals and books, and books about animals!

Her imagination was captured by titles such as Matilda, The Witches, Harry Potter and Eragon.

Stories, illustrations and animations have always been a big part of her life and she is really happy to be able to create new stories and fascinating illustrations for future generations of napkin-scribblers! Passing on the passion for storytelling is what drives Nicole and you can see her passion in all the extra brush strokes and details of her work.

Elsa

Elsa

Designer and illustrator Elsa often jokes she got into children’s books to avoid getting a ‘grown up’ job. As a person who spends a LOT of time reading fantasy novels, playing D&D with friends and wild camping in the Scottish highlands, she loves any opportunity to escape the ‘real’ world and is truly a child at heart.

As an actual child she spent most of her time in the garden hunting for fairies or shut away in her room writing stories. As an adult she loves to try new hobbies; painting, crafts, dancing, climbing, picking up new instruments… the list goes on! She believes that ‘always being an inexperienced child at something’ is the key to flourishing creativity!

Ben

Ben

Our resident senior illustrator and animator, Ben, treasures the illustrated books he's held on to from his childhood, with the 'Lester' series by Quentin Blake and 'Granfa Grig' by Wallace Tripp among his favourites. When you see Ben, it’s clear that he’s no Peter Pan, however, there is a stubborn refusal to grow up!

This stubbornness manifests itself in his love of playing board games, writing new Dungeons & Dragons adventures and his favourite activity - watching cartoons with his daughter Eva! While they sit laughing together at "Owl House' and 'Lower Decks' Ben is secretly absorbing animation and storytelling techniques that he can use on his next big animation project!.

Ben is occasionally dragged back into the adulthood, and when he’s there, he loves nothing more than dancing with his wife Becky.

Chris

Chris

Based down on the sunny south coast, my background is in the arts which led me to working as a voice over agent and at TV/film production companies. During this time I've been lucky enough to work on the Re-booted iconic Tv Show Thunderbirds Are Go and with the Disney Channel.

Outside of work you'll find me rekindling my obsession with Lego and embracing my inner child exploring nature with my 6 year old son. We go camping, rock pooling, building dens and campfires reading his favourite book from the Percy the Park keeper collection.

Alfie

Alfie

Alfie was born and raised in Gibraltar. He graduated with B.A with honours degree in graphic design at the University of Chester. After working in numerous agencies he was quickly promoted to general manager tasked with government advertising ventures and local design projects in Gibraltar.

After his education he transitioned into UX/UI Design while living in London. Alfie handles the marketing side of our agencies but also lends us a hand in the design department too. Alfie has worked within education, print design services, fintech and corporate industries. His broad field of industry knowledge means he is able to adapt quickly to different industries.

Alfie went back to education to pursue a Masters Degree in the University of Missouri Kansas City were he also was hired as a part time university instructor, teaching undergraduate students the principles of graphic design.

He currently resides in Gibraltar with family. If you offer him Cadburry's Caramel or Jaffacake, he will be your friend for life.

When he’s not at work, Alfie loves long distance running, cooking, dancing, travelling, playing board games and designing for the fun of it. We’re hoping he brings some Gibraltar sunshine to the company! You can check out his impressive portfolio right here: alfredmorro.com

Have any questions for him, drop him a message at [email protected]

Tamara

Tamara

Since I was a kid I was surrounded by nature and animals (horses, dogs, cats..), enjoying every summer at my grandparents near the beach where I was always learning recipes from my grandma and doing maths with my grandad.

They taught me all the passion I have for travelling the world on culinary adventures due my grandma use to tell me stories from every single food she used to cook, then my grandad show me the way of how important was being organised and good at maths that was why I chose my career in Accounts, all related since I was little..

Ricardo

Ricardo

I grew up in a very closed family and spent all weekends surrounded by relatives in the countryside. My passion has been always riding horses and taking care of them. At a certain age, my preferences changed a little bit and I started to love water sports. There is not a single summer the whole family does not sail for a week or so around Portugal coast.

Thousands of memories live with us still. I also like traveling around the world alongside my wife, where we meet new cultures and enjoy the local gastronomy.

Natasha

Natasha

Behind the scenes here we have mega organised Natasha, also known as our COO, who keeps the business running smoothly ensuring that the wheels are inflated and the engine has its oil (metaphorically speaking of course). If you are in need of a beautiful spreadsheet, or an amazing list, you can rely on Natasha to give you some tips.

Alongside looking after her work family, she is also bossing her new role as a Mum with one of the company’s first Lockdown Babies. This new role enables her to have a deeper understanding of the world of children from a completely different angle.

Natasha also graduated with a BA in Illustration, leading her to be both crafty and creative, designing brilliant cards for our sister Agency Advocate Art. This leads into her second role as Head of Sales at Caroline Wakeman Literary Agency, taking on this new position after working as an Agent herself for over 10 years before moving into more Senior Management as COO.

Babs

Babs

Babs is a firm believer in the Law of Attraction, which might be what makes her such a superstar accounts manager (combined with all that hard work and expertise of course!) It’s no ‘secret’ that she is well loved by the Collaborate team.

Laura

Laura

Resident illustrator, photographer and Korean pop DJ. Laura has a passion for art and geek culture and can often be seen hanging around comic and film conventions.

Carrie

Carrie

I'm a doting mother of two lovely (crazy, noisy, hat-wearing) daughters. Most of my working life has been spent writing and editing reading and phonics books, as well as English language courses for children learning English abroad. I love the zoo and once fed and washed some rhinos.

My favourite author is Dr. Seuss (even when it makes me cry a bit).

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If you are interested in being a Collaborate supplier please submit a link to your portfolio or a collection of images to our partners at ITSme ([email protected]). ITSme works directly with our agents to select and sign our illustrators. Be sure to include the name of our agency in the subject line. We do not require CVs – just a link to your work or attach .jpeg!

To find out more about ITSme and our submission process, please visit: https://itsme.biz/