An Interview With Our Creative Manager, Michelle

7th July 2022


We recently interviewed our new Creative Manager, Michelle, on what it is exactly she does, and how she does it so well. Sharing some insight into the industry of #Kidscomms and what she thinks it takes to succeed!


  1. What is your role at Collaborate? 

Creative Manager


  1. What do you do as Creative Manager for Collaborate in the USA?

Our team of talented publishing professionals are responsible for the daily operations and execution of all print and digital design work relative to children’s publishing. Our goal is to establish new relationships within this industry offering innovative solutions to their publishing program. My experience in successfully leading a children’s book publishing company and knowing every avenue of creating a book from concept to completion, is a tremendous asset to offer our new clientele.  


  1. How long have you been working in the #kidscomms industry?

I started working in the #kidscomms industry in August 1999. I worked with companies such as ​​Clever Publishing, Tiger Tales, Penguin Random House, Golden Books, and now I get to work with a multitude of companies through my role at Collaborate.


  1. What inspired you to enter the industry? 

I can honestly say that I did not go searching for a job in this industry. However, this industry did find me. After graduating from university, I worked in various industries as a graphic designer: live news, television, advertising, and web design. But none of these career paths seemed to drive my passion. One day, I was placed as a temp in Golden Books Family Entertainment publishing company as a scanner; scanning artwork before artists prepared their work digitally. After a few weeks on the job, one of the designers was going on maternity leave and this was an opportunity to take on a new role. I took on this role with such passion and I excelled beyond my expectation. I had never created a book before this and it felt so natural. At that very moment, I knew that this was my career path and since then, I have made this my life’s work.


  1. What is a particular project you have worked on in the past that influenced your career?

The one project that comes to mind is managing the publishing umbrella licence for Nickelodeon; which consisted of launching multiple books in various formats across their popular television properties. I found myself enjoying the challenge of managing great volumes of work, liaising with the licensor, and striving to meet the demands of the schedule. The success of the Nickelodeon launch expanded into me taking on more responsibility, eventually leading me to a new career path of Licensing Art Director.


  1. How collaborative is your role?

I am fully collaborative in every avenue of publishing: art and design, editorial, marketing, sales, and production. If there is a skill I don’t know, I will make every effort to learn it.


  1. What skills are essential to your role at Collaborate?

The saying “don’t judge a book by it’s cover” is false. Cover design is an essential skill in capturing your audience enough for them to buy your book. Knowing your audience is the second essential to creating a successful cover. 


  1. How do you source the talent for your projects? 

 Art agencies, especially those sister agencies to Collaborate, Linkedin, Behance, Google, the list goes on….


  1. What are you looking for when you match a designer / writer/ or other talent for one of your clients’ projects?

It varies for either art or editorial but some of the skills I look for are, experience in the industry, history of published books, ability to handle multiple projects, typography, fact-checking, and vision to see a project through completion.