January 14, 2018: Cassie Gonzales, Assistant Designer, Little, Brown BYFR

by Vicky Rubin on January 23, 2018

January 14, 2018 meeting minutes



Cassie has been with LB about 6 months. Reports to Christina Quintero, Exec. AD.

She studied at Pratt, and illustrates book covers. Traditional artist but now also uses an iPad with Procreate App

Her division is licensing and intellectual property.

She is the gatekeeper re finding illustrators.

Book proposals are only through agents.

Licensing: i.e. Marvel, Mattel, Disney

Artists need to be able to work in the style of those properties.

Freelance, work for hire contracts

Usually 1 or 2 books, sometimes more. Book covers, interiors

Short turnaround, i.e. covers, usually 2 weeks, interiors @20pgs at a time in 2 wk intervals.

Finding illustrators:

Agencies including Good Illustration and Artful Doodlers, Lemonade

Illustrator Directories: Workbook, Society of Illustrators Annual, Directory of Illustrators

Googles a style they need, i.e. high fantasy realism

Deviant Art


Illustrator connections

Links on illustrators’ sites to their friends’ work

LB gives the artist the story, character and style guide. Work is reviewed by all departments and then sent to the licensor for approval.

Examples of Licensed Properties (project done in collaboration with licensor)

My Little Pony Mysteries, based on TV episodes. Other Little Pony series stories created in-house with authors/illustrators but still licensed.

My Little Pony: The Dragons on Dazzle Island, leveled readers and picture books

Example of Intellectual Property (generated in-house, so more freedom re story/illustrations)

My Little Women, redone for YA audience as a graphic novel using multi-racial characters to embrace diversity.

Peter Powers series

Her preferences:

Examples children: Tommie de Paolo, Sendak

Examples adult: Rodrigo Corral illustrator, Turtles All the Way Down,  Elenor Parker books



Put your work on many different sites

Use keywords, hashtags so your work comes up in searches

Put things on your website and in your bio that express your voice



15-20 examples enough for portfolio

Separate sections i.e. for b/w or a different style

Okay to add written note re the section description

Separate book or section – Process pieces or sketchbook that shows how you work

If digital portfolio like on an iPad, show illustration full screen.

You can have a grey banner along the bottom with your name/logo so it’s not distracting.

Her bio: Cassie Gonzales is an Assistant Designer at Little, Brown Books for
Young Readers. Previously, she interned in art departments at many
different publishing houses – Berkley/Putnam at Penguin Random House,
St. Martin’s Press at Macmillan, and Harper Children’s at
HarperCollins. Cassie has also been active in events with the
Children’s Book Council and the Type Director’s Club. She has a
particular interest in and knowledge about illustrated typography.
She is a graduate of Pratt Institute’s Communications
Design program with a focus in Graphic Design.