Meet Manon, Our New Illustrations Editor


Manon has recently joined the team here at the “Friend”, so we thought you would like to get to know her a bit more!

Hello Manon, and welcome to the team! Please tell us a little about life before joining “The People’s Friend”.

I was born in France and lived there until I finished my studies in communication and graphic design.

Then, I decided to travel and see the world: I wanted to learn English and make my own experiences. I spent one year in New Zealand and close to six years in Australia. I was working as a graphic designer, and also doing some freelance illustration. From one opportunity to another, I landed in Scotland at the end of July 2019, ready for a new challenge and hoping to settle here.

And so far, I couldn’t be happier: it looks like I found my home!

What made you decide to join the “Friend”?

The job description and decided it must have been written for me.

I am an avid reader (with a preference for fiction!) and love anything to do with illustration.

I am also methodical and organised. Being in charge of organising my days was a big selling point!

I thrive on creativity and think everyone works better when they work with passion. The team at “The People’s Friend” is exactly like that. I felt very welcome from day one, and I am now surrounded by passionate people, whose love of their job is contagious!

Tell us a little about what your new job involves.

I am in charge of the illustrations attached to fiction stories and magazine covers.

Part of my job is to assign those illustrations to one of our talented illustrators, while the other part is to create them. I also illustrate special covers, pocket novel covers, “The Fireside Book”, and more.

When I assign an illustration, I need to check that the brief is comprehensive and clear, and that it will translate well once illustrated. I follow-up to make sure that we get all artworks on time.

Finally, I ensure that all the illustrations will look good in the magazine. They need to entice the reader to read the story without revealing too much of it.

My time is divided between admin and creation, which keeps me busy and challenged at all times!

What are you enjoying about the job so far?

Every day is different. I love being in touch with the illustrators, reading new briefs and picturing the future illustration in my head.

I enjoy getting surprised when I receive an illustration that is completely different from what I pictured in the first place. That is the beauty of having a wide range of illustrators working for the magazine: they all have their sensibility, and there is never one answer to one brief.

I find the whole process fascinating. And of course, I love getting hands-on and doing my own illustrations.

Any thoughts on our 150th anniversary?

I find it incredible to be part of a magazine that has such a long history.

Going through the 150th Anniversary Specials, it feels similar to travelling in time. The “Friend” has witnessed the greatest and worst moments of this past 150 years. Through all of that its kept its spirit alive, as well as staying true to its original purpose: giving joy to its reader.

I am thoroughly impressed and proud to be a part of it.

What do you enjoy reading?

I read a wide range of books, but I find that I am mostly attracted to fiction because it transports me.

I love when a story has a lot of characters, each following their path without being aware of each other, until they finally meet.

Plus, I enjoy a good thriller, biography and historical books.

I am quite curious, rarely say no to a book, and I have the hardest time giving up on a book. Which means I always have two or three books on the go!

For more from the team, read our blog here.

Lucy Crichton

Fiction Editor Lucy is always on the look-out for the very best short stories, poems and pocket novels. As well as sourcing enjoyable content, she enjoys working with our established contributors, encouraging new talent, and celebrating 155 years of 'Friend' fiction!