World Illustration Awards: 2017 entries now open - see the 2016 winners

You can now enter for the Association of Illustrator's 2017 awards - or check out the 2016 winners.


The World Illustration Awards – backed by the Association of Illustrators (AOI) in the UK and Directory of Illustration in the US– delivers in both clout and the sheer beauty, relevance and sensitivity of its shortlisted work each year.

The AOI has announced that the 2017 Awards are open for entry across eight categories: Advertising, Books, Children's Books, Design, Editorial, Research, Self-Initiated, and Site Specific. For each there are separate Professional and New Talent awards (New Talent being for current students and those who graduated less than two years ago).

Entering costs £25/30/$33 for a single entry, or £45/54/$60 for multiple entries. You can enter here before February 20, 2017.

Read on to see the World Illustration Awards 2016 winners.

The winners of the World Illustration Awards 2016 was announced at Somerset House in London in August. Here's the list.

Overall Winner Professional and Winner of Books Professional: Jungho Lee

Junho Lee's evocative, dramatic piece is a testament to the incredible feats of imagination books can spark. 


Overall Winner New Talent & Winner of Books New Talent: Jimin Kim

Jimin Kim is creating her first book in London after graduating from Kingston University.

She is focusing on making picture books with her original etching prints.

Advertisement. Article continues below

Winner of Advertising Professional: Forge & Morrow

Forge & Morrow are a digital image-making studio that specialises in 3D illustration and typography.


Winner of Advertising New Talent: Julinu

Julinu works as a freelance illustrator and gaphic designer after working for advertising agencies for a number of years.

His work often features drawn visuals laced with dark, surreal humour.


Winner of Children's Books Professional: Alex T. Smith

Alex T. Smith is a UK-based illustrator and Children's book author, anc creator of the CLAUDE fiction series for early readers.

Advertisement. Article continues below

Winner of Children's Book New Talent: Ami Shin

Ami Shin is a Korean illustrator whose work is patterned and detailed with a traditional feeling.


Winner of Design Professional: Ella Cohen

Ella Cohen is a freelance illustrator based in Berlin that has created editorials, visual identities and other projects for clients such as Airbnb, the New York Times, Volkswagen and the the Wall Street Journal.


Winner of Design New Talent: Thoka Maer

Thoka Maer illustrates with pencil as it is, or digitally colourised for print or screen. 

His work can be figurative and narrative or abstract and surreal, but his use of pencil and crayon makes it consistent.

Advertisement. Article continues below

Winner of Editorial Professional: Matt Huynh

Matt Huynh is an Australian artist based in New York City.

His comics and illustrations are informed by sumi-e painting and shodo calligraphy.


Winner of Editorial New New Talent: Nancy Liang

Nancy Liang focuses on tales of urban landscapes, city streets and surburbia.

She uses drawing and kraft paper cutouts arranged in the visual form of a diorama.


Winner of Public Realm Professional: Brian Gallagher

Brian Gallagher uses media and traditional paint on canvas, and is especially drawn to linocut and scraperboard.

Advertisement. Article continues below

Winner of Public Realm New Talent: Diego Becas Villegas

Diego Becas Villegas is a grahpic designer born in Chile, specialising in handmade author posters, illustration and typography.

He has developed his posters for different cultural areas in opera, film, theatre, music, dance, politics and social issues.


Winner of Research & Knowledge Communication Professional: Florian Bayer

Florian Bayer is a Berlin-based illustrator working in fields of books, opera, graphic novels, adverts, magazines and exhibitions.

He also lectures at the University of Applied Sciences in Wurzburg and edits the Shake Your Tree Editions with friends.


Winner of Research & Knowledge Communication New Talent: Eun Jung Bahng

Eun Jung Bahng is a student at the Art Center College of Design majoring in illustration.

Previous work includes an Acrylic Gouache series illustration based on the history of Hashima Island when Japan invaded Korea.

Advertisement. Article continues below

Winner of Self Initiated Professional: Gigi Rose Gray

Gigi Rose Gray is a freelance illustrator based in Los Angeles.


Winner of Self Initiated New Talent: Eunjoo Lee

Eunjoo Lee is studying MA Illustration at the Glasgow School of Art.

She has worked with several magazines in the UK and Korea.


The shortlist ranges from the Balbusso Twins’ rich, stylised cover art for Laura Ashe’s book Richard II (shown) to the highly detailed, evocative drawing of a British bee for the Royal Mail by Richard Lewington. 

Here we’ve put together a varied, brilliant selection from the shortlist. But everyone has different taste – though I tend to think mine is superior – so here’s the full shortlist of 210 wondrous entries.

Image: Book cover by the Balbusso Twins for Laura Ashe’s book Richard II

Advertisement. Article continues below

2016 saw over 2300 submissions. So, unless you have a lot of spare time on your hands and crave a large illustration dose (no judgement here), we’ll just have to trust the acumen of a panel of over 24 international professionals to come up with a shortlist – who include TASCHEN Publishing House’s Julius Weidemann, Danish artist/designer duo Hvass&Hannibal and TOON BooksFrancoise Mouly

But the judges have got a harder task yet: from the shortlist, 16 category winners must be chosen and, from there, two overall award winners for Professional Illustration and New Talent. 

Image: A poster for the Calvi On The Rocks music festival by La Boca.


Wildlife artist Richard Lewington's entry of a stamp for Royal Mail (shown) beautifully captures the brightness of a Large Mason Bee, down to every accurate detail, whether antennae or hair. 

Advertisement. Article continues below

Olivier Kugler's powerful work shows Syrian refugees arriving in Greece. Detailed, loaded with information - as Olivier spent time with refugees themselves, who generously shared their struggles with him - and, as a result, incredibly moving, these illustrations are special not just because of their quality, but their humanity. 

This is one of the full series.


Fun, brimming with life, and endlessly engaging (just a children's book illustration should be) but with a bonus touch of extra beautyLesley Barnes own picture book Jill and Dragon.

Advertisement. Article continues below

This knitted and crocheted fish counter from Stitchmongers (you can see why I made doubly sure to include its name) is yet another testament to the incredible dexterity of Kate Jenkins' hands - and her imagination.


Irreverent and satirical, Lok Kuang's work here presents dictators with face paint making them appear even more deranged in his Journey to the West


Marcus Marritt’s Skinny Dipping image provides a refreshing sight and evokes memories of happy hot summers

Advertisement. Article continues below