V&A Illustration Awards 2017 winners

A. Richard Allen's Trump Wave - a satirical homage to The Great Wave - was the overall winner announced at the awards ceremony last night.


( c ) A. Richard Allen

 A. Richard Allen’s genius Trump Wave illustration unsurprisingly came out on top at this year's V&A Illustration Awards. Winners from each category were announced at the awards ceremony last night at the museum. A. Richard Allen was announced winner of the Moira Gemmill illustrator of the year prize and the award's overall winner for 2017. His satirical homage to Katshushika Hokusai’s Great Wave off Kanagawa - published in The Sunday Telegraph Money - was praised by judges for invoking the "past to reinforce the reality that history matters". It also won the best editorial illustration.

Allen studied at Central Saint Martin’s College and now illustrates and paints for clients such as The New Yorker, The Guardian and The Sunday Telegraph.

Best illustrated book went to Jarvis for Alan’s Big Scary Teeth, and best book cover design was awarded to Aino-Maija Metsola for the Virginia Woolf Series. Beatriz Lostale Seijo won student illustrator of theyYear award for 'The Odyssey', and Tom Spooner was the student runner-up. See the winning work in this feature, along with the shortlisted work. 

Each winner received £3,000 and a trophy. A. Richard Allen received an additional £5,000. All winning artworks will be displayed outside the V&A’s National Art Library from May 17 until August 20. 

Image: Winner A. Richard Allen's Trump Wave 

( c ) Gary Neil

Artists in the shortlist for this year’s Book Illustration category included Benji Davies (whose work looks similar to Oliver Jeffers' Lost and Found), Anna+Elena Balbusso and Jarvis. Shortlisters for Book Cover Design are Joe Ciardiello, Aino-Maija Metsola and Lizzy Stewart

Those shortlisted for the 2017 Student Illustrator of the Year award include Lucy Waldman, Beatriz Lostale Seijo, Emily Evans, Thomas Hedger (whose work we've featured here) and Tom Spooner. Gary Neill, A. Richard Allen and Nick Lowndes were in the running for the Editorial Illustration Award.

The V&A Illustration Awards have been running since 1972, with previous winners including iconic illustrators Sir Quentin Blake, Ralph Steadman and Yasmeen Ismail. Last year’s overall winner and winner of the Book Illustration category was Jason Brooks

Other winners in 2016 include Bill Braggs' editorial illustration for The Guardian’s article published in the wake of the November 2015 terrorist attacks in Paris and David McConchie’s cover for The Folio Book of Ghost Stories

The judging panel for 2017’s published categories is made up of Jane Scherbaum, former V&A Head of Design, Loyd Grossman, broadcaster, gastronome and art historian, and bestselling author Beryl Kingston. 

For the 2017 Student Illustrator of the Year Award, the judging panel includes John O’Reilly, Editor of Varoom magazine and Jason Brooks.

Check out the winners and shortlisters for the 2017 V&A Illustration Awards in the rest of this feature. 

Image: Gary Neill's Brexit - What Next published in Health & Safety was up for the editorial illustration award


Winner of Book Cover Design

( c ) Aino-Maija Metsola

Aino-Maija Metsola's cover design for Mrs Dalloway is part of Penguin's Vintage Virginia Woolf Series. The book follows one day in Clarissa Dalloway life as she is preoccupied with last-minute details of a party. As she readies her house she is flooded with memories and re-examines the choices she has made over the course of her life.

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Winner of Book Illustration

Winner of Student Illustrator of the Year

( c ) Beatriz Lostalé Seijo

The Odyssey is Beatriz Lostalé Seijo's hand-made, screen-printed imagining of Homer's epic. It is in a concertina format (comprising fourteen panels and complete with a slip-case), and includes newly-phrased exerpts. It's designed to provide both an interesting introduction to the text for younger readers and a fresh take for older fans.

Beatriz moved to England to study illustration at the Cambridge School of Art. Influenced by early twentieth century painting and design, her work is characterised by flat and limited colours. Digital media has a strong presence in her work, but she enjoys printmaking – and especially screenprinting.


Winner of Student Runner Up

( c ) Tom Spooner

Towards an Infinite Place is by Tom Spooner, a London-based illustrator and graphic artist. Thomas studied for a BA in Illustration & Visual Communication at the University of Westminster, followed by an MA in Visual Communication at the Royal College of Art. 

His practise is primarily drawing and observational based.

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Shortlisted for Editorial Illustration Award

(c ) Nick Lowndes

Nick Lowndes' Samuel Johnson editorial illustration, featuring in a column for The Economist about Samuel Johnson, the 18th century lexicographer.


Shortlisted for Book Cover Design

( c ) Joe Ciardiello

Joe Ciardiello's cover illustration for The Folio Society's version of John Aubrey's Brief Lives  - a book humanising great figures of history such as Shakespeare, Francis Bacon and Thomas Hobbes.


Shortlisted for Book Cover Design

Shortlisted for Book Illustration

( c ) Anna+Elena Balbusso

Anna+Elena Balbusso's illustration for The Folio Society's Shakespeare classic - Twelfth Night.


Shortlisted for Book Illustration

( c ) Benji Davies

The Storm Whale in Winter is Benji Davies' follow-up book to the best-selling The Storm Whale, winner of the 2014 inaugural Oscar's First Book Prize in association with the Evening Standard.


Shortlisted for Student Illustrator of the Year

( c ) Lucy Waldman

Favela Life is by Lucy Waldman - an illustrator living in south London. Lucy is currently studying for her BA at UCA Farnham. She uses charcoal in and graphite in her drawings, then cutting and folding to make 3D structures, as seen here.

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Shortlisted for Student Illustrator of the Year

( c ) Emily Evans

Blood Antiquities is by Emily Evans, whose work is often inspired by dystopian stories. Most of Emily's collages include photocopying techniques, which usually form her initial ideas for a project. She's also passionate about record sleeve artwork.


2017 Student Runner Up

( c ) Thomas Hedger

Thomas’ work is consistently intriguing. He's best known for his go-to, tried-and-tested toolkit of distinct, bold lines and vibrant, block colour, he produces work of stunning scope – cheeky and serious, sad and funny, socially aware and irreverent. What really stands out is the consideration he clearly puts into whittling down complex ideas into only a few simple, bold components - such as in this personal project about an unlikely subject for illustration, petrol stations.

His work was also part of 50/50 - a collection of 50 bespoke T-shirt designs by 50 artists on sale through Everpress with half of the proceeds going to UK charity Trekstock.