World Illustration Awards 2019 reveals shortlist

The global awards scheme has been running for over 40 years, and in 2019 sees 200 shortlisted entries, many of which tackle political and social issues such as Brexit and gender inequality.

Update 10 July 2019: The category winners have now been announced in anticipation of the accompanying World Illustration Awards show at London’s Somerset House, which opens on 11 July. 

The World Illustration Awards has revealed its shortlist for 2019, which sees 200 illustration projects whittled down from nearly 4,000 entries.

The WIA is run by industry body, the Association of Illustrators (AOI), alongside marketing platform, the Directory of Illustration, and has been going since 1976.

This year saw a record 3,680 entries received from 68 countries, with winners set to be announced in July across eight categories including advertising, books, children’s books, design (which includes branding, packaging and fashion), editorial, experimental, research and site specific (such as murals and installations).

The full shortlist of 200 works will also be showcased at Somerset House from 11 July, as part of an annual exhibition that runs alongside the awards.

Just Be Here, by Sarah Wilkins

There will be 18 winners in total, with the overall professional winner receiving £2,000, plus promotional and marketing resources from the Directory of Illustration, and an online professional portfolio on its website.

The overall new talent winner will win £1,000 and also receive promotional help, while the 16 category winners will win a bundle of smaller prizes including AOI membership for a year.

This year’s shortlist includes many politically motivated projects, including ones addressing Brexit, climate change and the #MeToo movement, and use a range of mediums, including watercolour, pencil, woodcut, digital, embroidery, animation and three-dimensional (3D) modelling.

Gender Equality, by John Holcroft

Some of this year’s shortlisted entries include Gender Equality, by John Holcroft, a metaphorical illustration of a man and woman playing basketball to emphasise how men always have an unfair advantage, and Tampax Taboo, by Elise Vandeplancke, an image that looks to break down the stigma around periods.

Last year’s winners include Stevie Gee’s cartoon-inspired illustrations for the packaging of Stella McCartney’s kids’ underwear range, and Monika Vaicenaviciene’s serene illustrations for children’s book What is a River?

The World Illustration Awards 2019 shortlist exhibition runs 11-28 July 2019 at Somerset House, Strand, London WC2R 1LA, and the winners will be announced at an awards ceremony at the gallery, at the end of that month. See the shortlist in full here.

Top banner illustration: Fly, by Jess McGeachin

Natural, by Xoana Herrera Ensayo
Has MeToo Changed What We Wear to Work, by Balbusso Twins
Hand-sculpted Plasticine Circuit Board for Modified Man, by Tim Easley

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