Some of the ‘finest illustration in the world’

Some of the finest illustration talent in the world (according to the Association of Illustrators) is being shown at London’s Somerset House from this week, as the winning work from the Association of Illustrators (AOI) annual competition goes on display.

Jonathan Burton

Source: © 2012 from the Folio Society edition of playing cards Odd Bodds

Jonathan Burton

This is the first year that entrants from countries outside the UK have been accepted into the competition, which has been running for 37 years; in a decision aiming to ‘promote illustration as an essential contributor to global visual culture’, according to organisers.

Anna and Elena Balbusso

Source: © 2012 from the Folio Society edition of Eugene Onegin

Anna and Elena Balbusso

As such, a shortlist of 15 winners from the USA, Australia and Israel is on show, alongside home-grown talent.

 L’Abbracio, Giulia Ghigini

Source: © Giulia Ghigini

L’Abbracio, Giulia Ghigini

The winners of the competition are selected by an independent jury, with panelists for the 2013 leg including illustrators Stephen Collins and Ulla Puggaard, art directors from Walker Books, Royal Mail and Random House and a number of creative directors from design consultancies and digital agencies. The judging was chaired by writer and Varoom editor, John O’Reilly.

 Our Nations Sons, Joe Caslin

Source: © Joe Caslin

Our Nations Sons, Joe Caslin

Two overall winners will be announced in the Professional Illustration categories, which is open to all practicing professionals, and the student and graduate New Talent category.

Among the winning work is this gorgeous, wet-nosed dog, by children’s book illustrator Levi Penfold:

Levi Pinfold, Black Dog
Levi Pinfold, Black Dog

And this eerie, paneled monochrome piece by Chinese artist Jun Chen:

Jun Chen, Entrance/Exit
Jun Chen, Entrance/Exit

And who’s this? It’s Kristen Stewart, rolling a cigarette!

Kristen Stewart, Paul X Johnson

Source: Kristen Stewart © Paul X Johnson

Kristen Stewart, Paul X Johnson

AOI Illustration Awards 2013 work will be exhibited at Terrace Rooms, Somerset House, Strand, London, WC2R from 2 – 27 October

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