We’re always excited to see established and fresh illustrators celebrated at the Victoria & Albert (V&A) Illustration Awards. Last year, A Richard Allen’s Trump Wave – a satirical homage to Katshushika Hokusai’s Great Wave off Kanagawa – was the overall winner, and the year before that, it was Italian illustrator Marco Palena and Dutch artist Aart-Jan Venema who took out the overall category winners.
This year, long-standing illustrator John Vernon Lord took the top, Moira Gemmill Illustrator of the Year Prize for cover and internal illustrations for a new Folio Society edition of James Joyce’s famously unfathomable novel Ulysses.
“John Vernon Lord’s illustrations are more than just echoes of the text,” said one the judges, the broadcaster and comedian Frank Skinner. “They feel like an alternative entrance into Ulysses-world. I’m totally spoilt now. I can’t look through the dog-eared paperback edition I’ve relied on since my student days without feeling that something is missing.”
John’s work on the book will be part of an exhibition dedicated to his work at the House of Illustration museum in London, from July.
Winners were also announced in categories including book illustration (which John picked up too), book cover design, editorial illustration and student illustrator of the year.
Here you can see John’s illustration on the front and rear panels, and spine.
Along with the award, John was given £5,000 for the top prize and £3,000 for winning the category prize. The other category winners also received £3,000 each.
This is Cat O’Neil’s editorial illustration for Liberation on RSA benefits, which won the Editorial Illustration award.
This year’s shortlisters includes Calum Heath , Jason Brooks and Alva Skog. The winner of each category will receive £3,000 and a trophy, and the overall winner will receive an additional £5,000 and be honoured with the Moira Gemmill Illustrator of the Year Prize, named in the memory of the late director of design at the V&A Museum.
Work shortlisted for the Editorial Illustration award included Calum Heath (who we first spotted at D&AD New Blood in 2017) for Cyber Bullying, published in Vice and shown here – and Martin O’Neill’s Virtual Vatican, published in Garage Magazine.
Book Cover Design
The winner here was Suzanne Dean for Maggie Nelson’s collection of 240 prose poems about love, sex and grief, Bluets. It was published by Penguin Random House in 2017.
Also shortlisted was Will Web for the cover of Paul Fornet’s Anquetil, Alone about the Tour De France winner Jacques Anquetil.
Also shortlisted alongside category – and overall – winner, John Vernon Lord for Ulysses were:
Benji Davies for The Grotlyn (London: Harper Collins Children’s Books, 2017) – shown here
Jason Brooks for New York Sketchbook (London: Laurence King, 2017)
2018 Student Illustrator of the Year
Joseph Namara Hollis from Anglia Ruskin University took is prize. Joseph is studying for a MA in Children’s Book Illustration. He won for his picture book The Big City.
Also shortlisted for the student prize were:
Alva Skog, Central Saint Martins, BA Graphic Design (Illustration): The Explorer, The Thinker and The Leader (shown here)
Emily Hill, Royal Drawing School Postgraduate programme: The Diamond Primary School Days
Fay Troote, Arts University Bournemouth, BA Illustration: The Diving Pool
Sinae Park, Norwich University of the Arts, BA Illustration: Orlando