Winner of Sebastian Walker illustration award revealed

Children’s book illustration student Viola Wang has scooped this year’s top prize, beating over 80 other entrants.

Viola Wang

Publisher Walker Books has announced the winner of its annual illustration awards, which is run in partnership with Anglia Ruskin’s Cambridge School of Art and its MA course in children’s book illustration.

Established in 2011 in honour of Walker Books’ founder Sebastian Walker, the award aims to discover and celebrate “exciting new unpublished illustration talent”, says the publisher.

The winner of the seventh edition of the award is Viola Wang, who beat 82 other students in total. Born and raised in Beijing, China, Wang has spent the last 10 years living in England and says that her work embraces the “multicultural environment” of London.

“I see diversity as an increasingly important feature of children’s literature,” adds Wang. “I want the children who read my books to experience a wide range of information and views, so that they will grow up with their own opinions about – and solutions for – the world around them.”

Viola Wang

Walker picture book publisher and creative director Deirdre McDermott, says: “Viola’s fresh and original work captured our attention from the moment we opened her portfolio. A concern for diverse representation and an intuition for the child’s perspective are threaded through her work, and we admire how her art seeks to explore and express the rich variety of our world.”

Wang was awarded a £500 cheque prize, and Walker Books is currently looking at her portfolio for a potential picture book collaboration. It has published over 20 books by Cambridge School of Art graduates through the competition in the seven years it has been running.

Other highly commended entrants include Flavia Zorilla Drago, Marina Ruiz and Heera Cha.

An exhibition of all the graduates’ work is on display at Candid Gallery in North London until 17 February 2018. The exhibition will then move to Anglia Ruskin University from 21 February – 3 March 2018.

For more information, head here.

Heera ChaMarina RuizFlavia Zorilla Drago

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