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Student Illustration

V&A Illustration Awards 2013: Student Category - Student Illustrator

‘Tunnel’ by Holly Mills Student Illustration Award Winner 2012.

Supported by the Enid Linder Foundation

Student Winner 2012
Holly Mills, Camberwell College of Arts: ‘Hothouse’

Holly has just completed a B.A. in illustration. Her winning work shows scenes from Brian Aldiss’s 1962 novel ‘Hothouse’. Of her illustrations Holly says, ‘I like to work with a variety of media; applying layers of watercolour, drawing ink, acrylic, and colour pencils to obtain depth and create patterns. When faced with a narrative I often begin by thinking about the atmosphere of the writing, then later focus on certain moments of interest. I am drawn to fictional writing with dark or surreal undertones and plenty of description, and so 'Hothouse' immediately appealed to me. I wanted to tell the story by trying to relate the intense, hectic atmosphere of the book. I used layering and pattern to get across the image of a busy jungle full of life and tried to represent the often strange, dark atmosphere of the book through use of colour. I like the challenge of retelling a story without words, capturing the mood of the whole as well as specific scenes.’

Student category judges Laura Carlin and Luke Best said, ‘Holly’s work didn’t immediately remind you of someone else’s. It – perhaps most importantly – makes you want to read the book (and makes us want to go and draw!) It’s exciting, unreserved use of colour and space makes the illustrations jump off the page. The way she mixes media feels very honest as opposed to contrived – it’s not trying to be illustration. Holly’s interpretation of the narrative feels very contemporary, but also accessible. This suggests she would approach new projects and commissions with gusto.’

Student Runner-Up
Daniel Clarke, Camberwell College of Arts: ‘Heygate Memories’

‘This project was based on the Heygate Estate in Elephant and Castle, London. Only seven people were still living in the entire estate which once housed three thousand. I talked to the remaining inhabitants about how life used to be there. The media described it as ‘a mugger’s paradise’, but I discovered it wasn’t like this at all. My project aimed to show that the Heygate wasn’t so bad and that the council was destroying what was once a great community. I created a book to go with the illustrations, focusing on the architecture alongside memories of former residents.’

The student category judges said, ‘A beautifully crafted book that is also poignant with its content. Daniel proves that there is a form of reportage illustration that can be both contemporary and informative. In ‘Heygate Memories’ he gives us an insight into something we pass daily and take for granted. Daniel has actively sought out the personal stories behind this façade rather than just looking in and making artwork based on assumptions.’

Daniel Clarke’s website: www.daniel-clarke.com


Student Category Shortlisted Entrants

Faye Coral Johnson, Nonsensical Thoughts
‘Drawings that are not afraid to remain under worked, not depicting everything as we see it. They contain playful and energetic mark making to make self-directed work. Faye mixes abstraction and figuration to form small intriguing narratives.’ – Student Judges Luke Best and Laura Carlin

Rachel Lillie, Born Fighting
‘A sophisticated, confident use of materials and space to communicate what is a very current issue. Rachel shows great ability to play with pace and variety to bring together a dynamic narrative. Whilst being about Afghanistan the work becomes more universal and symbolic of mans cycle of violence.’ – Student Judges Luke Best and Laura Carlin

Joe Lyward, My Fear
‘Joe’s project proves an ability to play with design whilst telling a story. Sensitive line drawing with graphic elements form a human everyday narrative. His storytelling projects contain subtle yet effective combinations of materials and textures on the page.’ – Student Judges Luke Best and Laura Carlin