V&A Illustration Awards 2005
Supported by the Enid Linder Foundation
The V&A Illustration Awards celebrate the best illustration published over the last year. Original artwork from the best illustrated book, book cover, editorial illustration and student illustrator of the year are recognised.
Book Illustration Award and Overall Winner
Jonathan Safran Foer, illustrations to 'Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close' by Jonathan Safran Foer
Published by Hamish Hamilton, London, 2005
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close' is writer Jonathan Safran Foer’s second novel. His first novel 'Everything is Illuminated' (Hamish Hamilton, 2002) won numerous awards internationally. Safran Foer has also had stories published in the New Yorker, the Paris Review and Conjunctions, and has recently edited an anthology inspired by the bird boxes of Joseph Cornell, entitled 'A Convergence of Birds' (Hamish Hamilton, 2004).
'Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close' is as much visual as it is textual. The author selected and arranged the illustrations himself from found images. Although he does not describe himself as an artist, Safran Foer does privately produce some sculpture and collage and has previously collaborated with visual artists. He will continue with a visual element in his next book Joe, on which he is collaborating with sculptor Richard Serra and photographer Hiroshi Sugimoto.
‘I was browsing the Internet one night – allowing links to carry me farther and farther from the news sites I normally visit – and was shocked by the breadth and graphicness of the images I quite unintentionally came across. There’s something exhilarating about being so close to everything at once. It made me think about the visual environment in which [children] are now developing.’
Book Illustration Award Runner-Up
Jonny Hannah, illustrations to 'Hot Jazz Special' by Jonny Hannah
Published by Walker Books Ltd, London
Jonny Hannah studied at Liverpool Art School and the Royal College of Art. He has worked as an illustrator since graduating in 1998 and also teaches illustration at Kingston University. He won numerous awards, including a BAFTA, for an animation called 'The Man with the Beautiful Eyes', made with Jonathan Hodgson for Channel 4 in 2000.
Hannah has illustrated several books and book covers, including 'A Commonplace Book' by Alec Guinness (Hamish Hamilton, 2001), a series of John Steinbeck book covers for Penguin, and others for Bloomsbury Books and Vintage. He also regularly contributes to the Independent on Sunday and other newspapers.
A major output of Hannah’s creativity is his own imprint, Cakes & Ale Press, where he publishes screenprinted limited edition books and posters. The poster theme can be seen in 'Hot Jazz Special', which introduces children to jazz in the form of an evening at the Body & Soul Café. Each spread is laid out in poster-style with illustrations and a text full of vigour and rhythm. Hannah’s work on the book led to a commission to produce publicity for the 2005 Birmingham Jazz Festival.
Book Cover Illustration Award
Bill Sanderson (illustrator) and Steve Snider (designer), cover with dust-jacket to 'The Flood' by David Maine
Published by Canongate Books Ltd, Edinburgh
Bill Sanderson studied Illustration and Graphic Design from 1966 at the West of England College of Art and first taught art at a school in London while establishing his freelance work. His early commissions were editorial, for The Times, Time Out and the Radio Times. In the late 1970s he added advertising and publishing to his portfolio. His book work includes a series of Penguin covers for the novels of Anthony Burgess in the 1980s.
Sanderson’s ambitions at college leant towards sculpture, which perhaps explains his success with scraperboard. This is a monotone technique with similar results to wood engraving. It involves scraping away the layer of ink that lies on a board coated with white clay. The technique is very versatile in that it can allow for fine, detailed drawing. It works well with bold design approaches, like this one, that exploit the striking effect of black and white.
‘It is still one of my great excitements to be given a problem to solve by means of illustration, a unique medium which can communicate the sense of an article or book, with something arresting and extra added.’
Steve Snider is a graduate of the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and has worked as design director in advertising as well as in publishing. He was art director for the Atlantic Monthly and for the publisher Little, Brown & Co. These days, he is vice president and creative director of St Martin’s Press, one of the USA’s largest publishers. Snider’s work has featured in major design publications, including Communication Arts, Graphis and Print.
'The Flood' (called 'The Preservationist' in the US) featured in this year’s '50 Books/50 Covers', an annual show selected by the AIGA (American Institute of Graphic Artists). In 1999, two of Snider’s book covers 'Hiawatha' (author Henry Wadsworth Longfellow) and 'Skin Game' (author Caroline Kettlewell) (published by St Martin's Press) featured in the same show. Snider has won numerous awards including a gold medal from the New York Art Director’s Club in 1984. In 1999 Snider and the St Martin’s design department received the prestigious LMP award, the highest accolade for graphic design in the US.
‘"The Flood" is an unusual literary novel that re-imagines the story of Noah as told by his wife and other family members. For the packaging, I decided to do something conceptual like the book itself, creating a two-part cover that told the story of the flood both as it was happening, and after. For the illustration, I chose Bill Sanderson to do a contemporary spin on biblical engravings in black and white.’
Book Cover Illustration Award Runner-Up
Katharine Meynell (illustrator) and Eleanor Rose (designer), cover to 'It’s Inside' by Katharine Meynell and Alistair Skinner
Published by Marion Boyars, London, 2005
Katharine Meynell studied at the Byam Shaw School of Art and the Royal College of Art. As an exhibiting artist, she works with video as well as making artist books and sculptural objects, combining image with text in her installations. She won the British Film Institute ‘New Directors’ Production Award in 1987. The National Art Library at the V&A has four of her artist books.
A video and sculpture installation of 'It’s Inside' was shown at Café Gallery Projects in Southwark in May 2005. It represented the experience of illness, reflecting differences between medical and personal responses. The surreal nature of this experience is represented on the cover of the book by cherries in jelly, one way in which Skinner visualised his tumours when on morphine. Based on sketchbooks and diaries, the book layers information that can function in parts, simultaneously overlapping or cross referencing.
‘By working with Marion Boyars Publishers, I was able to make an artist’s work, with control of the image, text and design, placed within the mainstream book market. I tried various options [with the cover], finally working out a structure with actual biopsy material printed as endpapers, with a ribbon bookmark to reinforce the sense of a diary form.’
Eleanor Rose first attended Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, then studied English Literature at Leeds University. She became interested in graphic design while working on the student newspaper at Leeds. Later, she completed a degree in Graphic Design at Leeds Metropolitan University, graduating in 1998.
Rose is a printmaker and photographer as well as designer and has worked in editorial, advertising and book design. Her first love remains book covers. She is the sole designer for Marion Boyars Publishers as well as working freelance for other publishers, including Bitter Lemon Press, Peter Owen, Usborne Books, Random House, Saqi Books and Serpent’s Tail and Prestel.
‘I feel very privileged to be earning a living doing something I enjoy so much and which seems to me the perfect combination of responding to literary works and creating images. I get to exercise all the bits of my brain to produce designs, which satisfy me aesthetically as well as being true to the text.’
Editorial Illustration Award
Przemek Sobocki, 'Touch'
125 Magazine, Issue 04, September 2004
The illustrations to ‘Touch’ are the first that Sobocki has published as an illustrator. Born in Poland, he specialised in Interior Design at the Akademia Sztuk Pięknych in Wrocław and made his first career as fashion and interior designer, including set and costume design for the theatre. Since ‘Touch’, Sobocki’s illustrations have been published in 125 Magazine, Gentleman (Poland), Comet (Tokyo), Hint (USA) and the first issue of Krash Japan.
‘Touch’ reveals Sobocki’s roots in fashion and design, in the choreography and demeanour of its characters and in its portrayal of real designers’ outfits. These include work by Helmut Lang, Miu Miu, Philip Tracey and Izabela Gkagkanis, also Adidas and Nike. Sobocki’s biggest inspiration is cinema, and he is developing an animated effect to illustration. This can be seen ‘Winter Tale’ in Hint magazine, inspired by the 1966 film 'Blow-Up' (directed by Michelangelo Antonioni).
Of his switch to illustration, Sobocki says,
‘Illustration allows me to use my skills as a designer and fine artist, to show my interests, like cinema, photography, architecture, animation, books, fashion, design, as well as express the emotional part of me. The emotions are sort of trapped in it, you can "feel" them.’
Editorial Illustration Award Runner-Up
Peter Till, cover illustration for Guardian Review, 9 October 2004
Manchester-born Peter Till read English Literature at Cambridge University and worked as a writer and performer in the theatre group The Flies. He had always illustrated on the side and in 1970 decided to take a slim portfolio of drawings to two magazines, Time Out and OZ. This was the start of a distinguished career in illustration. He belongs to the AGI (Alliance Graphique Internationale), an affiliation of the world’s leading graphic designers and artists. Till mainly works with editorial illustration but has also worked within advertising and book and book cover illustration. In 1981 he also made an animated film called 'The Beard'.
‘My father was a "commercial artist" and I was always surrounded by artists materials. I tried to avoid art by reading English but reverted to type. In fact the sort of illustration I like is quite cerebral and the mental processes involved are not dissimilar to those required for writing.'
This type of illustration particularly suits editorial fields and Till’s work has appeared in numerous newspapers and magazines here and abroad. He is a regular contributor to The Guardian.
Winning Illustration: Cover illustration to the Guardian Review, 9 October 2004
'I certainly remembered this illustration as having impact when it came out; I suppose that for me it was the most memorable single drawing of the year' - Mark Lawson, 2005 judge.