We have launched a new website and are reviewing this page. Find out more
Open daily 10.00 to 17.45 Admission free Menu

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.

Published Category

The 2006 Published Category judges were Professor Sir Peter Blake, Artist and pioneer of British Pop Art; Mariella Frostrup, Journalist and broadcaster; Mark Jones, Director of the V&A and Martha Richler (Marf), Cartoonist.

Tony Angell, illustration to 'In the Company of Crows and Ravens', by John M. Marzluff and Tony Angell. Published by Yale University Press, New Haven and London, 2005.

Tony Angell, illustration to 'In the Company of Crows and Ravens', by John M. Marzluff and Tony Angell. Published by Yale University Press, New Haven and London, 2005.

Book Illustration Award and Overall Winner

Tony Angell, llustration to 'In the Company of Crows and Ravens' by John M. Marzluff and Tony Angell

Yale University Press, New Haven and London, 2005

Illustrator, sculptor and author Tony Angell has won numerous awards, including the prestigious Master Artist Award of Leigh Yawkey Art Museum (2001). Angell’s artwork is found in public and private collections, and he has written several books on birds. He is active in Washington’s Nature Conservancy and was director of Environmental Education for thirty years.

Birds and nature have always fascinated him. As a child he spent his spare time bird watching, plant collecting and hiking. Bird artists Morris Graves and Don Eckelberry inspire him for their expressiveness, and Tlingit, Tsimshian and Haida carving and Japanese Edo screens for their emotion and form. These influences lead to an emphasis on form and line in his work and an emotional quality that brings his portraits alive.

Speaking to Deloris Tarzan in 1999 of his passion for crows and ravens, he said,

‘Their foibles are our own. They squabble within their families and wage battles with those clans that would impinge upon their home ground. Their lives involve a struggle for identity in their social hierarchy.’

Of his work on 'In the Company of Crows and Ravens', Angell says:

‘Often, when the writer or artist pauses to look closely at his or her subject, even greater mysteries can appear just as understanding and resolution is arrived at. So it has been with this collection of drawings that brought me closer to my subject. Ravens and crows have become a lens through which I have clarified my vision of Nature and my place in it. At the same time they have further informed me of the natural world and its complexity, they have also left me feeling humble in realizing how much more there is to know. The best way for me to depict my subject is to work from the inside out. I have lived with and been in close proximity to these subjects and have a "feeling" about them that influences my illustration. They are not merely forms on a landscape to be precisely delineated, but they are spirited personalities, intelligent and insightful and who knows, perhaps a bit of the supernatural as well. My challenge in illustration is to convey these somewhat intangible qualities in a manner that compliments and expands our narrative.’

Visit Tony Angell's website

Audrey Niffenegger, illustration to 'The Three Incestuous Sisters', aquatint etchings from zinc plates, hand-coloured with watercolours, on Sakamoto paper. Published by Jonathan Cape, Random House London, 2005

Audrey Niffenegger, illustration to 'The Three Incestuous Sisters', aquatint etchings from zinc plates, hand-coloured with watercolours, on Sakamoto paper. Published by Jonathan Cape, Random House London, 2005

Book Illustration Award Runner-Up

Audrey Niffenegger, illustrations to 'The Three Incestuous Sisters'

Published by Jonathan Cape, Random House London, 2005

Audrey Niffenegger is a printmaker who exhibits her artist-books, paintings, prints and drawings. She is represented by Printworks Gallery in Chicago. Her artwork is found in libraries, museums and private collections internationally. She also enjoys writing. Her first novel, 'The Time Traveler’s Wife', was long-listed for the Orange Prize in 2004 and won a British Book Award in 2006.

The idea for the ‘incestuous’ sisters came from a dream. Eighty-one prints take us through the story of three sisters engrossed in each others’ lives. Although she originally issued them as ten handmade books, begun in 1985 and completed in 1999, the artist is pleased to take advantage of modern publishing to reach a wider audience.

The illustrations are aquatint etchings, hand-coloured with watercolours:

‘I love aquatint for its velvet surfaces and unexpected tonality. You can’t see the tones while you are creating the images, only the textures that will hold the ink. When it is printed for the first time, there’s a moment when the image in my mind confronts the image on the paper. It’s always interesting, even after almost thirty years.’

Visit Audrey Niffenegger's website

Tim Moore and Xiao, cover to 'Mammals' by Pierre Mérot. First published in Great Britain by Canongate Books Ltd, Edinburgh, 2006

Tim Moore and Xiao, cover to 'Mammals' by Pierre Mérot. First published in Great Britain by Canongate Books Ltd, Edinburgh, 2006

Book Cover Illustration Award

Tim Moore and Xiao, cover to 'Mammals' by Pierre Mérot

First published in Great Britain by Canongate Books Ltd, Edinburgh, 2006

Tim Moore and Xiao founded nth, a creative collective based in Edinburgh. nth recently designed the new Canongate publishing mark and a website for Portobello books.

Xiao took a Masters degree in Graphic Arts at Edinburgh College of Art.  She is expert in printmaking and honed her drawing skills whilst working for manga (Japanese comics). She also likes animation and tin toys.

Music and Japanese art influence Tim Moore’s work. A musician, he studied the visualisation of sound by artists such as Paul Klee, Laslo Moholy-Nagy, Georgy Kepes and Brian Eno. In Japan he studied calligraphy and talked to masters of art and design, such as Kiochi Sato, Shinro Ohtake and Tabaimo.

Mammals is a dark tale that explores the fractured relationships of the central character, his love of drink and skewed cynical outlook on life. For the cover the artists looked at modern responses to tribal art. The dark body language of the figures is reflected in the colour scheme. The overlapping of ‘MAMM’ and ‘ALS’ in the title reinforce the relationship aspect of the book.

Aaron Robinson, illustration to 'Sons and Lovers', by D.H. Lawrence. Published by Penguin, London, 2006

Aaron Robinson, illustration to 'Sons and Lovers', by D.H. Lawrence. Published by Penguin, London, 2006

Book Cover Illustration Award Runner-Up

Aaron Robinson, illustration to 'Sons and Lovers', by D.H. Lawrence

Published by Penguin, London, 2006

Aaron Robinson studied Fine Art at Coventry University and also gained practical experience working for his father, a picture restorer. He works mainly in oils as a portrait painter and fine artist, and has previously exhibited in the BP Portrait Awards. He has recently moved into magazine and book illustration, and his clients include Penguin and GQ magazine. Fine art and comics both inspire him. Artists such as Lucian Freud, Francis Bacon and Frank Auerbach stand alongside artists from the comics 2000AD, Kevin O’Neil, Brian Bolland and Mike McMahon.

The original brief for Sons and Lovers was for a disharmonious breakfast-table scene. Thinking ahead to the series of nine covers a new version focused on Gertrude Morel, the overbearing mother. The extreme angle chosen suggests the oppressive relationship between mother and sons. Robinson’s wife, Dee, modelled for the painting. His daughter, born a few months later, has become the model for another Lawrence book in this series, The Rainbow.

Visit Aaron Robinson's website

Laura Carlin, illustration to 'Inside a Rape Trial’ by Barbara Toner in G2, published by The Guardian 22 June 2006

Laura Carlin, illustration to 'Inside a Rape Trial’ by Barbara Toner in G2, published by The Guardian 22 June 2006

Editorial Illustration Award

Laura Carlin, ‘Inside a Rape Trial’

Author Barbara Toner in G2, published by The Guardian 22 June 2006

Laura Carlin recently graduated from the Royal College of Art. She works mainly in the medium of drawing and won several awards for this during her studies. Her illustrations feature in numerous magazines and national newspapers, including the Guardian, Observer, Sunday Telegraph, Independent, New Scientist and Vogue, and internationally, the New York Times and Boston Globe. Recently, she has done larger-scale work on advertisements for British Airways, Trebor and Monsoon, as well as book illustration for Walker Books and her own illustration projects.

Of her work on ‘Inside a Rape Trial’, she says,

‘It’s a very delicate, much-debated and emotionally charged subject that differs greatly from case to case. The idea of domestic rape is something that luckily most of us don’t have to experience. I read the article again and again to try and get the right tone and atmosphere to the illustrations.’

Olivier Kugler, illustration to 'Kugler’s People'. Published by The Guardian, October 2005-April 2006

Olivier Kugler, illustration to 'Kugler’s People'. Published by The Guardian, October 2005-April 2006

Editorial Illustration Award Runner-Up

Olivier Kugler, ‘Kugler’s People’

Published by The Guardian, October 2005-April 2006

Olivier Kugler studied graphic design in Germany and Illustration as Visual Essay at the School of Visual Arts in New York. He exhibits his work and illustrates for editorial, book and design clients.He won a gold award for his editorial illustration from the Association of Illustrators in 2004.He was led to become an illustrator by comics he read as a child and was also encouraged by his artist father. The artists Hergé, Jean Giraud, Loustal, Otto Dix, George Grosz and David Hockney inspire him.

Ian Katz, former editor of the Guardian, commissioned Kugler to do portraits of people not in the news but affected by news-related events. These included a political refugee from Iran, an East End greengrocer struggling with competition from a Tesco Metro supermarket, and a retired halal butcher from Bradford. He says, ‘Working on “Kugler’s People” was a nice opportunity to meet interesting people that I normally wouldn’t meet.’ His interest in travel and reportage photography is evident in his work style.

Visit Olivier Kugler's website

Student Category

The 2006 Student Category judges were Sara Fanelli, illustrator and former winner; Daniel Pudles, illustrator and former winner, and Geoffrey Winston, graphic designer.

Chu-Li Chen, Human Imperfections

Chu-Li Chen, Human Imperfections

Student Illustrator Award Winner

Chu-Li Chen, Human Imperfections

London College of Communication

Chu-Li Chen’s art background is mainly in textile design but she has recently studied illustration as part of a Communication Design course at London College of Communication.

As illustrator, she likes combining different media to create illustrations rich with texture. Before making the two-dimensional image, she first works in collage or creates three-dimensional objects.

The work submitted for the V&A Illustration Awards, 'Human Imperfections', consists of five flipbooks made from photocopying fabric dolls in various positions to express their different characters. It is the first stage of a stop-time animation project that is still in progress.

‘The most precious part of my work is my sketchbook… After planning in the sketchbook I start to work with real objects, for example drawing on fabric or making a collage of different materials. Then I work from sketch models to the final one. Sometimes if I feel stuck or bored, returning to the sketches helps to get me going again.’

2006 jury report

'An unusual and gratifyingly difficult to characterise entry, the range of work inspired by a simple theme was creative, witty and fresh. So many ideas were presented in a range of media, and in the intensely worked and organised sketchbooks. We sensed an evolving expressive personality, an innate sense of design and an appetite for exploring possibilities and concepts. As one of the judges remarked, this work "made us reach to somebody we did not expect!"'

Visit Chu-Li Chen's blog

Alexis Goodwin, The Visitor

Alexis Goodwin, The Visitor

Student Illustrator Award - Commended

Alexis Goodwin, 'The Visitor'

University College for the Creative Arts (Maidstone)

The latter part of Alexis Goodwin’s Illustration course at University College for the Creative Arts (Maidstone) focused on the production of storybooks.

This format enabled him to explore characterisation, pace and narrative, and to experiment with combinations of text and images. In addition to working in book illustration, he hopes to apply the same skills to animation and single-image editorial work.

Most of his work begins with drawing, but he then uses paint to add texture and colour. Technique and inspiration are interlinked and vary with each project.

Of 'The Visitor' story-book Goodwin says that he took inspiration from French artists:

‘It was my attempt to emulate some of the dark moody images created by artists such as Thierry Van Hassett that led to the oil paint on acetate with which 'The Visitor' is painted. The technique embellishes emotional gestures and marks to create a more tangible, atmospheric world.’

2006 jury report

'An unusual use of painterly techniques and an understanding of how to compose dramatic images of differing degrees of intensity to tackle challenging subject matter. Sketchbooks demonstrated a sound grounding in drawing and a rich imagination'.

Visit Alexis Goodwin's website

Alexis Goodwin, The Visitor

Deborah Hill, Origami

Student Illustrator Award - Commended

Deborah Hill, 'Origami'

University College for the Creative Arts (Farnborough)

Deborah Hill began working with animation in her final year of a Graphic Communication course at University College for the Creative Arts (Farnborough). She also worked on book illustration projects and printmaking. She really enjoys working with sequential narrative and hopes to continue exploring this, both in books and animation. Alongside the image-making process, she loves animation for the opportunity of working with audio.

‘With each project I like to find an appropriate process for the subject, either using particular techniques or materials. For a project I carried out about button phobia I created imagery using actual buttons alongside related items such as fabric and stitching… My entry to the V&A Illustration Awards, 'Origami', is my first venture into animation. I used paper as my only material to create both the imagery and the audio.’

2006 jury report

'The deceptive simplicity of poetic execution, using animation, belied a rigorous response to the challenge of illustrating principles of origami. The details enriched the articulation of the idea, down to pencil rubbings and the crunchy sounds of paper on the soundtrack'.

Visit Deborah Hill's website

Suyeon Kim, A Line

Suyeon Kim, A Line

Student Illustrator Award - Commended

Suyeon Kim

Edinburgh College of Art

Suyeon Kim studied Graphic Design at Seoul National University of Technology and worked as a graphic designer for some years before starting an MA in Illustration at Edinburgh College of Art. She enjoys using her imagination in illustration and has also learned bookbinding so that she can create complete works. Book cover and poster design also interest her for the challenge of producing more direct and compact design. She likes printmaking as a medium for its colour and unexpected effects.

The 'A Line' book is printed from original linocut artwork. It unfolds as a continuous linear story with no text:

‘I intended to make a storybook that could can be read through its illustration, because I hoped that this story could communicate with adults and children alike. I want to ask the reader what is real happiness, what is the important thing in our life and why our life is valuable. Life is an endless story manifested in memory.’

2006 jury report

'An accomplished entry, beautifully conceived and executed, this work showed a mature engagement with a traditional medium. A finely honed technique and a gentle wit are apparent in the details, and working drawings and sketches gave insight into the evolution of a most sophisticated idea'.

Hannah Warren, 'Grandad’s Letters'

Hannah Warren, 'Grandad’s Letters'

Student Illustrator Award - Commended

Hannah Warren, 'Grandad's Letters

Central St Martins College of Art and Design

Hannah Warren specialised in etching and screen-printing during her Graphic Design course at Central St Martins College of Art and Design, but almost always begins her illustration projects with pencil drawings. It was the early figurative work of David Hockney that led her into drawing. She is interested in communicating narratives and would like to work in editorial and book illustration.

Of the 'Grandad’s Letters' drawings she says,

‘I have always enjoyed listening to my Nan retell stories of her time in the 1940s... My Grandad was the opposite and wouldn’t ever talk of that time... After his death two years ago, we discovered letters he had sent home to his mum during the War. I felt it important to retell some of those adventures, to show a side of him that even his family didn’t know. The illustrations show two experiences, one of bombs and the loss of friends, the other of Glenn Miller and football games in Mombasa.’

2006 jury report

'A touching response to episodes in her grandfather’s life, she sensitively evoked a world which combined a gentle surrealism with personal observations, through a respect for the drawn line and the spaces it can suggest'.

Visit Hannah Warren's website

V&A Innovative Leadership Programme

The V&A Innovative Leadership Programme is aimed at managers working in the arts & creative industries looking to develop new skills, insight and opportunity. Applications are now open for the next course.

Apply now