We have launched a new website and are reviewing this page. Find out more

Student Illustration

V&A Illustration Awards 2016: Student Illustration

2015 Student Illustrator of the Year, Daphne Christoforou, illustrations for ‘The Blackest Isles’, ‘No Thing’, Royal College of Art

Student Illustrator of the Year 2016

Kate Milner

'My Name is not Refugee'
Anglia Ruskin – Cambridge School of Art

Kate Milner’s award-winning entry began as a self-driven personal project in her final year at University: to address all the complexities of the European migrant crisis for a young but inquisitive audience.

The result was My Name is not Refugee, a children’s book illustrated from the point of view of a child migrant fleeing persecution for the safety of Northern European shores. Despite its grave subject matter, it is illustrated with a cheerful anarchic quality that shows Milner’s indebtedness to the great illustrators of the past including Gerald Scarfe, Ralph Steadman and Ronald Searle.

The judges singled out Milner’s technical approach for special commendation, praising her combination of pencil and ink sketch-work with post-editing and colouring in Photoshop. Even more so, they were unanimously impressed by Milner’s bold attempt to tackle a subject far outside the prevailing conventions of commercial children’s publishing.

Kate Milner is a recent graduate of the MA in Illustration at Anglia Ruskin University and a former librarian. My Name is not Refugee will be published by Barrington Stoke Books, Edinburgh.

Student Runner-Up

Joan Alturo

'Morts et Vita'
Arts University Bournemouth

Morts et Vita is a series of conceptually interconnected illustrations aiming to demonstrate what the artist, Joan Alturo, has termed ‘the concentric nature of life and death’.

The illustrations stand out for their metaphorical allusions and surreal juxtapositions of the familiar and the absurd. A tablespoon in a bowl of ‘genetic soup’ signifies the moment of conception. Jigsaw pieces symbolise juvenile neural pathways while cyclists on tight-ropes represent the balancing act of adulthood. Although created in Photoshop, Alturo’s work subverts the potentially flawless sterility of computer-generated design by deliberately imposing handmade textures from smudges, fingerprints, and found objects.

Born in Barcelona in 1990, Joan Alturo illustrates under his alter ego, Bec Negre (Catalan for ‘black beak’). He is a student at the Arts University Bournemouth and cites as his influences: Salvador Dali, 1970s skateboard design and the ‘Barcelona underground punk scene’.


Shortlisted