Rachel Lillie: Born Fighting (Student Award)

Work / Illustration

V&A Illustration Awards 2012 has announced its shortlist and it’s a cracker

It sounds silly, but sometimes it’s too easy to forget or dismiss the work that goes into the visual elements of what we’re presented with everyday in various publications and books. But an excellent illustration is like a brilliant side-dish, enhancing the experience of the main course (text) and contributing to the overall effect, sometimes even rescuing the (metaphorical) meal.

The V&A Illustration Awards help remind us of the incredible illustrations of the past 12 months and this year’s shortlist has just been announced. Recognising the potato dauphinoises of the illustration world, 14 artists have been chosen from over 1,000 submissions from UK illustrators. The awards have been categorised under Book Illustration, Book Cover and Jacket Illustration and Editorial publications, with a fourth category for Student work being judged by the winners of last year’s award. The winners will be announced on 11 June, and the shortlist is a gentle nod to all the beautiful work that’s been produced over the past year.

Book Illustrations

In this category Laetitia Devernay has been nominated for her book The Conductor, Cathy Maclennan for Bunny Bunny Catkin a sunny and lastly Rob Ryan’s A Sky Full of Kindness done in his paper-cut style.


Laetitia Devernay: The Conductor


Cathy Maclennan: Bunny Bunny Catkin


Rob Ryan: A Sky Full of Kindness

Book Jacket and Cover

Petra Börner for her cover of Jane Austen classic Emma, Matthew Richardson for his cover of existenialist novel, The Outsider by Albert Camus and Vicky White’s cover for Can We Save the Tiger written by Martin Jenkins have all been nominated.


Petra Börner: Emma


Matthew Richardson: The Outsider

Editorial Illustrations

Luke Best (who we’ve featured on the site several times) for his illustration in an article called Chilvaric Fiasco that featured in Harper’s Magazine, Nick Lowndes for his Financial Times’ image in Small Businesses and Stefano Morris for Henry’s Demons in BBC Radio Times are all nominated.


Luke Best: Chilvaric Fiasco


Nick Lowndes: Small Businesses


Stefano Morris: Henry’s Demons


Last but not least, Daniel Clarke for Heygate Memories, Faye Coral Johnson for Nonsensical Thoughts, Rachel Lillie for Born Fighiting, Joe Lyward for Fear and Holly Mills for Hothouse have all been recognised in the student category.


Joe Lyward: Fear


Faye Coral Johnson: Nonsensical Thoughts


Daniel Clarke: Heygate Memories


Holly Mills: Hothouse