Enter this year’s World Illustration Awards and celebrate the medium in all its glory

Whether you’re an experienced professional or a recent graduate, you can now enter illustration’s most prestigious award up until 18 February 2020.

3 February 2020

Illustration, it’s a historic discipline that is appreciated around the world, every day. From the pages of our most beloved children’s books, to the rapid sketches providing a glimpse inside judicial courtrooms, not only is it an art form but also a trusted means of communication. Since 2015, the World Illustration Awards has celebrated the best practitioners in the historic industry today. It honours global talent from East to West, highlighting all corners of illustration from book cover design to the experimental, site-specific and editorial, just to name a few.

In the past, It’s Nice That favourites have been no stranger to the London-based awards. Thomas Hedger, Sebastian König, Coralie Bickford-Smith and Matthew the Horse have all featured on the list of winners in the last two years, and this year, who knows, it could be you! Open to everyone and anyone, whether you’re a professional or a recent graduate, you can now apply for this year’s World Illustration Awards up til 18 February 2020. It’s a great chance to get your work seen by some of the industry’s top creatives, publications, commissioners and agents.

Judged across ten categories, the awards honour illustrators working across all areas of the industry. This year, the award introduces four new categories, seeking out the best illustrators in product design, packaging, science and technology. Other categories include advertising, editorial, children’s publishing and design. There’s even a new Innovation Award, judged by yours truly (It’s Nice That) highlighting a project displaying considerable innovation and experimentation within the art form. Judged by leading professionals in the industry, this year’s independent global jury includes the likes of renowned illustrator Axel Scheffler, best known for The Gruffalo, as well as Wired’s senior art director Alyssa Walker and head of strategy at the Natural History Museum, Wanda Sheridan.


Nvard Yerkanyan: Soviet Modernist Architecture in Armenia

Recognised as the most prestigious illustration awards globally, the annual event awards up to £3,000 in cash prizes, not to mention coveted WIA trophies and other in-kind benefits. One of the most exciting opportunities for the shortlisted entrants, however, is to appear in a new look exhibition taking place in October 2020 at one of London’s most exciting new venues, Elephant West gallery. Ren Renwick, CEO of The Association of Illustrators adds on this: “We know that illustrators travel around the world to come to the awards – and we wanted to create a space for illustrators, agents and commissioners to meet, share ideas and approaches – to explore our industry in a relaxed and informal setting.”

On top of all this, shortlisted entrants will also be featured in a digital and print publication sent out to an array of commissioners all over the world. Before we get ahead of ourselves, though, here’s a brief timeline of what is happening and when. The award announces the long list of entrants in spring 2020, followed by the shortlist in summer. There will be two overall winners for each category: a professional and a new talent. And these lucky entrants will be announced in an awards ceremony in October 2020.

Hosted by the Association of Illustrators, the world’s leading body in the industry has been supporting and sustaining illustrators for 45 years. Offering support in the form of meet-ups, webinars and events all over the world, fundamentally, the association aims to continually improve the industry by discussing the commercial and ethical conditions of the discipline. Accompanying this year’s events, the World Illustration Awards will also play host to masterclasses, panel discussions and social events to strengthen the illustration community, its members, and all the creative goodness it has to offer.


Arom Ju: Somewhere


Pei-Fen Hsieh: Turtle with pen


Sarah Wilkins: Just Be Here


Sebastian Koenig: Bauhaus Now


Tim Easley: Modified Man


Anna Mill: Square eyes

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Kouzou Sakai: The Lancet

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