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Dystopian graphic novel wins top prize at World Illustration Awards

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Anna Mill: Square Eyes

The overall winners of this year’s World Illustration Awards (WIA) have been named as Anna Mill and Patrick Dias, who top a 200-strong shortlist announced by the Association of Illustrators’ in partnership with the Directory of Illustration.

Mill won the professional category for her first book, a 256-page dystopian graphic novel titled Square Eyes, written with Luke Jones and published by Jonathan Cape. The London-based illustrator creates densely detailed city scenes for her story, stating she draws influence from “Edmund Dulac, Winsor McCay, Moebius and Katsuhiro Otomo She also uses a combination of monochromatic pencil drawings and digitally coloured images, aiming to contrast “the lushness of the virtual with the faded textures of the forgotten material past” explored in the book, wherein the protagonist is marooned in a digital purgatory.

New talent winner Dias is a Toronto-based illustrator and animator, who was chosen for his work on a short film titled Connectivity, in which 2D illustrated, papercut characters navigate 3D sets.

Other WIA winners included Rod Hunt, who won the Directory of Illustration Award for his huge animated film for Sogo, shown on a giant LED billboard over Causeway Bay in Hong Kong.

Thomas Paterson received the AOI Members’ Award for his illustration for the New York Times article, Watching Brexit Fall Apart; while Abi Langridge, AKA Paperface, won the Society of Artists Agents Award for New Talent for her painted depictions of animal dynasties.

All 200 shortlisted entries will be exhibited at Somerset House until 28 July.

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Patrick Dias: Connectivity