THIS YEAR'S EVENT IN A NUTSHELL
Daisy McMullan is Awards Coordinator at The AOI. She has an MA in Curating and works as a visual arts producer specialising in non-profit and education sectors.
WHAT WAS NEW THIS YEAR?
The exhibition at Somerset House has evolved with tighter curation and a modern display that creates a sense of where illustration is right now: vibrant, dynamic and all around us. We also made an effort to showcase projects in more depth where we could; in some cases a series instead of just a single image really helped to tell the story of the project.
WERE THERE ANY ENTRIES THAT MADE YOU THINK: 'I'VE NEVER SEEN THAT BEFORE'?
Olivia Sullivan's multimedia work that maps a psychogeography of Cumbria. It has animation, sound, wooden sculptures and models made from Kendal Mint Cake. It really is truly original, and tests the boundaries of what we think of as illustration. Tommy Parker's Dynamic Wallpaper is a great use of new technology, and really demonstrates how illustration can advance innovation. It's a really clever use of software that helps programme the image to change with the position of the sun.
IS DIVERSITY IN ENTRIES IMPORTANT TO YOU?
Our entries come from all over the world – in particular the UK and USA as you might expect, as that is where we, The AOI and our delivery partners the Directory of Illustration are based. But we also receive plenty of entries from Europe and Asia too, and now we're seeing more from countries with a less-established illustration tradition such as Indonesia, Ukraine, UAE, Malaysia and Romania.
YOUR PERSONAL FAVOURITES?
moooOooons by Pei-Fen Hsieh, made using collage, and Anna Mill's winning book Square Eyes is also extraordinary!
This year's competition saw a record number of entrants, with 15 of the 16 winners attending on awards night. Below left: Anna Mill's winning entry.