Now in its 50th year, the V&A Illustration Awards highlight some of the best work in the publishing industry – focusing on book and book cover illustrations as well as journalism. The student component of the award selects some of the most promising emerging talent.
french illustrator Gerard DuBois won the Moira Gemmill Award for Illustrator of the Year 2022, as well as the Book Illustration winner, for her acrylic paintings created for the Folio Society’s special edition of Cormac McCarthy’s The Road . DuBois’ illustration work has appeared in magazines including The New York Times, as well as several children’s books.
Axel Scheffler, illustrator for The Gruffalo and one of this year’s judges, described the artist’s work as “beautifully atmospheric”, adding that it “deftly conveys the feeling of the book”. British illustrator Posy Simmonds, who was also on the jury, described The Road’s paintings as “beautiful, rich, poignant and melancholy” – which certainly fits the book’s post-apocalyptic narrative.
Other winners drawn from this year’s 1,500 entries include Kerry Hyndmanfor a book cover of The Rich House by Stella Gibbons – which uses a multi-layered combination of digital and hand-drawn artwork to depict the novel’s seaside setting – and James Albonwho created illustrations for the French newspaper Liberation, exploring the hypnotic effects of the social media platform TikTok.
Kate Rolfe was named the winner in the student illustration category, for a series of typographic works that combine typography and illustration to explore the experience of people with dyslexia.
The award also includes several finalists: Lela Harris for his work on an edition of The Color Purple, published by the Folio Society; Luisa Jung for illustrations to Brain Fables by Alberto Espay and Benjamin Stecher, published by Cambridge University Press; and Alexis Tsegba for illustrations accompanying an 1843 magazine piece. In the student category, the V&A nominated Chenyue Yuan as the finalist, and warmly congratulated Yehyeon Yu, Klara Gryglickaand Jessica Ciccolone.
All winners are now on display at the V&A Museum in London, alongside an exhibition of previous winners to celebrate 50 years of the award.