World Illustration Awards: Interview with Shih-Hsien Hsu

Shih-Hsien Hsu won the World Illustration Awards 2018 New Talent Books Category sponsored by NoBrow. We caught up with him to ask about how winning the award has impacted his practice, and his future plans:

Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your practice as an illustrator?
After graduating from the Royal College of Art last June, I went back to my home country Taiwan to set up my own illustration studio. Being an illustrator, I’m keen to reveal my world view through multiple visual languages such as collage, hand drawing and printing techniques. Compared to other media, I think an illustration has the potential to break through limitations and let the run imagination free.

Nordic Happiness, Shih-Hsien’s award-winning work

Can you explain a bit about the work you entered into the WIA2018 Awards, and why you chose to enter this project?
I remember, it was the last class of the fourth term. Both of my tutors and I felt that I needed to temporarily put my year’s project aside and take a rest during the holiday. After the trip, I could not wait to illustrate my everyday enchanting exploration in the white Nordic countries. Moreover, it was also my first time to use risograph printing for my work. For these two reasons, I thought my series of illustrations were worth entering to the WIA2018 Awards.

How has winning a World Illustration Award developed your practice/career?
Before, my works were almost always for children; however, winning the Books Category Award gave me a chance to illustrate for adult literature and I’ve started doing editorial illustration too. I started to create more poetic images and I was absolutely happy with that.

What would your advice be for illustrators who might be thinking about entering this years Awards?
Show your talent with a difference as much as possible.

New work by Shih-Hsien for the Liberty Times, Hong Kong

Do you have any upcoming projects, and what are your future plans?

In 2019, the most exciting collaboration I have is that I will work with a long-established bookstore, which is nearly 100 years old, to create works for the reopening show and design a series of products.

Moreover, my two friends, a talented writer/poet and one who is experienced in marketing, and I will form a team to construct narratives regarding the relationship between a round-trip and self-reflection. Based on the idea of ‘we-media’, we hope that we can develop our strengths to build a platform which offers a brand-new idea of travel writing and illustration.

And last but not least, I will keep entering the World Illustration Awards! I hope someday in the future I can win the Overall Professional award (fingers crossed!).

The World Illustration Awards 2019 are open for entries now until 31 January 2019! Find out more and enter here:


11th January 2019

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