In December 2020, we opened our call to illustrators with the aim of celebrating great illustration. A record 5,280 entries were submitted by illustrators from 82 countries into this year’s awards. This was followed by a highly competitive judging process to find the 500 longlisted projects. The Longlist represents some of the very best illustration from across the world, many of which respond to the seismic shifts we have experienced since the start of the Covid-19 Pandemic.
“We are presenting the Longlist for the 2021 World Illustration Awards following an extraordinary 18 months. Illustrators have proven their ability to adapt, and respond in the midst of social, political and economic upheaval. This longlist offers an overview of the great illustration that has been created since January 2020 and everyone from industry professionals to the general viewer will find something inspiring, uplifting and thought-provoking.” Ren Renwick, CEO AOI
The Longlist includes projects from all ten WIA categories by both New Talent and Professional Illustrators. The categories cover major sectors in which illustration is commissioned, including several areas of Publishing, Editorial, Advertising, to the more specialised Site Specific and Science & Technology categories, with self-initiated projects presented alongside campaigns commissioned by globally-recognised brands.
“I was utterly delighted by the wide variety of styles, ideas and techniques employed this year – it made the job of judging very difficult for me and the rest of the jury! The whole process was inspiring and enjoyable from beginning to end … stunning artworks to explore, robust discussions to be had and illustration worldwide to be championed and celebrated. A real highlight after the dark year that creatives everywhere have had.” – Mark Campbell, Creative Director & Publisher, (Harper by Design), Australia, judge Book Covers category
The shortlisted 200 projects will be announced alongside a curated online showcase in September 2021. On 12 October 2021, the Category Winning and Highly Commended projects in each category will be announced online. Two Overall Winners will receive cash prizes.
An online Celebration Programme of events and masterclasses will run throughout October and November, highlighting areas of current importance, including alternative routes into illustration, and exploring the importance of increasing diversity.
The World Illustration Awards is a year-long celebration and showcase of illustration, bringing together creatives, industry, commissioners and art directors, celebrating great illustration on a scale like never before.
Every longlisted project can be viewed on The AOI website at: https://theaoi.com/wia and will be published on our dedicated WIA Instagram page throughout the summer.