WIA2021 Celebration Programme

The WIA2021 Celebration Programme of online events will run throughout October and November, highlighting areas of current importance, including alternative routes into illustration, increasing diversity within the industry, and the impact of COVID-19.

The celebration programme is part of the World Illustration Awards, a year-long celebration and showcase of illustration, bringing together creatives, industry, commissioners and art directors, celebrating great illustration on a global like never before.

Tuesday 19 October, 6 – 7pm

£5 members/£10 non

Alternative Routes into Illustration

How can illustrators from underrepresented backgrounds get a foot in the door? This talk will cover portfolio development, online marketplaces, awards and other avenues for self-promotion and career development that are outside of traditional routes into an illustration career. 

Speakers include: Arabella Stein (Managing Director, Bright Agency), Leon Edler (Illustrator and founder Room 50) and Adriana Bellet (Illustrator and AOI Mentor).


Tuesday 26 October, 6 – 7pm

£5 members/£10 non

Illustrating Covid 

A look at the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on illustrators – both from a creative and practical point of view. Many of the entries to WIA this year focussed on the pandemic. These included illustrations explaining the science of the virus, as well as work that captured the effect of restrictions on everyday life.

Speakers include Xavier Segers (WIA2021 shortlisted illustrator, and winner of the DI Award) and Rachel Bajema (Editor of the Directory of Illustration Medical and Animation Illustration Programme).

2 November, 6 – 7.30pm 

Self Promotion MasterclassCANCELLE

£7 members /£12 non

Many new talent and emerging illustrators enter WIA with a focus on promoting their best projects to wider audience. There are many ways to use an awards entry to promote yourself, and this masterclass will look at how to use participation in awards as a starting point to greater visibility and ultimately, more commissions. 

Lead by Rachel Hill, AOI Membership Director and the AOI Awards Team

Tuesday 9 November, 6 – 7pm

Improving Access, Increasing Diversity


£5 members/£10 non

How does increasing the diversity of the industry help commissioners, agents and illustrators produce great illustration? 

This year, WIA introduced a bursary scheme to increase access, and we encourage illustrators from across the world to apply. This year we had entries from every continent, with increasing numbers from emerging markets. 

Increasing access and diversity offers a greater range perspectives, different voices, styles and experiences that all contribute to creating great illustration. 

How can we build on progress so far, and what else might need to change?

Speakers include: Dorcas Brown (co-founder, Grand Matter Agency), Dwuan June from the Washington Post (who was also a judge) and illustrator Hayley Wall.

18th October 2021

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