Magical Worlds

Illustration has the power to take us on a journey to magical worlds where we can explore fantastical creatures and landscapes through the artist’s eyes. These Shortlisted projects use animation, papercut, digital and hand painted techniques to do this.

ATE g g: Dancing With The Breeze

This work combines traditional crayon drawings with frame-by-frame animation, representing the fusion of the past and the future.

Inspired by the love and care of ATE’s mother, the main theme is about the flow of time and eternal love. Through this piece, ATE hopes to convey the unique sensory experience and warmth that hand-drawn art can bring.

Julia Woolf: The Chase

The idea is from a project that Julia has been developing for a children’s book. She thought it would be fun to experiment and to expand her process with stop motion animation.

All elements are materials are from the recycling or the garden. She has then gone on to paint and add texture to them. To create the animation she used the Stop Motion app on her iPhone, and she really enjoyed the simplicity of the process and the technology.

Lauren O’Hara: The Magic of the Ballet

This project shares the beautiful cover illustration for The Magic of the Ballet, written by Vivian French and publishes by Walker Books.

Seven illustrated classic stories from the ballet- The Firebird, The Nutcracker, Coppelia, Giselle, La Sylphide, The Sleeping Beauty,Swan Lake were created by Lauren for the series.

Matthew Cole: Race to the Moon

This image was included in a children’s book that Matthew is illustrating for their degree course submission. The protagonist of this story is a young girl called Ivy who journeys through a fantastical, night-time world in a race against the moon.

This scene was painted in watercolour and features Ivy’s encounter with the librarians – a race of friendly bookworms.

Margherita Paoletti
Sonde Croniche (Chronic Probes)

Sonde Croniche is a visual diary. It started during a disorienting and painful time. Lea is the protagonist’s name, an alter-ego that fights taboos, disabilities, pain, and more. Lea faces adversities like a contemporary warrior adorned by speaking tattoos that mutate accordingly to their emotions. They live in a surrealistic universe where fear and pain are transformed in weird and fun creatures.

Sonja Danowski
By Night in My Dream

In our dreams we travel to special places. From memories and daily impressions, our imagination is formed; exciting encounters full of puzzles and meaning.

This book invites you to feel the fleeting poetry of dreams in images and modern haiku.

The illustrations were created in mixed media on off-white drawing paper, using graphite and various sepia coloured pencils, ink and watercolour.

Itsumi Tozawa

This evocative series of illustrations was inspired by the question ‘If a girl who received an invitation letter to meet the other self, is it a dream or reality?’

Sarah Walsh: Hidden World

‘Hidden World’ is an animated gif about taking a closer look at nature and the magic hidden within it. It was designed as a book cover and development piece for a personal project.

Sarah set herself the challenge of animating the image to explore the movement of the characters and the textures. It was animated in Adobe Animate and brought into Photoshop where the colour and textures were added.

Billy Partridge: Jabberwocky

In ‘Jabberwocky’, Lewis Carroll conjures up a world of endless mystery and bizarre twists on the familiar; populating the land with the strangest plants and creatures, filling the air with pure wonder.

And yet, it is also underpinned by a recognisable ballad form, following a brave hero on his quest to slay a monster. Billy wanted to capture both sides of the story in this cover image.

Joy Li: Wearing Star and Moon

These evocative illustrations use the traditional costumes of the Naxi to create a compelling backdrop to telling the story a Chinese ethnic minority girl who bravely fights against the drought to save her people.

Owen Gent: That’s Nice Love

Imagine missing it all because you’re distracted…

Imagine a trip to the park with butterflies and snakes and monkeys and a giant leopard – magical!

A beautiful story for children and adults about the importance of looking up, paying attention and sharing adventures.

Dorothy Luo
Grimm’s Fairy Tales

This illustration series began as an exploration of character design, with a focus on using exaggerated body shapes to express the core dramatic conflicts in each story.

To achieve the desired effect, Dorothy created a screen-printed effect with bold, high-contrast colours, and playing with different patterns and textures during the process.

Elisa Seitzinger
The Symbolic Soul Tarot

There is something magical about this Tarot deck, which is hard to convey with words. The symbolic soul is about Art, but not the Art that is beautiful and little else. It’s the Art that can shake our world, and make us see through the veil of our illusions, if only we would give it a chance. This deck is the Editor’s Pick of a world leading Tarot company since 1987.

Cai Li
The Answer

This project was created to depict the operations of the metaverse, including absorbing, transforming and re-creating.

The final image is a question — if we all depend on a virtual world, do we still have the right to live a “real” life like the The Truman Show?