The Exploration Category celebrates all forms of self-initiated work, illustration made for portfolios, and experimental pieces that push the boundaries of illustration.

This category includes unusual materials, cutting edge technology, and experiments in technique, process and ideas.

The Exploration Category was judged by:

View all the projects shortlisted in the Exploration Category >

Anurita Argal Acharya : Nukkad Ki Darji

Anurita was commissioned by author Sandhya Sinha to create a cover illustration for her book. This piece is an experimental mockup for the cover. Anurita usually uses monotones with a splash of colour, so this colourful piece was a departure from her usual style. It was created from observation of people on the streets of Bangalore and then the final illustration was made using acrylic on canvas with pen for the line details.

Anurita is a graduate of from Srishti School of Art, Design and Technology. She is an artist and illustrator based in Bangalore, India.

View the complete project >

At the Art Studio : On the surface

This piece was created to illustrate a campaign about cultural norms in Asian society, and the tendency to hide real feelings. The fan is used as a metaphor for a mask to hide true emotions. The work was created as pencil sketches, and then the final piece was produced digitally.

At the Art Studio (ATAS) is a Singapore-based creative living lifestyle brand with a distinct contemporary pop aesthetic. The creations at ATAS are syntheses of visions, inspirations and originality, drawing references from Asian traditions and modern modes. ATAS is a collective of creative individuals and artisans dedicated to developing original and exclusive art collectables.

View the complete project >

BEKZIN (Hyojin Paik ) : Live love laugh and eat!

The project celebrates Asian Pacific Heritage Month, with a homage to the aesthetic of 90s manga, with the final illustration created in the format of a traditional Asian scrolls. It’s drawn in ink.

BEKZIN is a visual artist, born in Seoul, South Korea, where they received a Design BFA degree from Hongik University and later an MFA Illustration at Fashion Institute of Technology New York City. BEZKIN is currently based in the USA.

View the complete project >

Chun Chun : Hong Kong Protester

Chun Chun’s piece was created as a free download that people could print and stick on the Lennon Wall in Hong Kong, as part of the Hong Kong protests campaigning for freedom and democracy. The work celebrates the courage and determination of the protesters. This piece shows a young person in their school uniform, with the mask and yellow umbrella that are the recognisable symbols of the protest. The work is created digitally using Affinity Designer.

Chun Chun is an illustrator based in Hong Kong. Besides digital illustration, she also loves gouache and oil painting.

View the complete project >

Cristóbal Schmal : Palo Santo

This work was created as a personal artistic challenge, with the illustrator taking the role of an explorer, encountering new rituals, ideas and relationships to nature. Cristóbal’s images reimagine Andean folk traditions and stories, remaking a new version of an undiscovered culture. The work is created using pigment, watercolour and gouache with traditional collage techniques.

Cristóbal was born in Chile. After finishing a Graphic Design degree at Valparaiso University in 2001, she moved to Barcelona, working as a Designer/Art Director for several graphic design studios and advertising agencies. In 2008 she moved to Berlin to work full time as a freelance illustrator.

View the complete project >

Ellen He : The Good-Morrow

Ellen made this work in response to a book illustration competition, to illustrate a love poem, The Good-Morrow, by John Donne. The work is created using experimental mixed media technique with wax crayon and acrylic paint.

Ellen He makes mixed media illustrations that combine drawing, painting, and narrative. She graduated from Rhode Island School of Design in 2019 and is now based in Los Angeles, USA, where she also teaches.

View the complete project >

Menghui : Balance

Menghui’s work was created for a project called ‘Please Insert Human Shanghai’, imitated by Singapore based team MashMinds. The result is a Virtual Reality work, featuring the Monkey and Rooster of the Chinese Zodiac, an exciting blend of traditional symbols and cutting-edge technology.

Menghui is a freelance illustrator based in Shanghai, China, working with illustration and animation. She graduated from Sichuan Fine Arts Institute with a BFA in new media art. Menghui’s clients include Tencent, Alibaba, HUAWEI, and Philips

View the complete project >

Miga Gao : Absurd Dreams

These personal works were created for the artist’s portfolio. They are based on dreams around loneliness and absurdity, sometimes with dark undertones. These are explored in these mixed media illustrations, capturing a vivid dream world.

Miga is an illustrator based in Shanghai, China. She studied Illustration at Maryland Institute College of Art, graduating in 2017.

View the complete project >

Patti Ruan : Fight With Love

Patti Ruan’s illustration is a portfolio piece, capturing her ideas and allowing her creativity to flow. This piece illustrates the conflict that can sometimes occur in a loving relationship, and encouraging people not to be afraid of the difficult times. This work was drawn in Procreate, and coloured in Photoshop.

Patti is a Chinese illustrator based in Shanghai. She loves to observe fun and small things in everyday life.

View the complete project >


View all the projects shortlisted in the Exploration Category >

Back to the showcase!
Return to the WIA2020 Showcase to discover more great illustration!
Freelance Illustrators!
Join the community for support, and benefits during Covid-19 and into the future.


Join our mailing list to get the latest news.