New for WIA2020, It’s Nice That are supporting a cross-category Innovation Award, celebrating illustration that pushes the boundaries of the artform. This shortlist has been selected by Jyni Ong from It’s Nice That.

Jyni has been a staff writer at It’s Nice That since March 2019 having previously joined the team as an editorial assistant in August 2018. She graduated from The Glasgow School of Art with a degree in Communication Design in 2017 and her previous roles include Glasgow Women’s Library designer in residence and The Glasgow School of Art’s Graduate Illustrator.

Read on to meet the illustrators shortlisted by It’s Nice That for the Innovation Award.

Jiawen Chen: ME INSIDE

What a great sense of atmosphere evoked in Jianwen’s surreal illustrations! Technically, I am in awe of the sense of perspective and depth of field in their work. Conceptually, there is also a strong visual communication conveying the mood of the illustration too.

Jyni Ong

Aysha Tengiz: A Spot of Loneliness

Aysha’s work always amazes me for its energy and witty character development. She uses vibrant, contrasting colours so well and imbues all her work with a sense of humour. As a side note, I love the way she draws type!

Jyni Ong

Yichen Liu: Imaginary Town

I was particularly drawn to the sense of movement in Yichen’s work. The perspective of the cityscapes is so enticing, I feel like I’m part of the sprawling compositions.

Jyni Ong

Chun Chun: Hong Kong Protester

This is an incredibly emphatic image that really sticks in the mind. Not only is it founded on an important and socially engaged topic, the visual boldness of this single illustration carries the weightiness of a historic social movement, which by no means, is an easy thing to do.

Jyni Ong

Olivia Duchess: My Dream

This illustration feels highly original while honouring the history of portraiture at the same time. I completely understood the context and message of the work without it having to be explained to me (a rarity!) and I love this alternative, highly detailed realist style.

Jyni Ong

Leah Kwak: The City

Leah’s work whole heartedly captures the hustle and bustle of city life for me. I love how her work has a touch of raw graffiti-like line to it, it is artistic yet highly commissionable at the same time. I can’t wait to see how her style will develop with time!

Jyni Ong

Miga Gao: Absurd Dreams

Miga’s work features a wonderful balance of painterly expression and precise control at the same time. I feel hints of Outsider Art in the freeness of the illustrations and am blown away by the narrative detail in each surreal image.  

Jyni Ong

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