I am truly honoured to be included in Communication Arts Magazine’s 57th Illustration Annual, released this month.
Of the 3,973 total entries, only 167 projects were selected by the jury for inclusion in this year’s annual, representing the work of 145 artists, making the Illustration Annual the most exclusive major illustration competition in the world.
When I was an illustration student at Falmouth University (10 years ago this year!), I would sit in the journals room reading copies of the various illustration annuals. I loved 3×3 Magazine, whose offices in Brooklyn I visited in my final year of uni for a portfolio review, and the Communication Arts annuals were just stunning. I would leaf through them and feel in awe of those illustrators. And I still do – the list of this year’s winners is a list of people who’s work I have looked up to and admired for years – Yuko Shimizu, Victo Ngai, Joe Ciardiello, Chris Buzelli, Gary Taxali, Giuseppe Castellano, Ralph Steadman…
I am really grateful to the jury for selecting my work, and also to Heather Palmateer, Tiffany Ates and the team at Smithsonian Magazine for entering my work into the competition. The first I heard of it was when I received an email from Heather to say I’d won in the editorial category.
The email arrived the morning after my Grandad’s funeral. He was also an artist, as well as a talented gardener, and a keen photographer.
He loved to paint – he had learned to use oil paints during a period when was bedridden, having injured his back. He nurtured me in my creativity all through my life – when I was young he gave me the box of watercolors that I learned to paint with, and once he built me an easel and sent it through the post wrapped in brown paper and reams of parcel tape.
I miss his voice, his songs and stories and I will always be grateful to him for sharing with me his love of painting.