The World Illustration Awards are the most prestigious annual juried competition open to illustrators from all over the world.
The Awards are delivered by the AOI in partnership with USA-based Directory of Illustration, building on a 40-year tradition of the AOI organising juried survey competitions.
Entries can be made into one of the eight categories that represent the work being commissioned by the illustration industry today. All entries are reviewed by judges working in the global illustration industry at the forefront of their specialist sectors.
The World Illustration Awards are respected by illustrators, commissioners and agents alike, offering a comprehensive insight into the ideas, trends and techniques that are at the forefront of illustration today.
“The WIA is a remarkable award that offers so many established and up-and-coming illustrators the invaluable opportunity to have their work exhibited publicly. We look forward to seeing the huge variety of high-quality illustration presented at this year’s awards.” – Deirdre McDermott, Picture Books Publisher and Creative Director at Walker Books
View previous winners and shortlisted illustrators here.
Our 40-year Awards History
The AOI first ran an annual competition, called Images, in 1975 that was open to any British Illustrator. It was unique then, as the selection for the publication was made by a jury, selecting the best contemporary submissions each year to be published in the annual. In 2012, Images was replaced by the AOI Illustration Awards. These ran for 2 years, before The AOI formed a partnership with the Directory of Illustration in the USA and created the World Illustration Awards in 2015.
Previous Images annuals can be purchased here
Awards and Prizes:
Overall Professional Winner: One of the eight Professional Category Winners is named as the WIA2019 Overall Professional Winner at a prestigious ceremony in central London. They will win a generous cash prize of £2,000, a WIA Trophy, and a two-page marketing package in the Directory of Illustration No. 36, valued at $4,330 US Dollars, including a 100-image professional portfolio on www.directoryofillustration.com plus a one-on-one consultation with a professional Directory of Illustration marketing consultant on how to best present your work to the American market.
Overall New Talent Winner: One of the eight New Talent Category Winners is named as the WIA2019 Overall New Talent Winner at a prestigious ceremony in central London. They will win a generous cash prize £1,000, a WIA Trophy, and a copy of the Directory of Illustration No. 36. Professional and New Talent Category Winners: All 16 Category Winners (one New Talent and one Professional per category) receive a WIA Trophy, an enhanced entry in the catalogue, a profile feature on the AOI website, and a complimentary AOI membership for one year with all the benefits this brings including business support, online folio discount and Varoom subscription.
*NEW FOR 2019* Professional and New Talent Highly Commended in each category: 16 Highly Commended Projects (one New Talent and one Professional per category) will receive a WIA Certificate and be part of the Touring exhibition
*NEW FOR 2019* AOI Member Award: Selected from any current AOI member shortlisted for the WIA2019. The winner will receive a complimentary year-long membership plus folio, a copy of the Guide to Law and the current Directories, worth £296.95, a WIA Certificate and profile feature on the AOI website.
*NEW FOR 2019* The SAA Agents Award for New Talent: All shortlisted unrepresented New Talent entries will be eligible for the The SAA Agents Award for New Talent, offering the winner a one-year trial representation with one of the leading Society of Artists Agents Illustration agents, which will include mentoring and career development. During that time, the winner will, in addition to the agent’s own marketing program, benefit from having their work showcased on the SAA’s News Blog as a featured article and across their social media platforms. The winner will also be presented with a WIA certificate and profile feature on the AOI website.
*NEW FOR 2019* DI (Directory of Illustration) Award: All shortlisted entries will be eligible for the DI Award. The DI Award winner will receive a single page marketing package in the Directory of Illustration No. 36, valued at $2,695 US Dollars. The program includes a 100-image professional portfolio on directoryofillustration.com plus a one-on-one consultation with a professional Directory of Illustration marketing consultant on how to best present your work to the American market. The winner will also be presented with a WIA certificate and profile feature on the AOI website.
All Award-Winning and Highly Commended projects will feature in a UK-wide touring exhibition, receive a digital badge for their website and be included in the full colour catalogue sent to 1,300 commissioners worldwide.
All 200 shortlisted illustrators will:
• Feature on the AOI website on a dedicated page, with selected projects promoted across the AOI’s social media.
• Be presented in a printed full colour catalogue, which is distributed to over 1,300 commissioners worldwide.
• Receive a complimentary copy of the WIA2019 catalogue.
• Feature in a major survey exhibition in central London.
• Be invited to attend the Awards Evening, a highlight of the illustration industry event calendar.
• Be offered an exclusive discount on AOI membership with Folio for one year.
• Receive incredible exposure across our digital and real-world networks: the WIA is a proven platform for illustrators to consolidate and expand networks, be seen by commissioners and gain industry recognition and new clients.
So, what are you waiting for? Choose your category, and enter your best work to the WIA2019 today.