AOI Illustration Awards 2013

Posted on November 4, 2013 by Toothpicker There have been 2 comment(s)

aoi illustrations awards 2013Russell Cobb - JohnstonworksRussell Cobb - Johnstonworks

 Bottom left & right Russell Cobb for Lower Mill Estate: Summer and Autumn


I often feel that illustrations or illustrators are 'undervalued', perhpas due to its ambiguous nature... somewhere between art and graphic design, it is somewhat overlooked by people outside and sometimes even inside the industry. When I used to work in advertising, illustrators in the agencies were important yet they were not fully appreciated, which I found quite odd. Hence, the AOI illustration awards organised by The Association of Illustrators is a good way to give illustrators the recognition they truly deserve.


aoi illustration award 2013Jonathan Burton - Odd BodsJoe Caslin-  Our Nation's Sons - FilmJonathan Burton - Odd BodsJonny Hannah

Top middle & bottom left: Jonathan Burton's Odd Bods playing cards for The Folio Society ( Professional winner in Design); Joe Caslin's Our Nation's Sons street art project ( New Talent winner in Public Realm); Bottom right: Jonny Hannah


I went to see the AOI illustration awards exhibition at the Somerset House before it ended, and I was very pleasantly surprised by the standard of work seen at the show. The exhibition featured highlights from this year’s shortlist, including advertising, design, research, books, editorial and public realm, which reflect the diversity within the industry.

Here are some of my favourites from the show:

I like the fun and nostalgic style "Odd Bods" playing cards by Jonathan Burton for The Folio Society ( Professional Winner in Design). The illustrations are lovely and playful, I wish I can purchase a set for myself!

I love Joe Caslin's inspiring street art project, "Our Nation’s Sons" and I was glad to learn that his project won the New Talent Award in the Public Realm sector. His ongoing project involves installing large-scale portrait drawings of teenage boys from the edges of society in Scotland. Instead of neglecting or isolating them from the society, he gets them involved in the project and gives them a sense of belonging. You can watch a video of this project here:



The Editorial New Talent Winner, John Riordan has created a set of powerful illustrations about The City and the financial crisis in the series, "Capital City". The illustration style is unique and atmospheric, I also love the cynicism and dark humour on our flawed financial sector.


Chris Rixon - On The RoadPaul X Johnson - Among BrothersLesley Barnes Anna and Elena Balbusso: Melancholy Eugene Onegin bookNicolle Fuller

Top left: Chris Rixon's On The Road; Top right: Paul X Johnson's Among Brothers; Bottom left: Imagination by Lesley Barnes for V & A's Museum of Childhood ( Professional Winner in Advertisiing); Anna & Elena Balbusso for the book: Eugene Onegin; Bottom right: Nicolle Fuller's Nanolipogel's attacking cancer ( Professional winner in Research and knowledge communications)


Although twin illustrators, Anna & Elena Balbusso did not win an award at the AOI, I was completely captivated by their work for the book, "Eugene Onegin" by Alexander Pushkin. Their illustrations are hauntingly beautiful, atmospheric and mysterious. I was a bit surprised that the work did not win the category, but was glad to learned that it had won the Best Book award at the V&A Illustration Awards.

Research and knowledge communications Professional Winner, Nicolle Fuller's "Nanolipogel Attacking Cancer" took a different approach in tackling a subject very scientific and complicated. The medical illustrations are detailed but not too overly technical, they are accessible to the mass audience without compromising on the aesthetic appeal. Outstanding achievement.


This post was posted in London, Exhibitions, Street art & graffiti, Graphics & illustrations and was tagged with London, art and design exhibitions, graffiti/ street art, illustrations

2 Responses to AOI Illustration Awards 2013

  • I just stumbled on your post... thanks for the mention and appreciation for the nanolipogel art! I'm off to check out the rest of your blog. Cheers!

    Posted on November 26, 2013 at 4:06 am

  • Rebecca says:

    My pleasure! I love the illustrations, keep up with the good work!

    Posted on November 26, 2013 at 11:36 pm