The Directory of Illustration is excited to announce the World Illustration Awards, in partnership with the Association of Illustrators (AOI). For nearly four decades, the AOI has presented the most comprehensive and significant awards for illustration in the UK. Now, for the first time, our two organizations are collaborating to create a truly global competition that will honor the most creative and inspiring commercial illustration from around the world.

The World Illustration Awards provides expanded opportunities for artists to promote their work to an international audience.

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Work entered into the World Illustration Awards will be reviewed by a jury of distinguished and international industry professionals. The competition shortlist reflects exceptional work by illustrators currently making an outstanding contribution to visual culture and is published in full on, which receives over 100,000 hits per month.

Award winners will be announced at a prestigious ceremony at Somerset House, the major arts and cultural center in the heart of London. Selected works will be displayed in their spectacular Terrace Rooms. Following this the exhibition tours to multiple venues across the UK, which receives approximately 40,000 visitors during its run.

Selected works will also be showcased in an accompanying publication, which will be circulated to major illustration buyers.

Who Can Enter?

The World Illustration Awards are open to illustrators working in ANY medium, context or geographical location. Work must be entered as either a New Talent entry or a Professional entry.

New Talent entrants are Undergraduate Students, Post-Graduate Students or Graduates within two years of graduation. Professional entrants are all other professional illustrators.

Work can be entered by the creator of the work (illustrator, student /new graduate) or by any third party such as an Agent, Designer, College, Publisher or Art Director.


“I would advise any illustrator to enter the Awards as the entire experience has been invaluable to me. It has been the perfect platform to build my career as an illustrator. Since becoming a Category Winner I have had some great commissions, I cannot thanks The AOI team enough.”


Nate Kitch – Category Winner 2013


What Can Be Entered?

Work entered for the competition must have been created or published between January 1, 2014 and February 15, 2015. Work in ANY medium can be entered in ANY category.

Entries can either be Single Entry (one image per entry) or Multiple Entry (up to 5 images per entry). Single or Multiple Entries can be entered in any category, depending on the size of the project or number of images within it. Multiple Entries are more expensive and should therefore be used to showcase different elements of the same project (multiple illustrations, spreads from a book and so on).

Professional entries must have been commercially commissioned for all categories except Public Realm and Self-Initiated Work.

New Talent entries do not have to be commercially commissioned and should be entered into the category that is most relevant to the work. For example, a college project creating a picture book should be entered as a New Talent entry in the Children’s Book Category.

Work must be entered into one of the 8 Categories. These are very broadly defined to welcome work of all types and in all contexts where illustration is used.

“My award has been a really useful line when approaching new clients. It has also helped some of my existing clients to think more adventurously about how projects can be interpreted visually, and what I could potentially do for them.”


Edd Baldry – Category Winner 2013

Cost of Entry

Single Entry

  • UK & EU – £25 (including VAT) per entry
  • Rest of the World – £20.83 (no VAT) per entry (approx. $33 USD)

Multiple Entry

  • UK & EU – £45 (including VAT) per entry
  • Rest of the World – £37.50 (no VAT) per entry (approx. $60 USD)


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