The Kelpies Illustration Prize

Shortlist Announced

Firstly, a whole-hearted thank you to all the talented artists who entered this year’s all-new Kelpies Illustration Prize. We received a record number of entries at an incredibly high standard – our judging team had a difficult (but still enjoyable!) time narrowing it down to just six!

If you didn’t make the shortlist this year (or even if you did…) the Kelpies Illustration Prize 2020 will be open for entries in late August. Watch this space and follow our social media channels for details.

Entrants to this year’s prize were asked to submit five illustrations suitable for a children’s book on the theme of “fables”. Read on to discover the shortlist for the Kelpies Illustration Prize 2019 (in alphabetical order):

Angus Barker

Angus studied Illustration at Edinburgh College of Art. His work is mostly focused on character design and narrative illustration such as graphic novels and picture books. He mostly works with watercolours and ink, though he also enjoys screenprinting.

The judges were drawn to the ancient atmosphere that Angus created in his work, and felt that he built on this to create a strong sense of narrative in each of his illustrations. They felt that the level of detail and confident linework was impressive and they were very fond of his characterful trolls.

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Sarah Coomer

Sarah Coomer

Sarah is an Edinburgh-based artist and illustrator, originally from Yorkshire. She loves telling stories and building worlds through drawing, and enjoys creating her own versions of things – whether that is a classic painting or a piece of packaging.

The judges were impressed by Sarah’s confident drawing ability and they particularly enjoyed the depth of atmosphere of her scenes. They felt that the level of beautiful and humorous detail included in this original fable could provide endless interest and intrigue for young readers.

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Aimee Ferrier

Aimee is an illustrator and teacher based in Edinburgh. She often uses hand-made textures in her work, which she manipulates digitally. She loves experimenting with non-traditional materials, and can sometimes be found destroying her kitchen with things like shaving foam, Chinese ink and graphite powder.

The judges were swept up in the atmosphere of the Scottish Highlands that Aimee captured in her illustrations, and they were impressed by the variety of interesting compositions and different viewpoints she included in her work. They also appreciated the work involved in both writing and typesetting rhyming text, as they felt it showed a good awareness of the picture book market.

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Catherine Lindow

Catherine LindowCatherine lives in Kinghorn, Fife and studied painting at Glasgow School of Art. She usually works in watercolour and pencil and is inspired by the environments around her.

The judges appreciated Catherine’s mature and beautiful illustration style and were very fond of her ethereal colour palette. They enjoyed Catherine’s characterisation of Mary, Queen of Scots, and were refreshed to see such an established figure interpreted in a new, quirky and playful way.

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Lisa Molloy

Lisa MolloyLisa recently completed an MA in Illustration at the University of Hertfordshire. She loves finding ways to combine graphic shapes and patterns with traditional materials, and uses watercolour, pencils, monoprinting and Photoshop to create her bright, bold and colourful imagery.

The judges liked Lisa’s clean, contemporary drawing style, carefully considered colour palette and use of white space as part of the illustration itself. They were delighted by every one of her wonderfully curious and expressive characters and were impressed by how much they added to the narrative of each illustration.

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Kirsty Oxley

Kirsty is a freelance illustrator based in Edinburgh. She graduated from Edinburgh College of Art in 2017, and loves creating her own stories and characters. She is often inspired by the nature she comes across in her daily life plus some more exotic animals!

The judges were charmed by Mo the Sloth and they liked Kirsty’s bright and modern interpretation of one of Aesop’s best-loved fables. They appreciated the clear thought that Kirsty gave to the needs of the young reader in her use of bold colour palettes and varying page compositions.

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The Prize

The winner will be announced, along with the winner of the Kelpies Prize for new Scottish children’s writing, at an exclusive award ceremony at Edinburgh International Book Festival this August. Follow @DiscoverKelpies on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for updates.

We’ve put together a brilliant prize package, designed to support the winner’s development as a children’s book illustrator:

  • A £1,000 cash prize
  • One year of mentoring by an experienced design team
  • Picture Hooks LogoA publishing contract with Floris Books for an illustrated project
  • A ticket to the Picture Hooks 2019 conference, plus £100 towards expenses

You’ll find full details of what’s on offer in our Terms & Conditions.

Previous Winners

Previously focused on book cover design, the Kelpies Illustration Prize (formerly the Kelpies Design & Illustration Prize) was launched in 2014. Find out about our past winners.