Anglia Ruskin illustrators sweep the board!

Published: 18 June 2015 at 15:24

MA Children’s Book Illustration student wins Macmillan Prize for sixth successive year

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Anglia Ruskin University students have swept the board at the 30th anniversary of the Macmillan Prize for Illustration.

Students from Anglia Ruskin’s MA Children’s Book Illustration course took home the first, second and joint third prizes at the ceremony in London, with another Anglia Ruskin student winning the Lara Jones Award for illustrators of books for babies or very young children.

First prize this year – along with a cheque for £1,000 – was awarded to Shu-Ti Liao, with the judges praising her “bold use of composition allied to a clever use of the page to tell her tale of an explorer’s Adventure at Night”.

Sarah Finan’s Yankee Doodle Stanley won second prize while Silje Nilsen’s City Break shared third prize with Chair of Life, by Kingston University student Yu Ying Chen.

Shu-Ti Liao’s victory continues Anglia Ruskin’s remarkable run of success at the Macmillan Prize, having now won the main award for the last six years.  She joins other recent Anglia Ruskin winners Mike Smith (2010), Gemma Merino (2011), Irene Dickson-Bulleid (2012), Jules Bentley (2013) and Bethan Woollvin (2014).

Chris Inns, Picture Books Art Director at Macmillan Children’s Books and chair of the judging panel, said:

“With 245 submissions, once again the entries for the Macmillan Prize have shown there is a wealth of new talent out there showing a passion for illustration and storytelling.  
“The winners all showed that they could weave words and images together elegantly to put their visions across.”

Stephanie Barton, Publisher of Under 6s at Macmillan Children’s Books, added: “Today, more than ever, it is incumbent on us as a children’s publisher to nurture links with the specialist creative arts universities where new talent abounds; the Mac Prize, in its 30th year, is testament to Macmillan’s long term and unwavering commitment to that ideal.”

The Macmillan Prize was established in 1985 to stimulate new work from young illustrators in art schools, and to help them to take the first steps in their professional lives.  

Mark Nicholas, also of Anglia Ruskin, won The Lara Jones Award for his entry Wellies Has Lost His Boot.  The prize, awarded in memory of Poppy Cat creator Lara Jones, goes to the entrant who shows the most promise as an illustrator of books for babies or very young children.

Ella Butler, Art Director of Campbell Books, said:

“The judges were won over by Mark’s use of bold colours, ingenious flaps and well designed and executed characters, that already look like fully realised popular children’s characters.”

Martin Salisbury, Professor of Illustration at Anglia Ruskin, said:

“My colleague, Pam Smy, and I are absolutely thrilled that our MA Children’s Book Illustration students have achieved an almost ‘clean sweep’ of the awards in this year’s Macmillan Prize, as well as achieving numerous highly commended entries.
“Our staff and students are passionate about picture books and the Macmillan Prize is a wonderful opportunity for them to have their work assessed by the industry.”