The AOI Illustration Awards exhibition have been hosted annually since 2012 by Somerset House, a major arts and cultural centre in the heart of London, whose year-round programme of large scale contemporary exhibitions and events attracts over 2 million visitors.

The AOI's World Illustration Awards 2015, in partnership with Directory of Illustration, followed this tradition and once again were on display in the spectacular Terrace Rooms.

Winners from the World Illustration Awards 2015 were exhibited at Somerset House in London from 5 October – 1 November 2015.

The World Illustration Awards Exhibition presents highlights from the year’s shortlist of contemporary illustration, entered by emerging and established talent from around the globe to the annual competition.

The Shortlist includes illustration from across the world, recognising the exceptional work produced by illustrators internationally and promoting illustration as an essential contributor to global visual culture. The exhibition will thus feature a unique range of work from the UK to USA, and South Korea to France, covering a wide breadth of practice, including books, design and editorial, to reflect the diverse disciplines within the industry.

The World Illustration Awards is the only independent jury-selected illustration competition and this year’s winning work was chosen by a panel of 24 esteemed judges from all aspects of the industry including commissioners, publishers and artists from all corners of the world.

16 Category Winners have been chosen, from which two overall award winners will be announced at the private view night on the 5 October in the classification of Professional illustration, which is open to all practicing professionals, and New Talent, which is open to students and recent graduates.

More on our blog.

"This exceedingly diverse exhibition is fabulous, it inspires the imagination, brings joy to the soul and hope for the next generation of artists. I particularly loved Paul Davis's 'The Bacchus of the Post-it Notes' for its amusingly philosophical take on life, but there are so many exceptional illustrations to vie for your top spot! Go and enjoy this exhibition with your children, friends, grandparents and partner, you will enjoy the hot debate over which is your winner! Excellent curation, beautiful illustration."

Amanda Topps, visitor to the tour in Ormskirk, Feb 2016


We are planning special educational events and talks in conjunction with Somerset House during the exhibition, so please check back here for more information or follow news about the Awards on Twitter #WIA2015 and now #WI2016.


Alex Foster
Saturday, 10 October 2015, free

Advertising New Talent Winner, Alex Foster will run a family workshop at Somerset House
Read more on the AOI blog.
Alex Foster Blog.

Oliver Kugler
Tuesday, 13 October 2015, 12:30-12:50
Free, Terrace Rooms

Overall Professional Winner, Oliver Kugler, will discuss his editorial process and the experience of working on his refugee project in the Middle East.
Read more on the AOI blog.

Benji Davies
Tuesday, 20 October 2015, 12.30-12.50
Free, Terrace Rooms

Get the low-down from author and illustrator Benji Davies', on his new book Grandad's Island. Children's Book category Award Winner
Read more on the AOI blog.

João Fazenda
Tuesday, 27 October 2015, 12.30-12.50
Free, Terrace Rooms

Explore the narrative nature of the works by Portuguese image maker João Fazenda. Book Book Professional Category Winner
Read more on the AOI blog.


For more details also visit the Somerset House website.



Following its display at Somerset House the exhibition tours to multiple venues across the UK.
In 2015 the exhibition will be hosted by four UK  venues (all dates to be confirmed):

1) UWTSD Swansea: 16 November 2015 – 11 December 2015,
Open weekdays 10:00 - 5.30, Saturdays 10.00 - 4.00

pictures from the IA14 tour at Swansea on the AOI blog

2) Chapel Gallery, Ormskirk: 11 January – 21 February 2016, see pictures from the WIA2015 tour opening on the AOI blog
3) Roe Valley Arts, Limvady: 4 March – 2 April 2016
Galleries are open Monday to Wednesday and Saturday 9.30am-5pm and Thursday to Friday 9.30am-9.30pm and admission is free
4) Oriel Gallery at Clotworthy House, Antrim: 18 April – 29 May 2016

This national tour receives approximately 40,000 visitors during its run.


Photography by insearchoflight.co.uk