Following on from my submission to the V&A illustration prize, I took a look around to see if there was anything else that I might be able to apply to, using work from last year, because I really want to continue to push myself to find ways to publicise my work. Also, by using work that I created last year, I saved myself some stress as I could then upload the submission without having to worry about any deadlines and I could ensure that what I submitted is of a high quality. With that in mind, the theme for the Batsford Prize this year was really very convenient for me,
THEME: CRAVING COLOUR
The theme of The Batsford Prize 2018 is ‘Craving Colour’. Entries should show innovative and well-crafted interpretations of colour, in terms of subject or materials used, or a combination of the two.
The last day for entries is 28 March 2018, the shortlisted candidates will be announced in April and the winners will be revealed at an awards event in London in May 2018
The theme of colour is pretty perfect, considering that I do a lot of work that centers around colour as a strong component, it was therefore fairly easy to pick the piece that I wanted to submit.
The book that I designed last year that centres around a ‘day in the life’ theme from the perspective of one of my key rings, a pink alpaca called Philip; the book is an account of a typical day during a time in my life where I was feeling really stressed and anxious. In the book, I used colour as a way of communicating how I was feeling, using bright obnoxious colours that clashed to make the book feel quite abrasive and oppressive in away that expressed the tension and pressure that I felt I was under at the time.
This book project was one of the highlights of my work last year and I was very pleased with the final finished piece, the hardback copy that I had printed came out very well and the designs in the book were very carefully considered, coming out of poor circumstances that I feel like I really made something out of. This emotional connection that I feel with the contents of this piece makes it both a perfect and a risky choice, as I really feel like I can get behind the work, but, I’m also very invested in it and consider the book to be quite a personal piece, meaning I’m now quite invested in this competition.
The competition, however, is not necessarily the point. The point, of applying to the prize, is to build up some confidence in myself and in the potential of my work. I need to get used to submitting my work for judgment and to various institutional prizes, because submitting to competitions, like the Batsford Prize, is an easy, and often free, way of getting my work out into the wider illustration community. While there is a high standard of work being submitted and the competition, that my work will be up against, will be of a very high standard, many institutional competitions can potentially offer opportunities for the runners up. Either way, win or loose, it’s important that I continue to put myself out there and try to boost my work in this way.