Two students from Kingston have beaten more than 650 entrants to become finalists in a prestigious book illustration competition being judged by Quentin Blake and other renowned illustrators.
Chungwoon Choi, 28, from Korea, and Joseph Melhuish have just finished their first year studying Illustration and Animation at the University. They are among just six illustrators to be shortlisted for the first Book Illustration Competition – a collaboration between the House of Illustration and publisher The Folio Society.
The competition, entitled ‘Get inside The Outsider’, invited entrants to produce a series of illustrations for a new edition of The Outsider by Albert Camus. The six shortlisted artists were selected by a judging panel that includes Quentin Blake, writer and actor Simon Callow and award-winning illustrator Laura Carlin, who has just won the V&A Illustration Award for Best Illustrated Book.
Geoffrey Grandfield, Field Leader in the School of Communication Design, said: “We are immensely pleased that the work of two of our students has been shortlisted. Both students looked at the underlying themes and developed very different, but very convincing interpretations that share a strong sense of design. Both use drawing and painting to evoke a sense of location and time; Chungwoon also used Photoshop to explore his imagery. The differences in outcome really demonstrate the diversity that we emphasise on the course and the value that we place in original visual language.”
Chungwoon, who won illustration competitions in Korea before relocating to the UK, said he tried to incorporate some of the book’s themes in his pictures: “I was trying to capture Meursault’s emotionless, inhuman way of seeing the world. I also wanted to express the weather and atmosphere, which somehow bring on the terrible incident in the book, and also because you can almost feel the heat of Algerian sun while you are reading. He continued: “Since it was my first year studying at university in the UK, being shortlisted is a great encouragement. At the same time though, now I put more pressure on myself, but in an enjoyable way. It really helps me clobber my big furious laziness!”
The winner, to be announced on 4 July, will receive £6,500 and a commission to illustrate a new Folio Society edition of The Outsider.