Monday 13 February 2017

Rachel Stubbs wins the Sebastian Walker Award for Illustration

On Thursday we were thrilled to announce Rachel Stubbs as the winner of this year’s Sebastian Walker Award for Illustration! The ceremony in London was a lively occasion and Rachel was delighted to receive her £500 prize, which came as a complete surprise to her.

Rachel, who has a BA in illustration from Falmouth and an MA from the Cambridge School of Art, was chosen as the winner because of the “grace of her line, her keen sense of composition and the simple elegant stories that we saw in her portfolio”, said our picture book publisher Deirdre McDermott.

”Every year I look forward to seeing the contents of the portfolios we judge for this prize – it’s incredibly exciting for Walker to be at the forefront of discovering brand new illustration talent in the UK and to be a part of the grassroots support for the artists just starting in the industry,” said McDermott. “Picture books continue to be vital in the formative days of our children’s lives and it’s a great honour to continue to build on the strong tradition for quality publishing from Walker with new talent.”

She added: “Rachel makes equally strong use of the space around her art – great illustration is as much about what you leave out as what you put into the picture. We also particularly admired Rachel’s limited palette and her use of hand drawn typography.”

We set up the Sebastian Walker Award for Illustration six years ago, in partnership with Anglia Ruskin’s Cambridge School of Art and their MA course in Children’s Book Illustration, to honour our founder Sebastian Walker. Previous winners include Heidi Deedman, Becky Palmer and Simona Ciraolo. You can read all about the award here.

Check out Rachel Stubbs’ illustrations on her website: and see artwork by the other entries on the Cambridge MA website:

Look out for a special feature on The Guardian’s online gallery next Wednesday featuring a selection of the artwork from the show, including work by Rachel Stubbs!