The 10th annual Sebastian Walker Award for Illustration has been awarded to Thea Lu, a graduate of the Cambridge School of Art.
Launched in 2011 in memory of Walker Books' founder, the award is run in collaboration with the MA course in children's book illustration at the Cambridge School of Art at Anglia Ruskin University. It is presented to the most promising graduate, whose MA project will be considered on a first option basis by Walker Books.
Having graduated from Tsinghua University, China, Lu spent several years working as a design consultant before completing her MA. Concept books, non-fiction books and interactive books are her favourite genres. She has been selected for several international awards previously, including the Golden Pinwheel Illustration awards, Poland Clairvoyants book competition and Bologna Children’s Spectator Exhibition. Daniela Sosa and Mariajo Ilustrajo were also shortlisted for the prize.
The award was presented at a private viewing of Anglia Ruskin’s Cambridge School of Art MA exhibition, which was held at the Candid Arts Trust Gallery in London on 7th September.
Besides picture books, Lu is also working as a children’s experience designer, creating entertainment and educational products for children.
Picture books art director Audrey Keri-Nagy and executive art director Ben Norland said: "This prize commemorates Sebastian Walker, and also remembers his unwavering support for illustration and illustrators and, as is the case every year, we were overwhelmed with an array of astonishingly talented graduates.
"The choice was hard! We loved Thea Lu's work for its strong and robust use of colour and texture, its inventive ways with composition and format, and for its humour and quirky individuality. The art is dramatic, and the words and pictures often hover between non-fiction and picture books in interesting ways. Thea is a great new talent and we are delighted that she was the chosen winner this year."