British illustrator Maisie Shearing has won the Bologna Children’s Book Fair award for young illustrators, beating more than 3,000 entrants to the title.
As winner of the Fundación SM International Award for Illustration, Shearing will receive prize money of $30,000 (£20,197) and a contract to illustrate a book for Spanish publisher SM Group, which will be displayed at the 2016 edition of the fair.
The judging panel, including Martin Salisbury, Professor of Illustration at Anglia Ruskin University, said it was “unanimous” in choosing Shearing as the winner.
The judges said in a statement: "We found in this illustrator all of the characteristics that, in our opinion, are necessary for the art of illustration: a balance of colour, the capacity to create credible living characters; narrative strength, thanks to which each image is a fragment of an evolving story with a 'before' and an 'after'; the depth of the illustration, a sign that goes beyond the superficial and transcends the mere act of drawing.”
The prize was launched in 2009 to support new illustrators under the age of 35.
Shearing, who was born in 1991, is a graduate of the Cambridge School of Art.