Graduates Longlisted for World Illustration Awards

11 June 2024
Time to read
6 minute read
Maria-Teodora Dragomir (left) and Sammi Wong, both holding their arts degree show portfolios, smiling
Maria-Teodora Dragomir (left) and Sammi Wong

Two Graphic Design graduates from the University of Suffolk have been recognised for their exceptional work after being longlisted for distinguished international prizes at the 2024 World Illustration Awards.

Sammi Wong and Maria-Teodora Dragomir, who both graduated from the University’s BA (Hons) Graphic Design (Graphic Illustration) degree in 2023, received the news that they had been selected for the longlist following the judging of their work by a panel of independent industry experts.

Known as one of the most prestigious competitions in the industry, the World Illustration Awards are a showcase for the best work being created globally by both professionals and emerging talent.

They aim to celebrate the power and diversity of illustration being made today with a focus on connecting illustrators with their peers and the global illustration industry.

Sammi, who hails from Ipswich, has been longlisted for the New Talent Site Specific category for her work titled ‘Re-imagine Ipswich = Discover. Connect. Belong’.

A project close to Sammi’s heart, the aim was to use images to reinvigorate the town centre by improving the area’s identity and restoring a sense of belonging and pride in the local community.

Illustrations were created in the form of maps which when used as large-scale imagery across local buildings encourage residents to rediscover Ipswich.

Sammi said: “I had not expected for my design to make the longlist as I have seen from previous years how strong the submissions have been for the World Illustration Awards. I still can’t believe that out of 5,300 entries that I made the top 500! It has generated such a positive buzz and elevated my confidence as a designer and illustrator.

“This would have never happened without the magnificent assistance of my lecturers and support staff at the University, who continue to provide support and encouragement even after graduation.

"I required extra tuition as a mature student and there was always someone I could reach out to for help or advice. I couldn’t ask for a better environment in returning to study and I’m so thankful for everything I have achieved during my time on and after the Graphic Design and illustration course.”

Maria, who is based in Bucharest, has been selected for the longlist for the New Talent Book Covers category for her work created in the BBC Studio book cover industry brief for which she also received a commendation award.

Maria said: "I am absolutely thrilled to have been longlisted for the World Illustration Awards! It's an incredible validation of the hard work and dedication I've put into honing my craft over the years.

“My time at the University of Suffolk was nothing short of transformative. The support and guidance from my lecturers were instrumental in shaping me into the designer and illustrator I am today.

"Their unwavering encouragement helped me push my boundaries, refine my skills, and truly excel in my field. I'm immensely grateful for the wonderful experience I had at the University of Suffolk, and I'm excited to see where this recognition takes me on my creative journey."

Being featured on the longlist provides a platform for the graduates in promoting their work to a wider audience as they start out in their careers.

They will hear in July if they have successfully progressed to the shortlist with the overall winners being announced in September which would see their work distributed to commissioners worldwide.

Vassiliki Tzomaka, Course Leader for the University of Suffolk’s Graphic Design and Graphic Illustration courses, said: “We couldn’t be prouder of Sammi and Maria, being longlisted for these prestigious awards demonstrates that their exceptional talents are recognised at a global level. It is a significant success just one year after graduating.

“Our Graphic Design and Graphic Illustration courses aim to ensure that our students experience real-world opportunities in industry and our graduates' successes are testament to how far a degree from the University of Suffolk can take you.”

Final year Graphic Design and Graphic Illustration students will be exhibiting their work in the University of Suffolk Arts Degree Show on campus from June 20-28.

Find out more about the Arts Degree Show 2024 online here.

For more information on the World Illustration Awards, visit the website here.

Graphic Design graduate Sammi Wong
Sammi Wong
Sammi Wong's artwork on the side of an Ipswich building
A large scale visualisation of Sammi's art on the side of an Ipswich building
A photo of Maria-Teodora Dragomir holding her arts degree show portfolio
Maria-Teodora Dragomir
Maria-Teodora Dragomir's book cover created for the BBC Studio book cover professional competition
Maria's book cover for the BBC Studio book cover professional competition

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