Cambridge illustrator Jim wins World Award

Published: 30 May 2018 at 12:02

Jim Butler

Anglia Ruskin academic wins World Illustration Award for Blackrock Sequence

A Cambridge artist has won the professional book category in the 2018 World Illustration Awards.

Jim Butler, Course Leader for the MA in Illustration and Book Arts at Anglia Ruskin University, won the award for his illustrations to accompany series of poems in the book Blackrock Sequence.

This year’s World Illustration Awards attracted a record 3,300 entries from 75 countries. Jim’s work will be on display, along with work shortlisted for the different award categories at this year’s exhibition at Somerset House in London from 7-20 June

Jim, who was born in Dublin and now lives in the Romsey area of Cambridge, said: “This project came about when my brother David was commissioned by Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council to write a series of poems. 

“The poems explore the cultural, historic and ecological richness of a stretch of suburban Dublin coastline, and each one is based on a specific location. Although we discussed the poems, I had creative freedom in the development of imagery and design of the book.

“I made a number of trips to the locations in Dublin where I made collages and took rubbings of incidental typography from manhole covers, post-boxes and plaques. I started out by making screenprints of the collages I’d made on location. 

“Everything was printed by me here in the printroom at the Cambridge School of Art. The book is printed and bound by me in limited edition of 20 copies, available from my website.  The British Library and National Irish Visual Arts Library have already purchased copies.

“It’s obviously a huge honour to win a World Illustration Award and I’m absolutely delighted. I think it’s also a significant achievement for the MA Illustration & Book Arts course at Anglia Ruskin – the seminars and critiques around students’ work feed into my own creative practice, so this project would not have developed the way it did without the course.” 

Jim’s work is held in collections including The Tate, Museum Meermanno in The Hague and the Art Institute of Chicago, and has been exhibited around the world.  Examples of Jim’s work, including the book of poetry, are available at

The overall winner, judged from the various category winners, will be announced at the opening night of the World Illustration Awards exhibition on 7 June.