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Illustration and artwork

What makes a good entry for this category?

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder here, so predicting what judges might like is a tough one! It’s better instead to focus on what you like, or what you’ve been commissioned to create.

If you’ve pleased your editors and classmates (and you’re happy!), there’s a good chance you will please us. As a result, our guidelines here are fairly loose deliberately.

  • If you are creating a piece specifically for the magazine or newspaper (versus their reproducing something you’ve already done), it could be that your classmates have a specific shape or size of gap on the page you have to fill.
  • It’s not always convenient to be creative around a space, and other times limitations can inspire you (for instance by the gap being an ‘L’ shape, or a shallow, long shape).
  • A key thing to avoid is anyone squashing or stretching a scan of what you’ve done into a space that works for them, so address this from the outset.

Illustration which sits alongside a written piece

Hopefully you’ll have had a chance to read the piece – just a quick verbal brief is never really enough to completely get into the theme if the article and its conclusion.

  • Be sure the artwork or illustration you’re submitting is true to the brief from your editor or the author (as they may have very fixed ideas).
  • It’s worth saying that we understand it’s not always possible to create a masterpiece with a tricky theme, but this can be an opportunity.
  • If you have a smart take on a difficult topic, you’re doing well.
  • The key thing here is to impress your editor and to bring visual appeal to the piece of writing you’re illustrating.

Self-initiated work

Illustration or artwork that is entirely self-initiated, or the product of a school art class that was particularly liked by teachers or your contemporaries could well be featured simply because of its high quality. Here there are precious few rules we would propose, other than that the piece is created to the best of your abilities and is visually striking.

  • Not every piece of illustration or artwork is going to be appealing to everyone: some of the best art even shocks or surprises us as viewers.
  • Equally, not every piece of art is going to be shocking – it’s just that if you tried to please every potential audience, you could end up with something very boring indeed.
  • This category accepts and indeed embraces that ‘artwork’ may come in many forms.
  • It’s worth mentioning that Shine has an entirely separate award for Best Photograph as well as Best Cartoon. If you’re unclear which area you’re working with, check with your teachers.

Check where your art is ending up

If there are special requirements for your piece, know this up front.

  • If you are creating a piece specifically for the magazine or newspaper (versus their reproducing something you’ve already done), it could be that your classmates have a specific shape or size of gap on the page you have to fill.
  • It’s not always convenient to be creative around a space, and other times limitations can inspire you (for instance by the gap being an ‘L’ shape, or a shallow, long shape).
  • A key thing to avoid is anyone squashing or stretching a scan of what you’ve done into a space that works for them, so address this from the outset.

Reproduction of your art

Take ownership of how your artwork is reproduced!

You could have completed the most fantastic piece of art, but if it’s scanned poorly or the digital file is at too low a resolution to print your opportunity to win this award could be jeopardised.

  • Typically the file should be at least 300dpi at 100% or more. This is a good general guide.
  • Our advice is to ensure your artwork is scanned or provided to your team producing the publication at the best possible resolution, ideally bigger than they need it.
  • Then before printing, ask to see a proof of the finished page.

Latest Tweets

Shine School Media Awards @shinemediawards - Mar 19
The Shine 2019 deadline is getting nearer. Our Chair Alison Strachan introduces the awards for new teachers and students and sends a reminder to old friends – it's time to get your entries in! >>> https://t.co/aYa4wrlTkt #UKEdChat @AQA https://t.co/Rxdlz9EgDg

Shine School Media Awards @shinemediawards - Mar 19
We really enjoyed this piece about how digital platform @BuzzFeed discovered the joy of print... https://t.co/Pb4tl4wUKa

Shine School Media Awards @shinemediawards - Mar 19
All Shine entries will be judged for our Best Magazine, Best Newspaper and Best Online (as relevant) prizes. So: has your school produced a fantastic example of one of these as a project or as coursework? Shine is FREE and our entry form is here: https://t.co/Nt7opCarBP #UKEdChat https://t.co/bYhjz6hCRO