Announcing the 2018 GTS Winners!

What an incredible field of talent! The level of mastery and beauty made the decision incredibly exciting yet super challenging. We are grateful to our impressive panel of VIP judges who narrowed down the field from 50 semi-finalists to six, from which we were then tasked with selecting a winner. We loved seeing the work for the final assignment, which was to illustrate a short section of one of three texts to create a double-page picture book spread.

After hours of discussion and deliberation here at the Studio, including reviewing the entire body of work of each artist, we are delighted to reveal the winner of our international search for our next artist, our Global Talent Search!

Based on mastery of work and originality of style, we are delighted to announce that the winner of our Global Talent Search, and next represented artist, is Kendra Binney! (Scroll down for more big news!)

Kendra Binney, Portland, Oregon

I’ve been following Kendra since we discovered her work in my Make Art That Sells courses four years ago where she stood out with her dreamy, magical style for a wall art assignment. While we know that she is capable of gorgeous imagery for things like home décor products, journal covers, fabric, and wall décor, we were delighted to see her brilliant ability to tell enchanting stories with unique characters in ethereal environments for the two GTS assignments. Her colors are addicting and her subject matter is fresh and enthralling. We are so eager to represent her, pitch her work, and see her stunning imagery show up on a vast array of beautiful things. Kendra, welcome to the Studio!

We are delighted to announce that Kendra will be flown out to our Annual Artists and VIP Retreat in Boston in September, plus win a host of prizes!

Final assignment


Semi-final assignment


Enjoy some of Kendra’s images we love:

Art directors, don’t hesitate to contact us to chat about Kendra for your next project. See more of her work here.

But there’s even more GIANT NEWS!

We were absolutely blown away by the work by ALL SIX of the Finalists! In previous years we’ve taken on two or three artists. But now, we asked ourselves, how could we eliminate any one of these fine artists? We know that we can get a great deal of top-notch work for each of these brilliant artists, and after Skyping each one, we saw a professionalism and high level of motivation that was undeniable. We knew that each of these artists brings something unique and fresh to our studio. Narrow the field? Impossible! We are crazy about all of the finalists. Therefore, we did something completely unprecedented, and with great delight, we are thrilled to announce that we are taking on all of the Finalists!

And now, in no particular order, please give a warm welcome to our newest represented artists:

Sarah Papworth, West Midlands, United Kingdom

I’ve been a huge fan of Sarah’s work for years, and watching her grow in my MATS courses has been so rewarding. We are crazy about her work and are impressed with her range. She is a watercolor master able to shift easily from luscious florals to dark and moody storytelling, all with charm. Her beautiful lettering work is key in getting a huge variety of projects. We can see getting her work in everything from magazine illustrations to home décor collections to bolt fabric to greeting cards and more.

Final assignment


Semi-final assignment

A few pieces of Sarah’s that we love:

See more of Sarah’s work here.

Åsa Gilland, Sweden/Indonesia

Everyone here absolutely loved Åsa’s wit on her the final assignment. We were saying things to each other like, “Did you see the glasses on that yak?” “The leash is an octopus!” She is an extraordinary talent, able to create characters with amusing personalities and unexpected twists. Here, for the children’s book text we provided about an odd pet, she reversed the expected and made the pet a little boy! There’s a reason she was both the People’s Choice and one of the judge’s top five. We are quite sure that she will be a busy children’s book illustrator and we are delighted to be a part of that.

Final assignment


Semi-final assignment

Here are some more of our favorites:

See more of her work here.

Julia Christians, The Harz Mountains, Germany

Zoë Tucker, my co-teacher in our Illustrating Children’s Books Course, and I loved what Julia did for the various assignments in class. She brought it. We were already fans, but the wit she displayed in her semi-final assignment just captivated us—the main character is so busy Instagramming that she misses out on the experience in front of her. Then, for her final assignment, she surprised us with warm characters in a lovely, richly-textured environment using an elegant color palette. We look forward to keeping her busy with books, from picture books to middle grade graphic novels, to adult covers.

Final assignment

Semi-final assignment

Here are a few more images that we love:

See more of Julia’s work here.

Jennifer Potter, San Francisco, California

Another class star, Jennifer Potter’s background in video and animation explains why she creates such dramatic cinematic scenes. Everyone loved her work for the Final assignment. We can totally see keeping her busy with children’s picture books as well as middle grade graphic novels and adult fiction book covers. Just for starters.

Final assignment


Semi-final assignment

We picked out a few of our favorites:

…and look at her sketchbook work! This opens up all kinds of possibilities for Jennifer to be commissioned for art instructional books, travel pieces for editorial, travel guides, and more. It’s fun to think about what awaits her.

See more of Jennifer’s work here.

Anke Rega, Berlin, Germany

I had the pleasure of speaking to Anke a while ago when she won a Skype call with me. She was motivated, charming, and determined to make a career of illustration. I am so impressed with how she stuck to her guns and kept working and evolving. When the GTS happened, the judges also saw her specialness. I knew her work was strong but I was blown away to see her children’s book spread and her graphic novel page for the GTS.

She brings an irresistible hipness to her work that we are excited to pitch—her cool people rendered in her signature cobalt blue and pink tones. We can envision her commissioned for a variety of editorial clients, from magazine work to story books, from graphic novels to portrait books to home décor collections.

Final assignment


Semi-final assignment

Here are a few of our favorites:

See more of Anke’s work here.

We feel so fortunate to be taking on all this abundant talent. Thanks so much for following along this magical competition! Art directors and editors, we’d love to know what you think. Feel free to reach out to Lilla or Susan.

1 Comment


    by Lilla Rogers
    August 17, 2018

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