Tag Archive | Illustration

Announcing the Winners of the 37th annual National Magazine Awards!

The National Magazine Awards Foundation (NMAF) is pleased to announce the winners of the 37th annual National Magazine Awards.

At this year’s gala on June 6, presented by CDS Global and hosted by humourist (and award-winner) Scott Feschuk, the NMAF presented Gold and Silver awards in 47 categories representing the best in Canadian magazines from the year 2013.

Complete list (PDF) of all winners
Full-text of all nominated and winning articles
Twitter highlights
La version française


Magazine of the Year
Sponsored by RBC Royal Bank
Cottage Life

Magazine Website of the Year

Tablet Magazine of the Year

Best New Magazine Writer
Sponsored by Reader’s Digest Foundation
Catherine McIntyre

Foundation Award for Outstanding Achievement
Kim Jernigan

Top Winning Magazines at the 37th National Magazine Awards:

Magazine Gold Silver HM
The Walrus 7 6 22
Maclean’s 4 1 13
Maisonneuve 4 1 9
L’actualité 3 2 18
Report on Business 3 2 16
Cottage Life 3 1 9
Eighteen Bridges 3 1 7
Legion Magazine 2 0 1
Western Living 1 3 4
Sportsnet 1 2 7
The Grid 1 1 12
Hazlitt 1 1 8
Flare 1 1 2
United Church Observer 1 1 2
enRoute 1 1 1
Malahat Review 1 1 1
Torontoist 1 1 1
Toronto Life 0 2 16
Jobboom 0 2 0

See the complete list of winners at magazine-awards.com.


Best Single Issue
Tenth Anniversary Issue
The Walrus

Magazine Covers
Larry Fink
Report on Business

How Much Does a Street Cost?
The Grid

Editorial Package (Web)
Canada’s Best New Restaurants

Online Video
Boy Genius

Single Service Article Package
Calendrier de l’avent

Words & Pictures
Sponsored by CDS Global
The Walrus


Arts & Entertainment
Curtis Gillespie
Rebel Without Applause
Eighteen Bridges

Best Short Feature
Paul Wells
Boy Genius

Jamie Bradburn, Kevin Plummer, David Wencer

Sponsored by Accenture
Charles Wilkins
This Little Piggy Went to Market…and the Farmer Lost Money
Report on Business

Sponsored by Impresa Communications Ltd.
Chantal Hébert

Editorial Package (Print)
Sponsored by Canadian Society of Magazine Editors
Marine Corniou, Dominique Forget, Joel Leblanc, Raymond Lemieux, Chantal Srivastava
Août 2013
Québec Science

Curtis Gillespie
In The Chair
Eighteen Bridges

Jess Taylor
Little Brother Magazine

Health & Medicine
Ann Silversides
First Do No Harm

Jane Rodmell, David Zimmer
Best Flavour Ever
Cottage Life

Scott Feschuk
Assemble ingredients. Pause dramatically.

Investigative Reporting
Adam Day
One Martyr Down
Legion Magazine

One of a Kind
Craig Davidson
The Marineland Dreamland
The Walrus

Personal Journalism
Liz Windhorst Harmer
Malahat Review

Karen Solie

Politics & Public Interest
Lisa Fitterman
The Avenger
The Walrus

Omar Mouallem
The Kingdom of Haymour
Eighteen Bridges

Science, Technology & Environment
Sponsored by GE Canada
Alanna Mitchell
Losing the Hooded Grebe
United Church Observer 

Service: Health & Family
Sharon Adams
Lest We Forget: The Shocking Crisis Facing Our Wounded Veterans
Legion Magazine

Service: Lifestyle
Valérie Borde
Vive le poisson éco!

Service: Personal Finance & Business
Sponsored by Manulife Financial
Denny Manchee
The Hand-Me-Down Blues
Cottage Life

Dan Werb
The Fix
The Walrus

Sports & Recreation
Jonathan Trudel
La machine à broyer les rêves

Taras Grescoe
Big Mac
The Walrus



Art Direction of an Entire Issue
Sponsored by The Lowe-Martin Group
Paul Sych
Issue 1
fshnunlimited (f.u.)

Art Direction of a Single Article
Underline Studio
Not in the Age of the Pharaohs
Prefix Photo

John Van Der Schilden, Photographer
Brittany Eccles, Art Director
Juliana Schiavinatto, Stylist
Vanessa Craft, Beauty Director
Masterpiece Theatre
ELLE Canada

Creative Photography
Paul Weeks
Wall Candy

Petra Collins, Photographer
Jed Tallo, Art Director
Corey Ng, Stylist
Pastels Take Shape

Homes & Gardens
Martin Tessler, Photographer
Paul Roelofs, Art Director
Nicole Sjöstedt, Stylist
Bright Idea
Western Living

Selena Wong
Old Wounds

Magazine Website Design
The Walrus

Photojournalism & Photo Essay
Sponsored by CNW Group
Brett Gundlock
El Pueblo

Portrait Photography
Anya Chibis
Larry Fink
Report on Business

Spot Illustration
Gracia Lam
The Elite Yellow Peril

Still-Life Photography
Liam Mogan
Set Pieces


More than 500 members of the Canadian magazine industry—publishers, editors, art directors, writers, photographers, illustrators, circulators and more—joined esteemed sponsors and other guests at the 37th annual National Magazine Awards gala on June 6, 2014, at The Carlu in Toronto, presented by CDS Global.

This year, from nearly 2000 individual entries received nationwide, the NMAF’s 238 volunteer judges nominated a total of 376 submissions from 92 different Canadian magazines for awards in 47 written, visual, integrated and special categories.


The National Magazine Awards Foundation acknowledges the financial support of the Ontario Arts Council, an agency of the Government of Ontario, as well as the Ontario Media Development Corporation.

The NMAF thanks its corporate sponsors Accenture, GE Canada, Manulife Financial, RBC Royal Bank, The Lowe-Martin Group, Canadian Society of Magazine Editors, Penguin Random House and Reader’s Digest Foundation for their generous financial support of the National Magazine Awards.

The NMAF thanks its media partners Cottage Life Media, Impresa Communications Ltd., Masthead, Rogers Media, TC Media and Toronto Life for their generous support of the National Magazine Awards.

The NMAF thanks its event partners CNW Group and Media Vantage, The CarluDaniel et Daniel, Relay Experience, KlixPix and Michèle Champagne for their generous support of the National Magazine Awards.

The NMAF gratefully acknowledges all its suppliers and its contributors who donated gifts in kind to support the awards program. We thank them for their generosity, interest and expertise. Thanks also to our hard-working event volunteers.

And thanks again to our wonderful Master of Ceremonies, Scott Feschuk.


The National Magazine Awards Foundation is a bilingual, not-for-profit institution whose mission is to recognize and promote excellence in the content and creation of Canadian print and digital publications through an annual program of awards and national publicity efforts.

For more information, visit magazine-awards.com and follow us on Twitter (@MagAwards).



How Did They Create That Cover? subTerrain

The finalists for the 37th annual National Magazine Awards have been announced — including ten nominations in the Magazine Covers category.

In a new blog series titled How Did They Create That Cover? the NMAF chats with the creative directors of the Magazine Covers finalists about how their covers were made. It’s a behind-the-scenes look at things we may or may not think about when we pick up a magazine and devour its pages.

Today we chat with illustrator Marlena Zuber, creator of this nominated cover from subTerrain:


NMAF: Can you tell us a bit about your style of illustration, and how you came to be an illustrator?

Marlena: I was privileged to attend Etobicoke School of the Arts for my High School years. My major was Visual Arts and my minor was dance. Then I was off to OCAD. I had to decide if I wanted take the Fine Art or the Commercial route. I had been working at a children’s book and toy store and fell in love with the storybook section. Often when I got my pay cheque I would buy a favourite book based on the illustrations. I still have those books and have a little one that I can share them with now. That’s been pretty nice.

Those illustrators inspired me and I thought, I want to do something like that. I will also admit that I was typically afraid of being that mythical or perhaps not-so mythical “starving artist” if I went into the drawing and painting programs (the common sheepish story of the illustrator). Illustration was a viable choice. And so I studied illustration and I actually liked it. I liked the challenge of editorial work, coming up with a concept and working with text. I graduated, had offers from agents and dove straight into the world of mainly editorial illustration.

My style is something that’s evolved over the years and continues to evolve. One thing that seems to be a constant is my use of ink or fine pens. My work is also more drawing than painting. I’ve always loved playing with texture and pattern. My sketchbook of hidden art sometimes also inspires my illustration style. I like when things look immediate, slightly messy, and slightly unfinished. If a concept allows, I will draw people in group formations. I am interested in what we do in groups: dancing, sports, entertaining, recreation, etc. Oh yeah, and I have been influenced by artists and illustrators like Edward Gorey, Henrik Drescher, Frida Kahlo, Leanne Shapton and David Shrigley.

NMAF: There are a lot of small scenes happening on the cover. What are some of these groups of people meant to depict?

Marlena: Every group is sitting round a fire, like a campfire. One group is roasting marshmallows, another group is dancing, another one is in group therapy, another are telling Mexican ghost stories, and another group is making out or about to make out. All of them seem to be in the desert, which seemed like a perfect weird hot place. The theme for this issue was Heat. I was influenced by two main things: my love for campfires and photos of Burning Man Festival that I found on the Internet. The groups are like the stories inside the issue. The theme of heat is explored in a range of sexy, philosophical, scientific and magical ways.

NMAF: How were the colours chosen and why?

Marlena: I went heavy on all shades of red due to the theme of Heat. I used blue as a compliment. I also generally like using this palette.

NMAF: What were some of your challenges and concerns during the making of this cover?

Marlena: Brian Kaufman, the editor-in-chief, asked me to incorporate titles of some of the stories in the issue with the campfire groups. It was a fantastic idea and he suggested that I try incorporating the text in the smoke of the fires rising above each group. It simply didn’t look good. It took me awhile to problem solve. In the end I placed them almost like little playful 3D characters near or around the fires. That seemed to work.

NMAF: What did you use to create this cover? Can you explain the process?

Marlena: I work in a traditional way: pen and ink on sometimes fancy, sometimes not-too-fancy paper. That’s exactly what happened on the cover. I did use Photoshop to clean it up and piece a few things together.

This interview was edited for content. Special thanks to Nadya Domingo for conducting the interview.


More ‘How Did They Create That Cover?’Fashion MagazineToronto LifeBC BusinessWestern Living, Report on Business

Check out the finalists for best Magazine Cover on our Facebook page. Share your feedback with us on Twitter: @MagAwards | #NMA14 | #MagazineCovers.

The Gold and Silver winners will be revealed on June 6 at the National Magazine Awards gala. [TICKETS]

Top 10 Canadian Magazine Illustrations

The 37th annual National Magazine Awards are 3 weeks away. The nominations have been announced, and the Canadian magazine industry is getting ready for the annual awards gala on June 6. [TICKETS]

This year the jury has selected from magazines across Canada 10 finalists for the award for Illustration. Gold and Silver winners will be announced on June 6.

Which do you think is best? Leave a comment or tell us on Twitter: @MagAwards | #NMA14 | #Illustration

From Cottage Life. Illustration by Byron Eggenschwiler.

From Cottage Life. Illustration by Byron Eggenschwiler.

From Taddle Creek. Illustration by Ethan Rilly.

From Taddle Creek. Illustration by Ethan Rilly.

From U of T Magazine. Illustration by Michael Cho.

From U of T Magazine. Illustration by Michael Cho.

From Maisonneuve. Illustration by Selena Wong.

From Maisonneuve. Illustration by Selena Wong.

From The Walrus. Illustration by Jillian Tamaki.

From The Walrus. Illustration by Jillian Tamaki.

From The Feathertale Review. Illustration by Alex Gorodskoy.

From The Feathertale Review. Illustration by Alex Gorodskoy.

From Global Brief. Illustration by Gary Taxali.

From Global Brief. Illustration by Gary Taxali.

From Global Brief. Illustration by Christian Northeast.

From Global Brief. Illustration by Christian Northeast.

From Reader's Digest. Illustration by Sébastien Thibault.

From Reader’s Digest. Illustration by Sébastien Thibault.

From Spacing. Illustration by Mathew Borrett.

From Spacing. Illustration by Mathew Borrett.

Check out all the finalists for Illustration on our Facebook page. Which do you think is best? Leave a comment or tell us on Twitter: @MagAwards | #NMA14 | #Illustration

See also:
Top 9 Infographics in Canadian Magazines
Top 6 Canadian Magazines for Art Direction
How Did They Create That Cover?

Top Magazine Videos in Canada

A Sneak Peek at the 37th National Magazine Awards Creative

The 37th annual National Magazine Awards are June 6 at the Carlu in Toronto. For this year’s awards, designer Michèle Champagne took up the challenge to create the centrepiece image for the celebration of Canadian magazines in 2014.

She calls it “The Circus File.”

“Magazine publishing is a measure of the moment,” Michèle said. “Today, stacks bear witness to public conversations from the early 21st century, where the market and the internet converge to form a circus of new ideas, energy, and instability. The design for the 37th National Magazine Awards is inspired by this circus, one where a new kind of performer juggles timeless storytelling with craft and technology across media. Magazines are, beyond all, a tribute to the ‘now’ in all its discomfort, courage and glory.”

Come see the Circus File in all its splendor at the 37th NMA gala on June 6. Tickets.

For more information about Michèle Champagne–who is also nominated for 2 National Magazine Awards this year, for Fashion and for Art Direction–visit michelechampagne.com.

See also: Previous Illustrations for the National Magazine Awards


Off the Page, avec Isabelle Arsenault

La série Off the Page paraîtra périodiquement dans notre blogue. Cette semaine, nous découvrons quoi de neuf avec l’illustratrice Isabelle Arsenault, lauréate de 2 Prix du magazine canadien et de 2 Prix littéraires du Gouverneur général.

FNPMC: Nous vous félicitons de gagner récemment votre deuxième Prix littéraire du Gouverneur général (illustrations, jeunesse, français). Votre livre, Jane, le renard et moi, écrit par Fanny Britt, raconte l’histoire d’Hélène, une jeune fille qui fait l’objet d’intimidation par ses condisciples, se sent inférieure et dont le seul plaisir est de lire Jane Eyre. En quoi cette histoire a-t-elle une résonance chez vous, et comment avez-vous créé l’image d’Hélène?

Isabelle : Le personnage d’Hélène est une jeune fille discrète qui se retrouve sans amies à un âge où l’appartenance à un groupe prend de l’importance.  Sans avoir été moi-même victime d’intimidation, je me suis inspirée de souvenirs de ma propre jeunesse, de scènes dont j’ai été témoin et d’impressions que ces souvenirs m’ont laissé.

J’ai décidé de représenter Hélène comme étant une fille sans style particulier, plutôt neutre et effacée à laquelle le lecteur puisse facilement s’identifier.

FNPMC : Plus tôt l’année 2013, vous avez remporté un Prix du magazine canadien, votre deuxième, pour une série d’illustrations dans Québec Science, dans le cadre d’un article intitulé « Organes recherchés ». Quel processus créatif utilisez-vous lorsque vous illustrez un article de magazine? Puisez-vous votre inspiration exclusivement du texte, ou d’autres sources?

"Organes recherchés," illustration par Isabelle Arsenault, Québec Science

“Organes recherchés,” illustration par Isabelle Arsenault, Québec Science

Isabelle Arsenault (photo: Martine Boisvert)

Isabelle Arsenault (photo: Martine Boisvert)

Isabelle : Je puise mon inspiration dans une variété de sources; livres, magazines, internet, nature, etc.  J’aime bien lire le texte à illustrer plusieurs fois afin de bien m’en imprégner, pour ensuite faire quelque chose de complètement différent comme prendre une marche, faire du ménage, une sieste, du yoga.

Ça m’aide à m’aérer l’esprit et à laisser entrer les idées.

FNPMC : De quelle façon le fait de remporter un Prix du magazine canadien, ou un Prix du Gouverneur général, comme vous l’avez fait l’année dernière pour Virginia Wolf, a-t-il contribué à l’avancement de votre carrière en illustration, ou a-t-il été une source d’inspiration pour cette carrière?

Isabelle : Les prix sont une forme de reconnaissance qu’il est toujours apprécié de recevoir.  Pour ma part, je travaille de façon plutôt solitaire et ce, particulièrement lorsque je planche sur un projet de livre.  Recevoir ce genre d’honneurs me donne l’impression d’aller dans la bonne direction et m’encourage à continuer, à me dépasser, en plus d’être une belle carte de visite.

"Une brebis egaree moi?" Finaliste pour un Prix du magazine canadien, 2009

“Une brebis égarée moi?” (L’actualité) Illustration par Isabelle Arsenault – finaliste pour un Prix du magazine canadien, 2009

Isabelle Arsenault est une illustratrice canadienne lauréate dont le travail a été publié dans Québec Science, L’actualité, Explore et d’autres magazines, ainsi que dans 10 livres. Son livre le plus récent est Once Upon a Northern Night, une méditation poétique sur l’hiver. Découvrir plus au isabellearsenault.com.

Plus Off the Page
Inscriptions pour les 2013 Prix du magazine canadien (date limite 15 janvier)

NMA laureates vie for Governor General’s Awards

Canadian book award season continues today with the presentation of the Governor General’s Literary Awards, better known as the GGs, in Ottawa, and several former National Magazine Award winners are among the finalists.

This most comprehensive of literary awards programs honours excellence in book-length fiction, poetry, non-fiction, drama, children’s text, children’s illustration and translation, with awards for both English- and French-language entries.

In the Fiction (English) category, the finalists include former National Magazine Award winner Shyam Selvadurai, for his novel The Hungry Ghosts. Mr. Selvadurai won NMA gold for fiction in 2006, for “The Demonness Kali” published in Toronto Life.

Former NMA finalist Kenneth Bonnert is also up for a GG in fiction, for The Lion Seeker. The rest of the GG shortlist includes Eleanor Catton, Joseph Boyden and Colin McAdam.

In the Children’s Illustration (French) category, two-time National Magazine Award winner Isabelle Arsenault is among the finalists, for Jane, le Renard et moi. Ms. Arsenault won a National Magazine Award earlier this year for her work in Quebec Science magazine.

In the Poetry (English) category, the shortlist includes two-time National Magazine Award finalist Don Domanski, for his collection Bite Down Little Whisper. Mr. Domanski’s most recent National Magazine Award nomination came in 2009, for the poem “Radiance and Counterpoint” published in Grain.

Read up on all the GG finalists here. For each category, a jury, comprised of fellow authors, translators and illustrators, makes the final selection. Each GG winner receives $25,000 and a specially-bound copy of their winning book. Non-winning finalists each receive $1,000. The publisher of each winning book receives $3,000 to help promote the book. The total annual value of the GGs is close to $450,000.

Leif Parsons exhibits opening this week

Canadian illustrator Leif Parsons, a three-time National Magazine Award winner for his work in The Walrus as well as the creator of the cover art for the 35th anniversary National Magazine Awards gala, has an exhibit of his work opening  this Saturday, September 14, at the Buffalo Arts Studio, with a reception starting at 7pm.

Titled “Leif Low Beer: First Conference of the International Network of Personal Relationships (INPR),” Leif’s exhibit is an “installation of individual sculptures that interact with low-hanging two-dimensional mixed media works to produce a singular integrated composition.” The exhibit runs through November 9 if you find yourself in the Buffalo area.

And Leif’s work will also be part of a group show in Brooklyn starting Friday September 13 and running through October 6 at the Greenpoint Terminal Gallery.

Meet the NMA Finalists for Words & Pictures

The National Magazine Award for Words & Pictures goes to the best example of a magazine article whose impact lies in the successful integration of text and visuals as inseparable elements, reflecting collaboration between writers, editors, visual artists and art directors. The Gold and Silver winners will be revealed at the 36th NMA Gala on June 7.

Here are this year’s nominees…

"On Thin Ice" (Canada's History)

“On Thin Ice” (Canada’s History) – Text and illustrations by Aislin, art direction by Michel Groleau, edited by Mark Reid

"Play it Again, Sam" (Cottage Life)

“Play it Again, Sam” (Cottage Life) – Text by Jay Teitel, photography by Derek Shapton, art direction by Kim Zagar, edited by Blair Eveleigh

"Avons-nous un devoir envers eux?" (ELLE Quebec)

“Avons-nous un devoir envers eux?” (ELLE Québec) – Text by Dominique Forget, photography by Tim Flach, art direction by Nancy Pavan, edited by Louise Dugas

"For Love of Country" (enRoute)

“For Love of Country” (enRoute) – Text by Jean-François Légaré, photography by Leda & St. Jacques, art direction by Nathalie Cusson, photo editing by Julien Beaupré Ste-Marie, edited by Philippe Gohier

"5 Star Tribute" (More)

“5 Star Tribute” (More) – Text by Kim Pittaway, art direction by Faith Cochran, edited by Linda Lewis and Sarah Moore, with contributions from Shelley Frayer.

"We Built That" - Report on Business

“We Built That” (Report on Business) – Text by John Daly, photography by Cindy Blazevic, art direction by Domenic Macri, edited by John Daly

"The Six Habits of Highly Successful Art Collectors" (Report on Business)

“The Six Habits of Highly Successful Art Collectors” (Report on Business) – Text by Sara Angel, photography by Markian Lozowchuk, art direction by Domenic Macri, edited by Dave Morris and David Fielding

"Ringmasters" (The Walrus)

“Ringmasters” (The Walrus) – Text by Sean Michaels, photography by Roger LeMoyne, art direction by Brian Morgan, edited by Sasha Chapman.

"Oh, for Just One Time..." (Up Here)

“Oh, for Just One Time…” (Up Here) – Text by Margo Pfeif; photography by Lee Narraway, Eric McNair-Landry, and Sarah McNair-Landry; art direction by John Pekelsky; edited by Aaron Spitzer

Congratulations to all the nominees in Words & Pictures. The Gold and Silver winners will be revealed at the 36th annual National Magazine Awards gala on June 7 at The Carlu in Toronto. [INFO & TICKETS]

Meet the NMA Finalists for:
Art Direction for an Entire Issue
Photojournalism & Photo Essay
Best New Magazine Writer
Magazine Covers
Online Video
Portrait Photography
Magazine Website of the Year
Best Single Issue
Tablet Magazine of the Year

Meet the NMA Finalists for Illustration

The National Magazine Awards Foundation proudly celebrates the artists whose masterful illustrative work enhances the context and impact of magazine stories. This year there are 8 finalists in the category Illustration. Gold and Silver awards will be presented at the 36th NMA Gala on June 7.

And the nominees are…

"Diversity Report," Illustration by Gracia Lam, Corporate Knights

“Diversity Report,” Illustration by Gracia Lam, Corporate Knights

"Marques utiles," par Benoit Tardif, Infopresse

“Marques utiles,” par Benoit Tardif, Infopresse

"La diplomatie de l'or noir," par Sébastien Thibault, L'actualité

“La diplomatie de l’or noir,” par Sébastien Thibault, L’actualité

"Organes recherchés," par Isabelle Arsenault, Québec Science

“Organes recherchés,” par Isabelle Arsenault, Québec Science

"Cool Parents," by Ethan Rilly, Taddle Creek

“Cool Parents,” by Ethan Rilly, Taddle Creek

"War Games," by Barry Blitt, The Walrus

“War Games,” by Barry Blitt, The Walrus

"Apocalypse Soon," by Sam Weber, The Walrus

“Apocalypse Soon,” by Sam Weber, The Walrus

"The Writer," by Gracia Lam, Write Magazine

“The Writer,” by Gracia Lam, Write Magazine

Congratulations to all the nominees in Illustration. The Gold and Silver winners will be revealed at the 36th annual National Magazine Awards gala on June 7 at The Carlu in Toronto. [INFO & TICKETS]

Meet the NMA Finalists for:
Art Direction for an Entire Issue
Photojournalism & Photo Essay
Best New Magazine Writer

Great Books for the Holidays, all by NMA Winners

“Monkey Ranch” by Julie Bruck won the 2012 Governor General’s Literary Award for Poetry

While stuffing stockings and gift baskets with magazine subscriptions (Buy 2, Get 1 Free!; don’t forget Maisonneuve, Canada’s magazine of the year) may be your first priority this holiday season, we present our second annual holiday book guide to tempt you with yet more literary treats. (And perhaps our first annual guide may still be of interest.)

All of these books are by National Magazine Award finalists and winners.






Did we miss any 2012 books by NMA winners? Drop a comment or tweet at us.

Related posts:
Booking up for Winter: Great Reads by NMA Winners
National Magazine Awards > Books

Spotlight: The National Magazine Award for Best New Visual Creator

Photographer Jake Rosenberg accepts the award for Best New Visual Creator at the 35th National Magazine Awards gala.

Photographer Jake Rosenberg accepts the award for Best New Visual Creator at the 35th National Magazine Awards gala.

The award for Best New Visual Creator is one of our special awards, which recognizes excellence in illustration, photography or digital image creation by a young Canadian artist in a Canadian magazine. [Version française ici]

Submissions in this category are open to students as well as young magazine artists whose early work in Canadian magazines shows the highest degree of craft and promise.

The competition is open to work published during 2012 in either print or digital Canadian magazines, including online magazines and tablet editions. Individuals may enter their own work (see the full requirements here), but editors, art directors and teachers are encouraged to nominate the talented young artists they’ve worked with, even discovered.


  • Entry Fee: $25
  • Deadline: January 16, 2013
  • Requirements: Tear sheets plus a letter of recommendation
  • Finalists: A shortlist of 3 finalists will be announced May 1, 2013
  • Winners: The winner will be revealed at the NMA Gala on June 7, 2013
  • Prize: The winner receives a cash prize of $500, a certificate, industry recognition on stage, and promotion of their work in various NMAF publications; the other two finalists will receive Honourable Mention, a certificate, various publicity, and their work will appear in the NMA archives.
  • More information: Visit our website for complete submissions and award details.
  • To Submit: Click here to register online.

Last year’s three finalists included a photographer, a digital illustrator, and a visual-arts collective. The winner was The Coveteur, for their curation called “Strictly Top Shelf” in Report on Business magazine (below).

Read our interview with The Coveteur about their National Magazine Award and their visual creations.

Byron Eggenschwiler created this image for the cover of the 33rd NMA Program.

Byron Eggenschwiler created this image for the cover of the 33rd NMA Program.

The inaugural winner of this award in 2009 was illustrator Byron Eggenschwiler, now a multiple National Magazine Award winner who also designed the creative for the 33rd National Magazine Awards. Byron was a double winner at the 2011 National Magazine Awards, with a Gold in Spot Illustration and a Silver in Illustration.

Read more about Best New Visual Creator and the National Magazine Awards.

The submissions deadline is January 16, 2013.

[Click here to Submit] [Version française]

Related Post: Off the Page, with The Coveteur

NMA Winner Michael Harrington opens exhibit in Toronto

“Red House” by Michael Harrington.

Starting this Friday, November 2 the Katharine Mulherin Contemporary Art Gallery in Toronto’s Queen West district will be exhibiting a retrospective of work by Michael Harrington, a local artist and illustrator who won a 2006 National Magazine Award for illustration in Toro magazine.

The gallery is open Thursday to Saturday, 12-6pm, and Sundays from 1-5pm, and the Michael Harrington exhibit is on display until November 25.

From the gallery’s announcement of the exhibit:

Michael Harrington’s practice has focused on the depiction of the human form, occupying incomplete and ambiguous narratives. These scenarios aim to provoke an empathetic response from viewers. Harrington’s paintings employ traditional representational devices that he applies to a broad range of subject matter including cinema, theatre, literature, music, family folklore, and personal memory and experience.

Most recently his work considers the male figure in society. These men are positioned in the transient interiors and exteriors of the working world; hotel rooms, lobbies, boardrooms and barrooms. Also considered are the contemporary images of vacation sites; recreational vehicles, and the motels of south Florida.

“Brown Sofa” by Michael Harrington

“Forest People” by Michael Harrington

“Rehearsal” by Michael Harrington

More information here.

Off the Page, with Selena Wong

Off the Page is an exclusive series produced by the NMAF that reaches out to former National Magazine Award winners to find out what their awards have meant to them and what they’re up to now. Off the Page will appear each Thursday on the Magazine Awards blog during the fall of 2012. This week we catch up with National Magazine Award-winning illustrator Selena Wong.

NMAFBack in 2009 you graduated from the Ontario College of Art & Design and your work appeared in, among other places, The Walrus and was later nominated for a National Magazine Award. How did you get started illustrating for magazines, and how did your work grab the attention of The Walrus?

Selena Wong. (Photo by Eugenia Wong.)

Selena Wong: The first illustration that started it all was a piece done for PlanSponsor magazine with Art Director SooJin Buzelli. I had a chance to meet SooJin during a semester of study at the Rhode Island School of Design through OCAD’s mobility/exchange program.

As for The Walrus, I applied for an art internship with the magazine in 2009, and through the interview process I met the art director Brian Morgan and the senior designer Paul Kim. Since I majored in illustration at the Ontario Collage of Art & Design, the portfolio I brought with me was full of illustrations from my fourth-year thesis.

I had no samples of any graphic design/layout work so I wasn’t an ideal candidate at the time, but was later so fortunately offered to do an editorial illustration for the magazine.

“The True Sorrows of Calamity Jane” (The Walrus; July/August 2009); Illustration by Selena Wong

NMAFAt this year’s National Magazine Awards gala you won the Gold award for illustration (“Meet You at the Door”). This piece seems exemplary of much of your body of work: fantastical, dream-like, full of wonder.  In composing a piece like this, to what extent does the text or the author or the art director guide you, and to what extent are you guided by your own style and instinct?

Selena Wong: I really enjoyed illustrating Lawrence Hill’s story and not to mention had a blast at the NMA gala. For this particular project, I worked with Paul Kim, the senior designer at The Walrus, who introduced Hill’s story accompanied by a few proposed key imageries.

With Paul’s suggestions in mind, I highlighted words and phrases that I thought represented the climax of the story after reading it through several times. From that point on, I created two or three sketches based on those highlighted moments I had set aside.  I then sent the sketches to Paul while secretly hoping that he would pick the sketch I yearned most to develop.

Luckily, what Paul thought worked best for the story and the audience of The Walrus was a piece that was meant to capture the most dreamy atmosphere of one specific setting. It was a description of the beautiful starry sky that tried to divert the gaze from the most important job in life in the vast Canadian Prairies.

The approach I used for this illustration is one that I learned and exercised throughout my training in illustration at OCAD. I appropriate the same practice to all of my work. Through illustrating, I aim to determine the part in a piece of writing where the author opens up to the reader. Sometimes this moment is not the most meaningful and significant one, yet it captures the essence of the story. I believe that it enables me to involve and evoke the deeper emotions in the audience.

“Meet You at the Door” (The Walrus; Jan/Feb 2011); Illustration by Selena Wong

NMAFWhat impact does winning a National Magazine Award have on a young artist, professionally or personally?

Selena Wong: As a young artist, it is a great honour to be recognized nationally, which in turn provides many assurances of support for my career. I was thrilled to be nominated for a National Magazine Award in 2009 even though I only received a honourable mention. That is why I was very surprised to learn that I was given a rare second chance and nominated for a NMA a second time with The Walrus!

Even with greater astonishment, this time I was called up on stage to receive the Gold award. An award not only provides charming publicity but it raises the standards in my work and, therefore, produces a wonderful opportunity to surpass my previous accomplishments.

Selena Wong is a National Magazine Award-winning illustrator and graduate of the Ontario College of Art & Design. Her exhibit “Black Math” is on at the Steam Whistle Brewery in Toronto until the end of October. You can view her work at selenawong.com and selenawong.blogspot.ca.

8 former NMA Winners land on GG Awards shortlists

The shortlists for the 2012 Governor General’s Literary Awards–with categories in both English and French for Fiction, Poetry, Drama, Non-fiction, Children’s Text, Children’s Illustration, and Translation–have been announced by Canada Council for the Arts, and eight former National Magazine Award winners have garnered nominations.

In Fiction, former NMA winners Robert Hough (Dr. Brinkley’s Tower) and Vincent Lam (The Headmaster’s Wager) are among the 5 finalists.

In Poetry, two-time National Magazine Award winner Julie Bruck (Monkey Ranch) and former NMA finalists A.F. Moritz (The New Measures) and David McGimpsey (L’il Bastard) made the GG shortlist.

In Non-fiction, two-time NMA winner Noah Richler (What We Talk About When We Talk About War) and former nominee Ross King (Leonardo and the Last Supper) were named GG finalists.

And in Children’s Illustration, former National Magazine Award winner Isabelle Arsenault received a GG nomination for Virginia Wolf.

Check out all the GG Awards finalists.

Visit the National Magazine Awards archive to view the works of these great writers and artists.

The winners of the 2012 Governor General’s Literary Awards will be announced on November 13 at the Conservatoire de musique et d’art dramatique du Québec in Montreal. His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, will present the winners with their awards, which include a cash prize of $25,000, at a gala at Rideau Hall on November 28.

NMA Winner Selena Wong opens exhibit Wednesday

Toronto-based illustrator Selena Wong, who won the Gold National Magazine Award for illustration at the 35th anniversary NMA gala earlier this year, is participating in a multi-artist exhibit entitled “Black Math” which opens this Wednesday, October 3 with a reception at the Steam Whistle Brewery in downtown Toronto.

The exhibit features work from 9 artists and the theme is decidedly Hallowe’en. Doors open for the reception at 7pm on Wednesday, and the exhibit is on for the entire month of October. [More info]

The Steam Whistle Brewery is located at 255 Bremner Blvd downtown Toronto, near the base of the CN Tower.

Selena Wong won her first National Magazine Award in June for her artwork accompanying a story in The Walrus, titled “Meet You at the Door.”

Discover more of her work and style at selenawong.com.

NMA winner Louis Fishauf shows off great illustrators

Ten-time National Magazine Award-winning creative director Louis Fishauf (formerly of Saturday Night and Toronto Life) has created an online scrapbook of the first ten issues of Global Brief, the world-affairs quarterly he currently designs.

The book is dedicated to the illustrators whom he’s commissioned to help give Global Brief its very distinctive look and feel. As Fishauf told the Canadian Magazines blog, “Despite working with a very modest art budget, I’ve been able to recruit some of the finest illustrators in Canada, the US and Europe, by cashing in some of the goodwill that still lingers from my AD heyday, and offering the artists a lot of creative freedom.”

The illustrators include National Magazine Award finalists and winners Anita Kunz, Dan Page, Gary Taxali, Christian Northeast, Brad Yeo, James Turner, Blair Drawson, and Kenneth R. Wilson Award winner Ryan Snook.

The book is created using the open-source technology of Issuu, a new-media initiative specializing in helping individuals create customizable digital magazines from xml/Flash templates.

Check out Papirmasse with NMA Winner Genevieve Simms

Papirmasse, they say, is a magazine, work of art, and social experiment all rolled into one. Subscribers to the publication receive each month a specially commissioned art print with an original piece of creative writing on the flip side.

This month, Issue #32 of Papirmasse (pronounced PAH-purr-mass, a play on the Dutch word for ‘pulp’) features National Magazine Award-winning illustrator Genevieve Simms* and a short story by Matt Prins.

Papirmasse was founded to recognize emerging artists and promote their work among art enthusiasts who may be looking for something beyond reprints of Old Masters for their collections. According to the site:

Papirmasse was founded in 2008 by Canadian artist Kirsten McCrea. Realizing that few people are in a position to buy original artwork and that the reproductions offered in commercial stores are bland and banal, Papirmasse was born.  Appreciators of art who would like to own original and contemporary works: rejoice!  Here at Papirmasse, art is for everyone.

Visit http://papirmasse.com/art/ or @papirmasse for more info. And check out the back issues for more inspiration to subscribe.

* Genevieve Simms won Gold in the category Spot Illustration at the 2010 National Magazine Awards, for her work “Northern Vegas” in AlbertaViews magazine. She was also a finalist in 2009 for the award Best New Visual Creator for her work in Swerve

Thank you Leif Parsons!

National Magazine Award-winning illustrator Leif Parsons created the fabulous illustration from which blossomed the entire creative look and feel of the 35th anniversary National Magazine Awards.

Leif Parsons’ highly conceptual illustrations have been used in publications including The Walrus, Esquire, Bloomberg, Real Simple, and The New York Times. With two Gold and one Silver National Magazine Award under his belt for his illustrations, he has been inspired by the works of Nicholas Bleckman, Christoph Nieman, Saul Steinberg, Philip Guston, and the artwork he sees around New York City, where he currently resides.

Thanks also to NMAF board member and The Walrus art director Brian Morgan for his creative direction on the 35th anniversary National Magazine Award illustration.

If you would like to order a copy of the 35th anniversary National Magazine Awards program please get in touch with us at staff[at]magazine-awards[dot]com.

National Magazine Award-winning Illustration 2007-2010

As we count down to the announcement — May 1 — of the nominees for the 35th anniversary National Magazine Awards, we’re taking a look back at some of the award-winning creative from the past four years. Today: Gold award winners in the category Illustration.


"God's Slow Death" - Illustration by Sam Weber, The Walrus.


"The Lynching of Louie Sam" - Illustration by Jillian Tamaki, The Walrus


"Floating Like the Dead" - Illustration by Roxanna Bikadoroff, Vancouver Review.


"The Family Travel Special" - Illustration by Pascal Blanchet, enRoute

The 35th anniversary National Magazine Awards will be held on June 7. Nominations and ticket information coming May  1 at www.magazine-awards.com.

Doug Wright Awards finalists include several NMA honourees

The finalists have been announced for this year’s Doug Wright Awards — celebrating the best in Canadian graphic novels and comics. Among the finalists in the three categories — Best Book, “Pigskin Peters” (aka best experimental comics), and “The Nipper” (aka best new talent) — are former National Magazine Award nominees Seth, Joe Ollman and Marc Bell.

(Visit the National Magazine Awards archive to find out more about the work of these illustrators.)

The awards, founded in 2005, are named for the late Canadian pioneer of cartooning Doug Wright.

The winners of this year’s awards will be revealed at the annual Doug Wright Awards ceremony, May 5 at the Art Gallery of Ontario.

Off the Page, with Jillian Tamaki

Off the Page is an exclusive new series produced by the NMAF that reaches out to former National Magazine Award winners to find out what their awards have meant to them and what they’re up to now. Off the Page will appear regularly on the NMA blog during the winter and spring of 2012. This week we catch up with National Magazine Award-winning illustrator Jillian Tamaki.

NMAF: You won your first National Magazine Award for illustration in The Walrus in 2005, barely two years after graduating from the Alberta College of Art & Design. How did you get started illustrating for magazines, and what was your experience winning a NMA so early in your career?

Jillian: When I graduated from ACAD, I felt quite natural illustrating for newspapers and magazines because that was definitely the focus of my illustration training. When I graduated in 2003, the Visual Communications program was perhaps more rigid and less diversified than it is now.

I think back to Rick Sealock’s class and it was basically one editorial project after another—with perhaps a few book projects thrown in—which was a fantastic way of honing your conceptual skills. It’s incredibly advantageous to be able to do editorial work when you’re starting out, because it’s one facet of the industry that regularly takes chances on new talent.

The National Magazine Award was a vote of confidence that I was in the right line of work. We all need a thumbs-up from the world sometimes, as we toil away in the studio.

NMAF: After that your career blossomed in magazines both in Canada and the US. You won another National Magazine Award in 2007, for a series of evocative illustrations in More magazine accompanying a feature article (“A tale of two sisters“) by renowned memoirists Joyce and Rona Maynard. That piece has the feel of the visual and written elements of a magazine story working in perfect harmony. What was the process of creating those illustrations, and would you say that was typical of your creative practice working with magazines?

"A tale of two sisters" (More magazine, Sept 2007); Illustration by Jillian Tamaki

Jillian: I approach all assignments the same way. I try to commune with the source material and let it guide me, whether that be a book, article, piece of music, or whatever. I often count my blessings that my schooling at ACAD was half graphic design, because I actually believe my conceptual process is very design-influenced. I use a lot of words and try to think about metaphors and word associations or even just tune into the atmosphere (physical or emotional) of the content—always keeping in mind the client and their audience, of course.

NMAF: Your 2008 graphic novel SKIM was the first of the genre ever to be nominated for the Governor General’s Award (in the Children’s Literature category). Tell us a bit about that project on which you collaborated with your cousin Mariko Tamaki. And what are you working on these days?

SKIM started off as a very small project instigated by Emily Pohl-Weary’s Kiss Machine zine in Toronto. Mariko and I both wanted to try a small comic project (we had never worked together before) and it was perfectly bite-sized: a 24-page story that was to be bound as a small floppy. It’s since been expanded to a 144-page book (published by Groundwood Books) and translated into six languages, I believe. Mariko and I are working on a new book together, entitled Awago Beach Babies, set in Muskoka; I’d say it’s about summer mythologies. Other than that, I teach at the School of Visual Arts here in NYC and occasionally toss up a comic on my very silly webcomic, SuperMutant Magic Academy.

Jillian Tamaki is an award-winning Canadian illustrator. Her website is jilliantamaki.com, where you can view her portfolio and order prints of her work.

Award-winning illustrator Gary Taxali shows off coin collection

Renowned Canadian illustrator Gary Taxali — a twelve-time finalist and twice a winner of National Magazine Awards — has been commissioned by the Royal Canadian Mint to design a series of “Celebration Coins” for 2012.

There will be a viewing and cocktail reception at the Spoke Club in Toronto on Wednesday, January 25 at 6pm, open to club members and invited guests. Gary has also created a commemorative illustration for the occasion in his signature style, prints of which will be on sale at the reception.

Off the Page, with Roxanna Bikadoroff

Off the Page is an exclusive new series produced by the NMAF that reaches out to former National Magazine Award winners to find out what their awards have meant to them and what they’re up to now. Off the Page will appear regularly on the NMA blog during the winter and spring of 2012. This week we catch up with National Magazine Award-winning illustrator Roxanna Bikadoroff.

NMAF: You won your first National Magazine Award for illustration back in 1991 for Saturday Night, and your most recent in 2009 for Vancouver Review. How did it feel to win that first award, and was it any different 18 years later?

Roxanna: Has it only been 18 years? Seems like lifetimes ago… In 1991, my career was just starting to take off. There were relatively few female illustrators working in edgy styles then, so I was also kind of ‘hot’ in that respect. Plus we were in a golden age when publications had money and were willing to let illustrators be more conceptual. So it was a very exciting time for me to receive this attention, accolades and whatnot. These days, it feels like an award is more something earned from years of experience and craft-honing. There is perhaps a level of respect that comes with having been around a while. It still means a lot, but in a different way.

Roxanna's Gold-winning 2009 illustration in Vancouver Review

NMAF: We’ve seen a lot of your artwork on the covers of books and in newspapers, as well as in magazines such as The New Yorker, The Walrus, Cottage Life, Maclean’s and others. What is unique or special for you about working as an illustrator with magazines?

Roxanna: It depends on the magazine and the article. Illustrating for magazines is like being in a partnership; sometimes, the illustration is like a dutiful wife who has to make her less exuberant husband look good, other times it’s a challenge to rise to the excellence of the prose or at least do it justice. It’s always a relationship of some sort between the two.

With book covers, the primary function of the image is to sell books. Still, I’ve always tried to be faithful to the writing, which is why, in some cases, my work has been associated with certain writers (Flannery O’Connor and Angela Carter).

NMAF: Where will we see your work next? Are you hoping to continue working in Canadian magazines?

Roxanna: I’ve really only worked for a handful of magazines over the last several years, due to changes in both the publishing industry and my own art practice. Illustration is still my first love and I’ll probably never stop doing it entirely, but it’s been taking new forms and I’m just letting it. I currently have several, longer-term projects in the works, which involve painting, mixed media, writing… maybe teaching. It’s nice to feel things are new again, even if it’s not the most art-friendly climate in our country right now.

You can view Roxanna’s latest creative work on her blogs rbgalleriemystique and AstroTarology. Samples of her illustrations for magazines, books and others can be found at roxannamundi.ca.

Illustrating NMA-winning illustrators

An interesting item over at TorontoLife.com has National Magazine Award-winning illustrators Gary Taxali and Graham Roumieu sitting down together for a beer and a chat about their craft, with the edited record of the event presented as a comic strip.

Gary Taxali and Graham Roumieu have won 6 National Magazine Awards between them, and have garnered 28 nominations overall for Illustration and Spot Illustration. We’ll leave it to you to visit the Awards Archive to find out who’s won what.

34th National Magazine Awards artwork

Thanks again to National Magazine Award-winning illustrator Jason Schneider for providing the artwork for the 34th NMA gala in June.

To see a list of Jason Schneider’s National Magazine  Awards, visit the NMA Winners Archive or visit http://www.jasonschneider.com/.

View the official NMA gala artwork over at ourFacebook page.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,016 other followers

%d bloggers like this: