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.
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.
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.
[INFO & TICKETS]
Here are this year’s nominees…
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 Website of the Year
Best Single Issue
Tablet Magazine of the Year
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.
[INFO & TICKETS]
And the nominees are…
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.
- Into the Abyss, by Carol Shaben
- A Geography of Blood, by Candace Savage
- The Chimps of Fauna Sanctuary, by Andrew Westoll
- Eating Dirt, by Charlotte Gill
- What We Talk About When We Talk About War, by Noah Richler
- The Measure of a Man, by JJ Lee
- The Devil’s Curve, by Arno Kopecky
- Bad Animals: A Father’s Accidental Education in Autism, by Joel Yanofsky
- Dr. Brinkley’s Tower, by Robert Hough
- Everybody has Everything, by Katrina Onstad
- People Park, by Pasha Malla
- Dibidalen, by Seán Virgo
- The Reasonable Ogre, by Mike Barnes
- The Headmaster’s Wager, by Vincent Lam
- My Life Among the Apes, by Cary Fagan
- The Sweet Girl, by Annabel Lyon
- Monkey Ranch, by Julie Bruck
- L’il Bastard, by David McGuimpsey
- The New Measures, by A.F. Moritz
- The Collected Poems of Patrick Lane, by Patrick Lane
- Virginia Wolf, by Isabelle Arsenault
- Blindsided, by Russell Smith
- And They Danced by the Light of the Moon, by Heather O’Neill
- Finding Karla, by Paula Todd
- Noisemakers, by Grace O’Connell
- Summer of the Flesh Eater, by Zsuzsi Gartner
- 1999, by Pasha Malla
- I Dream of Zenia with the Bright Red Teeth, by Margaret Atwood
Did we miss any 2012 books by NMA winners? Drop a comment or tweet at us.
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.
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.
The submissions deadline is January 16, 2013.
Related Post: Off the Page, with The Coveteur
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.
More information here.
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.
NMAF: Back 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: 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.
NMAF: At 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.
NMAF: What 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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
* 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.
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.
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.
The 35th anniversary National Magazine Awards will be held on June 7. Nominations and ticket information coming May 1 at www.magazine-awards.com.
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 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?
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
Thanks again to National Magazine Award-winning illustrator Jason Schneider for providing the artwork for the 34th NMA gala in June.
View the official NMA gala artwork over at ourFacebook page.