Never judge a book by its cover?until now!

10th July 2015

A Barking & Dagenham College student is to have his artwork used as the front cover of a book after winning a design competition.

The competition was set up to find talented new artists whose work could then be used to illustrate local author, Emeka Egbuonu’s, new book, ‘Ambitions of the deprived’. The book chronicles the lives of four teenage friends embarking on their individual journeys of discovery and the barriers they face getting there. After receiving lots of entries, a shortlist of 16 pieces of work were chosen to go forward to be exhibited and from there one winner was decided by a panel of judges.

That winner was Daniel Dixon, 37, from Angel, who studies graphic design at Barking & Dagenham College. He entered the competition after hearing about it at College, where Emeka is also a lecturer. Daniel’s work uses vibrant colours and features a picture of a man, which Daniel painted himself. The judges decided his artwork was deserving of the first prize - to have the work turned into a front cover for a limited edition version of the book and to receive 10% of proceeds from the sales of this book.

Above: Front cover designed by Daniel Dixon Privileged to have won

Commenting on his win, Daniel said:

“I feel so privileged to have won. When we found out about the competition, we went away and researched what the book’s theme was and I realised that I could really identify with it. I lived on an estate when I was younger, and can understand the choices the characters in the book had. For me personally, I didn’t study hard when I was younger, but now I’m older I made the decision to go back to college and pursue my dream of becoming a graphic designer and this is what I’m doing. To have my work appreciated by Emeka and the judges is great, it helps confirm to me that this is what I should be doing.”

Indeed, since joining Barking & Dagenham College, Daniel has scored distinctions in all his work and as a result will start his foundation degree in graphics with the College in September. Daniel continues:

“I’ve seen the finished book now and it looks really good. My image is right there on the front and the type work they’ve used around it looks great. I’ve told lots of people about the book, and friends and family have even asked if I could sign a copy for them!”

The book with Daniel’s front cover will be sold as a limited edition, available from next week (15th July). Daniel’s artwork, as well as that of the runners-up, will also go on display at the Mother Gallery, home of the biggest advertising agency in the UK, in September. This is when the book will have its showcase launch.

Getting young talent out there

Emeka Egbuonu added:

“The book is about breaking the barriers of self-doubt and fostering natural ambition regardless of a person’s background. When I was thinking of ways to launch the book I realised that setting up a competition would be another way for me to help young talent get out there. All the artwork we received was fantastic, but Daniel’s piece shone through in particular and I’m delighted to see his work on the front cover of my book.”

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