2020 ABT Art Contest Winners Announcement

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Tombow Pencil Co., Ltd. (President: Akihiro Ogawa) held the 2020 ABT Art Contest, an online contest open to all to promote drawing art.The award-winning works were chosen from among a total of 668 entries. On March 6th an online award ceremony was held to announce the awards and honor the works and artists. (President Ogawa’s opening remarks at the award ceremony follow this announcement.)
Thanks again for all the entries.


Award-winning works

Grand Prix Award
Title: Little Journey  Winner: Chizuru Fukino

Original image size: A3 (420 x 297 mm)

(Comment by Judge Yusuke Nakamura)
Using the wide range of colors, numerous vivid colors and various effects that are characteristic of the ABT; and a strong view of the world and color balance effect; are all combined into a single work that made me feel very happy.
In particular the overlaid shades of the fur; an effect that dissolves plain colors in water and sprays them on the sky; the fact that the roughness of bleeding leaves and the pointillism of grass is sublimated to become interesting rather than rough; all because of the careful finish of the background elements. The contrast between delicacy and boldness; it’s a picture, a world view, a character. More than color, it contributes greatly to the production of fun and is wonderful. Based on this, I felt that it is a work worthy of the ABT Grand Prix Award. Congratulations!

(Comment from Eisaku Kubonouchi)
This is the only submission that made me smile from the moment I saw it.
A flat and loose drawing reminiscent of the amateur painter Henri Rousseau.
Starting only with the main girl, a free-spirited composition where other elements seem to have been decided while being drawn.
Even though it is a colorful and pop world, the girl and the bear have a mysterious, expressionless feeling of strangeness.
The world is overwhelmingly adorable, pure, and innocent, with all the extra rushes becoming innocent.There is no brilliant or clever technique here; the innocent heart of the artist is revealed through the wish and feel of the brush strokes.
It reminded me of the “joy of drawing” I felt when I was a kid. It looks amazing.


Grand Prix Runner-up Award
Title: Hello  Winner: Tomomi Nishidaya

Original image size: 336 x 255 mm

(Comment by Judge Yuko Nagayama)
I was drawn in the moment I saw this work.
–A little rabbit opens a heavy door, but it is so bright that I can’t see inside. It seems that the rabbit is wary, hesitating whether he is invited inside. I finally get used to the darkness of the surroundings and looking closely sees the old walls of the mansion and the entwined plants. I was fascinated by the vividness.
The overlapping of thin, daunting lines on top of the ABT coloring gives a sense of depth and air. The color never becomes muddy and the finish is excellent.I want to read the story behind this picture. Congratulations!


Category Award

Award Category: Painting/Illustration
Title: Insect picture book  Winer: Syouko Suzuki

(Comment by Yusuke Nakamura)
It’s Tombow Pencil’s contest so in addition to the dragonfly(“Tombow” in Japanese) used for the print, dragonflies (trim marks) were selected as the motif, I was surprised at the drawing and composition power that smartly puts together many other scattered elements onto one page.It’s perfect for ABT advertising as is.
And it seems that the transparency of the wings, the depiction of shadows, the writing of the font in the main body of the book, and the finishing of the barcode (the code is the production date) required unfailing concentration.Great job. The joy of the painting is masterly conveyed in a single page. Congratulations!


Award Category: Painting/Illustration
Title: What do you care about?  winner: Hiroyuki Kurava

(Comment from Eisaku Kubonouchi)
The unique touch and suppressed colors make it look like a western fairy tale illustration.Who is participating in the parade? Are they human?The facial expressions of the children dressed as animals are somewhat gloomy, and I imagined a terrifying (future) story led by Hameln’s whistleblower.
The drawn details and world view give off a mysterious aura, and this image makes you feel the depth in which a fairy tale is likely to be born.
I was attracted by the outstanding individuality of the submitted work. It looks amazing.


Award Category: Hand Lettering
Title: I am…  Winner: arata kanako

(Comment by Ryo Koizumi)
The wording of the hand lettering is important, but I was fascinated by the idea of drawing A-Z around the words ”I am …” It is a work energized by the colorful range of ABT and the positive content of the hand-lettered message.
I felt the artist enjoys lettering in a wide variety of ways, from cursive to illustrated letters, and can draw well, including the balance of letters.I got the impression of being particular with details, such as straddling the lines where the thin lines of “joyful” and “Magnificent” overlap.
Finally, while it is good to express a colorful excitement from the concept, I thought that it would be a better work if there was a little more sense of unity as a whole.


Award Category: Hand Lettering
Title: Song of a bird trapping man  Winner: Elli Akashi

(Comment by Ryo Koizumi)
The layout is reminiscent of a decorative manuscript, and the watercolor illustrations using the ABT emit a friendly atmosphere.
I evaluated it as a cohesive work, such as the position of birds and flowers and the size and balance of letters.
The illustration of the bird with a light blue layer on line art, drawn using calligraphic lines as an accent was impressive. Small letters are difficult, but here are drawn neatly with different strengths.Finally, the overall balance is very good, but I thought it would be even better if the work expressed a little bit more of the artist’s originality.


Award Category: 3D/Creative
Title: Goddess Kenbi, three-sided figure Figure  Winner: Shu

(Comment by Kojiro Mishima)
At first glance, I noticed the uniqueness of the Mongolian-style human figure, but in reality, when I look through the windows with red, blue, and yellow films that surround them, I can see the colors. There is a trick to change the appearance of colors; a glimpse of thinking what was particular about “color”, that it was not just an object, but was colored using ABT.
In particular contemporary art requires a concept. It tends to fall into the complacency of the artist, and there is an aspect that it is evaluated only within the context of creating the work.I think that the concept and comical expression contained in this work have a presence as contemporary art, as I feel a variety of questions with respect to the viewer.The tricky thing is eye-catching, but the modeling power of the human figure is also solid, it is carefully finished, and it is also a work with a good overall balance including the frame.


Award Category: 3D/Creative
Title: Maria  Winner : MOTU

(Comment from Kundou Koyama)
How to use ABT in 3D? We paid attention to how to utilize it and conducted an examination.
In this category, this work was particularly brilliant. A sculpture that breathes a soul into a grab bag of mass-produced toys using “ABT”.There’s also a ready religious side, I felt a newness as a method of expression.The tone of the whole work changes depending on the amount of light that strikes the FRP surface and was also interesting as if it were alive.


Jury Prize
* Comments from each judge are described under the work.


Jury Prize: Kundou Koyama Award
Title: Madonna and Child of Notre Dame  Winner: Megumi Ijichi

The moment I saw this work, I was fascinated for some reason. I don’t know why. It’s a mysterious impression as if old memories that sank to the bottom of my memory were pulled up.Moreover, while watching this “Madonna and Child of Notre Dame” drawn in ABT, before I knew it, I felt like I was watching a sculpture.I was convinced of the intentions of the artist that, “I was happy to see the beautiful color scheme of the ABT12 color set (portrait), which is completely different from the conventional concept of magic pens. I tried almost all the colors to get the texture of the sculpture.”One of the reasons I chose was that when I saw this work, I felt like “I want to travel the world freely and see this kind of art.”


Jury Prize: Yuko Nagayama Award
Title: From Now on~  Winner : Kosuke Kawai

I like a work that puts all my feelings into the drawing. Everything that came to my mind, to cut out everyday life that we are familiar with and show the present. I think it goes well with what you want to express with the ABT.
Everyone enjoyed drawing pictures when they were little but concentrated on studying, playing sports, and learning, and before they knew it, they moved away from drawing. A person who became an illustrator said, “I’m going to be an illustrator!” Some people have a strong will but lose the timing to stop drawing, there are many including myself for which drawing has always been our “most favorite”.
You have been chosen from a large number of people. Whether or not you can continue drawing depends on “how much you like to draw”.
I’m looking forward to seeing the next stage “V sign” work again someday.


Jury Prize Award: Eisaku Kubonouchi
Title: Sunset  Winner: Kasumi Yoshioka

It is a work that stirs up the imaginations about what lies beyond the eyes of a young child.
A little confused eyebrows and eyes. The mouth that suppresses and dimly chokes back feelings.
At the same time as being lovely, I feel the gentle gaze of the artist who is trying to see the heart of this child.
The depth of field of the painting is shallow, and by focusing on her right eye, I inadvertently searched for what was reflected in the back of her eyes.
It’s not just a cute child, but one who is selfish and difficult inside.
The look is amazing.


Jury Prize: Yusuke Nakamura Award
Title: study  Winner: Kon Kojima

In this lively work, except the ABT, various coloring materials are drawn in the painting itself, but isn’t an ABT being held in the hands of the main character? Of course, how to utilize character modeling, technique, composition, coloring method, etc. is important; but I was told it was the final work that thought hard about the major premise, “What is this contest?”; and so I chose it for the Jury Prize. That’s why the margins are not just “leftovers” but “futures to be drawn”. Please continue to draw a lot. Congratulations!


Jury Prize: Kojiro Mishima Award
Title: There’s no meaning  Winner : kyo→ko

It is a cynical and powerful work that is reminiscent of New York POP art around the 1970s.
Since it is based on yellow and drawn in that gradation, it looks as if it is colored in gold, and it has a noble impression but is packed with funky American characters, the approach to the viewer as if he had eaten a person is tricky and elaborate.
The black color everywhere tightens up as a whole, showing the good use of colors and the high level of composition.
If you fail to incorporate a comic motif into an artistic style, it will be quite ordinary, but this work has a wonderful degree of perfection as a single drawing. I would like to see an exhibition with a series of works with this touch.


Jury Prize: Ryo Koizumi Award
Title: Wish on the moon  Winner: Fuyuko

Like the cover of a picture book, I chose this work because it gives me a sense of anticipation and excitement that the story begins from here.
Many characters are drawn in this work, but I like the people carrying the stars, the building looking up at the full moon, and the birds singing in a duo.
Every time I see a flower hidden in the colorful ground or a little peek at the face of a person looking up at the full moon it gives the pleasure of searching for treasure.
The details were carefully drawn using pointillism and gradation, and I felt a high level of skill.


Student Awards

Student Awards
Title: Clear and serene (as a polished mirror and still water)  Winner : Fu Yu

(Comment from Kundou Koyama)
I participated in the ABT judging for the first time and was surprised at the high quality of the student works. This work, which depicts a tiger with a dragonfly on its nose, is so powerful that you can hear the roar of a real tiger. The eye that focuses on the dragonfly is humorous, and I think it is the point that makes the whole work feel enjoyable.In some cases, the vibrant colors may look “artificial”, but in this work, you can feel the “breath” of a living tiger.It may be an indication of skill level that I don’t think the ABT was used for the first time.


Student Awards
Title: LOVELY  Winner : Kagerou

(Comment by Kojiro Mishima)
There is no blurring in the expression and the touch is steady, I feel that it is a unique world view built over time by drawing many sheets, and so I highly appreciate the patient attitude toward the work. A mysterious lump, when I focused on the fact that fancy objects are wearing castles came to light. I feel the depth of being able to enjoy the work many times.Rather than the process of drawing a rough sketch, I wonder if this was drawn over and over on a white background, it looks like a growing creature or like a dessert served over and over; you won’t be bored by the slow movement.However, if the overall composition and balance were more organized, I think that the degree of perfection as a work would be further improved. If you draw this world with a different focus and angle or add a time axis, you can make it into a picture book or an animation.


Student Award
Title: Butterfly lamp  Winner: Kaisei Taiga

(Comment by Yuko Nagayama)
Congratulations on winning the Student Award.
An amicable work that takes advantage of the characteristics of transparent paper. The transparency unique to ABT, which cannot be expressed with acrylic paints, spreads in the space with the light when the lamp is turned on. It now looks like a flower has bloomed and captures the spontaneous moment as the butterfly perches naturally.
The difference in facial expressions, where each piece of paper allows light to pass through, is also interesting.
One piece of advice is the expression of butterfly wings when viewed as an object in the daytime, which is interesting even without light. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a surprise to be more interesting to let light through?






Judging Committee Report

As a new art contest, we received 668 entries, which far exceeded our expectations. We would like to express our heartfelt gratitude to everyone who had the initiative for this art contest and produced an entry using the ABT.

The concept of this art contest was decided in 2019, but the fall of 2020, when we started recruiting works, became a year of self-quarantine and travel restrictions due to measures against new coronavirus infections. However, from the beginning, we had planned a contest without regional handicaps by using an Internet application format, so although there were no obstacles to entry due to travel restrictions, the judges were burdened during the final stage.

In mid-January, advertising graphics designer Ryo Koizumi, watercolor artist Yuko Nagayama, and chief Editor of the Illust Note and the Design Note magazines Kojiro Mishima gathered at the Tombow Pencil Headquarters while illustrator and character artist Eisaku Kubonouchi, Kundou Koyama, and illustrator Yusuke Nakamura participated online. The works were exhibited and extensively judged for about 3 hours.Judging while shooting a work with a video camera seems to have been an unexplored area for the judges. As the candidate works were narrowed down, the discussion became heated and the venue was filled with excitement.

“Little Journey”, which was selected as the Overall Grand Prix Award winner, is a fairy tale work that caught everyone’s eyes due to its rich color. “It made me feel very happy,” and “The innocent heart of the artist can be seen via the wish and feel of the brush.”
Next, the Overall Runner-up Grand Prix winner “Hello”, the innocent gesture of the white rabbit in the light softened the judges’ expressions, saying, “I want to read the story of this picture book.”

In this way, it became an unprecedented type of judging committee, looking back on all the submitted works, the judge, Yusuke Nakamura, commented as follows.

“Despite the personal concern that the initial “color marker contest would have a single direction”, it turned out that the individuality of each applicant was fully demonstrated. We would like to thank everyone once again for making this a very enjoyable contest. Thank you very much!
It was very difficult to select a limited number of prizes, but my evaluation point was simply “Possibilities unique to the ABT”. Therefore, what was decided here is not the superiority or inferiority of the work, rather the direction is the award, so please continue to create more and more and apply for various awards without worrying about those who are not selected. You have our support.
It was a difficult time, but let’s continue to work hard and enjoy each other’s art. ”

Impressive data was sent from all over the country via the Internet, and an art contest was realized. And I was able to discover a lot of talent and share the excitement with everyone. I realize that a wonderful time has come for art and art fans.
Tombow Pencil wants to support everyone who continues their art journey with the ABT.
Thank you very much.


Opening remarks “2020 ABT Art Contest” Award Ceremony

Thank you for attending the “2020 ABT Art Contest” award ceremony today.

The “ABT Art Contest” was established last year to promote drawing art by commending excellent works and introducing them to everyone.

A total of 17 awards will be announced today, including the Grand Prix Award, the Runner-Up Grand Prix Award, 6 awards for work in 3 categories, 6 awards for Jury Prize works, and 3 awards for Student works.
Regarding submissions, we requested that entries be created using our dual brush pen ABT.

By the way, a total of 668 entries were received for the 2020 contest which far exceeded our expectations.While looking at each work, I realized that “art is nutrition for the heart” and I felt very satisfied.

The judging was conducted by 6 prominent artists/designers. We would like to express our sincere gratitude to all of you for your enthusiastic examination in the face of these busy times and the many restrictions on daily life.
In addition, the “comments” written by each judge not only helped to understand the work, but also sent a message of deep love to the work and the artist, and so I realized the wonderfulness of interaction through art.

By the way, today’s award ceremony is unavoidably being held online, but I think that with the excellent works and the enthusiasm of the judges, we can share the excitement even over a distance.
I would like to ask you to continue to develop your art activities and spread the ideas and techniques through your family, friends, acquaintances, and SNS.

Thank you very much.

March 6, 2021
Tombow Pencil Co., Ltd.
President and CEO Akihiro Ogawa


ABT Art Contest 2020 : https://abtcontest2020.com/

ABT Special Site: https://www.tombow.com/sp/abt/

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