Collins Debden Graduate Award prize: Runners Up

Communication Design School of Design

Yanxi Li

As an illustrator, my communication design practices are usually in the form of children’s picture books and illustrated books. Observation and imagination are the basis of my creation. Most of them come from my daily life and the world I observed. And I care if the world I live in can change for the better. In my design practice, telling stories with visual language in the traditional illustration is what I keep learning and improving. I especially pay attention to compositions, sequences and narratives in my silent picture book, A Package for Lily. By depicting a Courier delivering a package, I would like to show the reader a new world in harmony with animals and nature.

Also, I am interested in how psychoanalytical theories guide the illustration practice. As an imaginative designer, I am curious about the boundary between dreaming and imagination, and I study that further in my critical journal. In my studio work, I mainly draw in watercolour, and I combine different materials, such as colour pencils, ink, brush, pen, tissue, etc., to enrich the details of the picture.

Everybody Needs a Safe Place
A Package for Lily

Everybody Needs a Safe Place

Everybody Needs a Safe Place is a children’s picture book inspired by Mary Oliver’s poem. It tells a story of my dog ‘ Ding’ was awake because of a huge snoring by my dad, and Ding finds a safe place to have another sleep. I bring my memory of the warm moments with my family and my dog ‘Ding’ into my drawings. And shows my understanding of a “safe place”.

It is a quiet restful afternoon here in the garden

Or it was restful for a minute.

Now everything’s gone crazy!

Where can I find a comfortable spot?

The Cover

End Paper




Pause is an artist book I made based on my observational drawing in Buchanan Street in Glasgow city centre in two months. This book documents an accordion musician and his audience. I want readers could recalling good memories of enjoying a piece of music in the street in this book.

inside page 5

A Package for Lily

A Package for Lily is a silent picture book I made from October 2022 to May 2023. It tells a story about a courier delivering a package by a nature transport system. As an imaginative illustrator, making different ideas appear in one story reasonably and maintaining visual sequences was the part I most focused on and spent lots of time designing in this project.

“Humans and wildlife could live together in harmony. ” That’s what I want to show in my book. Also, in the book, I hope Human beings respect the living habits of animals rather than asking animals to find homes according to human rules.

page 9-10





final print