This week the Birmingham Institute of Art and Design, from whence I carved my degree in illustration, rang to tell me they were naming their new annual illustration prize after me.
My first thought was, 'Oh, my God, how wonderful', followed immediately by 'Don't you have to be dead to have a prize named after you?'
Well not so, it seems. I was not only a student there but have taught there on and off for over sixteen years, delivering seminars, workshops, Q&A sessions and just good old-fashioned illustration tutoring. So perhaps it isn't so surprising, and I am, of course, completely floored to be asked (for a second I was welling up).
The prize giving is in June and as I'll be away, my best friend Melanie Tomlinson a fellow BIAD post-graduate and maker of magical metal things, is handing over the award on my behalf. The award isn't just a certificate - oh no - I've organised a handsome trophy in the form of a one-year subscription to Bikinilists, a consultancy with my good mates at The Design Conspiracy, a portfolio surgery and a signed limited print. They also receive an Association of Illustrators' membership, so whichever fortunate student I choose as the recipient will exit the course armed with a fearsome set of tools to make their way in the illustration world.
Damn - I wish I'D had the Sarah Coleman Prize when I graduated! 'Must try harder'...
You can get information on BIAD's degree shows here.
(This is Catherine Linton, from Wuthering Heights, a 1/3 scale costume model from my degree project. She's made of welded steel and has real hand-sewn clothes. Yes I did do illustration, honest - I just liked to stretch the brief a bit...)