Summertime, when most people go on their long-expected vacations, is the dead season when it comes to work projects and professional development. But if you search well, you can always find exciting opportunities. To help you out, we created a huge list of contests and competitions for designers and illustrators. Although we’re halfway into the year, there are still many opportunities to showcase your creativity and contend for amazing prizes. Especially with some of these competitions being absolutely free of charge.

We invite you to look through our selection, choose the most appealing option (or several), and turn your summer into a season of creative experiments.


The most interesting contests for designers in 2022

1. MUSE Design Awards 2022

Скріншот MUSE Design Awards 2022

Source: Muse Design Awards

The MUSE Design Awards is part of the MUSE Awards Program, which was created to honor, promote, and encourage creators in the area of design. Applications are accepted from both professionals and amateur designers from all over the world. In total, the contest has ten categories, which include Packaging Design, Architectural Design, Interior Design, Product Design, Conceptual Design, and many more. The key condition: works submitted by participants must have been produced after January 1, 2017.

Deadline: August 18, 2022 

Participation fee: $209 

Prizes: a statuette, a certificate of recognition, coverage on the contest’s website and social media


2. Taipei Design Award (TDA) 2022

Each year, the Taipei City Government organizes the TDA within a program aimed to turn Taipei into the dream city. The contest organizers invite all willing designers specializing in visual communication, public space design, and industrial design. If this is your area of expertise and you are keen to make a contribution to the development of a modern Asian city, join this contest. In addition, participation is free of charge and winners will be awarded significant money prizes.

Deadline: July 15, 2022 

Participation is free 

Prizes: the total award amounts to NT$3,800,000 (over $127 thousand USD), including the Taipei City Mayor Award in the amount of NTD600,000 (about $20 thousand USD) and many other monetary awards; statuettes, and certificates of recognition.


3. 4th International Poster Competition “We Want Jazz”

Скріншот 4th International Poster Competition “We Want Jazz”

Source: RadioJAZZ

This international poster contest with a very relevant anti-war slogan is hosted by EUROJAZZ Jazz Music Promotion Foundation based in Warsaw. Participants are invited to design posters reflecting an important uniting role of culture and music—in particular jazz—during this difficult time. Each participant may send three works maximum.

Deadline: July 17, 2022

Participation is free 

Prizes: The prize fund amounts to 10,000 PLN (about $2200) divided among three winning works; the best 20 posters will be presented at the exhibition of the 18th Jazz in Ruins International Festival.


4. ABSTRACT International Juried Art Competition

The organizer of this contest, Art Show International Gallery, invites all visual artists to submit their favorite artworks on the theme of abstraction. The participants may submit various types of art styles, including both 2D and 3D works, painting, sculpture, digital, graphic, etc. Contestants have full freedom of choice and interpretation in representing the main theme.

Deadline: July 15, 2022  

Participation fee: $10 for each artwork

Prizes: $25–300 US dollars, and Certificates of Recognition 


5. Aesthetica Art Prize 2022

Скріншот Aesthetica Art Prize 2022

Source: Aesthetica Magazine

Aesthetica Art Prize was created in 2007 with the aim to support the next generation of talents. The contest is open to works in any genre and on any theme, but the organizers are particularly interested in works that reflect on our ever-changing world, including such issues as post-industrial society, globalization, over-consumption, the climate crisis, and other similar concepts. Representatives of the following art categories are invited to contend for the prize: Digital Art & Installation; Painting and Drawing; Video, Installation and Performance; Photography; and more.

Deadline: September 8, 2022

Participation fee: up to August 31—£25, afterward—£30 

Prizes: the main prize is £10 000, for young creators—£1000, participation in the group exhibition with the finalists, publication in the “Future Now: 100 Contemporary Artists” catalog, coverage in Aesthetica Magazine, and a selection of art books.


6. 2022 Peace Motion Graphics Competition

The theme of the 2022 Peace Motion Graphics Competition is sustainable living. The organizers invite the participants to show examples of how one can prevent ecological problems using simple everyday actions. Participants can send 2D/3D motion graphics videos less than 1 minute long. Judging will be carried out in two formats—both offline and online.

Deadline: August 15, 2022 

Participation is free 

Prizes: $500–3000


7. Non Architecture Competition META-CITY

Скріншот Non Architecture Competition META-CITY

Source: Non Architecture

If you are into the Metaverse theme, this competition is for you. Participants of Non-Architecture Competition META-CITY are asked to design a concept for an urban block that responds to the requirements of the metaverse. This means that creators can ignore the laws of our world, like gravity or structural stability, and create new ones instead. Whole teams may join this exciting challenge.

Deadline: September 30, 2022  

Participation fee: €55 till July 31, afterward the fee will increase

Prizes: the main prize in the amount of €1000, coverage on the website, blog, and in publications


8. Embracing Our Differences 2023 Exhibition Competition

Embracing Our Differences is an annual art competition and exhibition. It carries an important social mission: to promote values of diversity and the benefits of inclusion with the help of art. The organizers invite all artists, photographers, and creatives who strive for social change to take part in the competition and present themed posters, graphic design, and images.

Deadline: October 5, 2022 

Participation is free 

Prizes: three awards – $3000 each 


9. The Football Art Prize

Скріншот The Football Art Prize

Source: The Football Art Prize

We also have a competition for those designers who love football. It was created by Touchstones Rochdale gallery with support from Arts Council England for The World Cup 2022. All creators over the age of 18 are eligible to compete for the prizes. They have to submit works in any 2D format: digital works, collages, photography, painting, and other media. One contestant may submit up to four works.

Deadline: November 19, 2022 

Participation fee: £10 for the first application (4 artworks) and £5 for each next one

Prizes: £2000–5000 depending on the place, participation in the exhibitions 


10. Tubądzin Design Awards 2022

Tubądzin Design Awards is an international competition for architects, designers, and students aimed at helping them realize their creative potential. Participants may submit their own completed, as well as ongoing projects. The icing on the cake is that in addition to monetary awards, winners of this competition get a chance to take on some very exciting trips.

Deadline: November 30, 2022 

Participation is free 

Prizes: awards totaling 78 thousand, trips to Tokyo and Milan, internship in Paris and Warsaw, professional software, promotion in niche publications and social media.


11. Contests in the 99designs blog

Скріншот блог 99designs

Source: 99designs

The 99design blog provides many opportunities for designers on an ongoing basis. Clients present their contest briefs to create logos, book covers, greeting cards, flyers, packaging, T-shirt prints, business cards, and other similar projects. Prices differ depending on the assignment. Try to choose the most exciting one and suggest your creative ideas to the client. Maybe it’ll be exactly what they are looking for!


The best illustration contests to take part in 2022

1. 32th Celsys International Illustration Contest

This year’s theme of the International Illustration Contest by Celsys studio is “Under the water”. The organizers invite participants to create underwater drawings of deep oceans, swift-flowing rivers, or even swimming pools. In addition, they accept both digital works and illustrations created with traditional media. Use of software and apps is also allowed.

Deadline: July 13, 2022 

Participation is free 

Prizes: $100–2000, additional prizes 


2. 12th Annual Artistic Excellence

Скріншот 12th Annual Artistic Excellence

Source: Artists Network

This annual international competition is organized by Artists Network’s creative community. It encourages both established artists and newcomers to share their unique vision in various genres, styles, and topics. Don’t miss the opportunity to show your worth. Especially since the best works will be awarded amazing prizes.

Deadline: August 1, 2022 

Participation fee: $35

Prizes: $500–2000, coverage in publications, digital badges, Artists Network membership


3. Global Healthcare Illustration Awards

The topic of healthcare is becoming more and more popular among content creators. Sometimes, it even becomes the main theme of art competitions, like this one—Global Healthcare Illustration Awards. Participants have a very wide range of subjects for their illustrations, as long as they are related to healthcare. You can cover topics such as nutrition, mental and digital health, disability, sport, healthcare delivery, and many more.

Deadline: August 15, 2022 

Participation is free 

Prizes: £1000–3000, participation in the exhibition


4. Art On Climate 2022 International Illustration Competition

Скріншот Art On Climate 2022 International Illustration Competition

Source: Art On Climate 

This competition’s organizers encourage artists to tackle climate change with creativity. Participants have to create works that will raise people’s awareness of the problem and motivate them to change their habits for a better future. Any artist aged 18 or above may present their vision on the theme. One contestant may submit up to three works.

Deadline: August 19, 2022 

Participation is free 

Prizes: €150–2000, certificates, participation in a virtual exhibition 


5. The Moth Art Prize 2022

This is an art prize by the established art & literature magazine, The Moth. If you want to see your artworks featured on its pages, consider this opportunity. You have to send 5–10 2D drawings to enter the competition. Contestants should also get themselves acquainted with the publication’s aesthetic, since winners will be selected by whether or not their artworks are in tune with the contemporary but timeless style of The Moth.

Deadline: August 31, 2022

Participation fee: €20

Prize: €1000


6. Anima 2023 Brussels Animation Film Festival

Постер Anima 2023 Brussels Animation Film Festival

Source: Anima Festival

Anima is one of the most important festivals in Europe, as it is qualified to nominate its participants for the Oscar for best animated short film. Only animated films created frame by frame and not shot in live action are accepted to enter the festival. It can be traditional animated cartoons or films using puppets, plasticine, or digital films. Authors are not limited in work duration, topics, or choice of the target audience. Why not try to get your ticket to the Oscars? All the more, it’s absolutely free of charge.

Deadline: October 3, 2022 

Participation is free 

Prizes: presentation at Anima 2023 Brussels Animation Film Festival, an opportunity to get a nomination at the Oscars


7. iJungle Illustration Awards 2022

iJungle Illustration Awards competition is open to illustrators, agencies, students, and teachers from all over the world. It has 6 categories: Book, Editorial, Comics, Commercial, New Talent (for students), and Self-Promotion. One participant may submit up to five workpieces. Eligible works must be created no earlier than 2019. The winners are selected by the jury of the world’s leading illustrators and art directors.

Deadline: October 16, 2022 

Participation fee: $22 for one workpiece per entry, $44 for up to five workpieces per entry; for students—$22 for five workpieces per entry

Prizes: $2500 for the Best of the Best, Gold Medals for category winners, awards, certificates, coverage in publications, participation in the online exhibition


8. Anthology Cover Art Award 2022

Скріншот Anthology Cover Art Award 2022

Source: Anthology Magazine 

Anthology Magazine, which features articles about fine interiors, travel, fashion, beauty, and culture has its own competition for artists. The competition is open to various genres including painting, printmaking, photography, digital media, as well as mixed media. Important requirement: it’s not allowed to submit works that have already appeared on the cover of another publication or are currently submitted in other contests. At the same time, there are no limitations as to the number of submitted artworks. Participants are also free to choose any topic at their discretion. However, organizers recommend looking through the Magazine issues to have an understanding of the Anthology style.

Deadline: October 31, 2022

Participation fee: €18

Prize: €500, publication of the artwork on the cover of a future issue of Anthology, and a one-year subscription to the magazine 


9. Splash 24 | The Best Of Watercolor

If watercolor art is your true passion, consider taking part in this art contest by the above-mentioned Artists Network creative community. While the main theme is defined quite strictly, the organizers allow some minor use of other media. However, digital art, photography, or three-dimensional art, such as sculpture, are not accepted.

Deadline: November 15, 2022

Participation fee: $30 till October 11, afterward—$45

Prizes: $500–2000, $100 gift cards, a free 1-year Artists Network membership, publication in the magazine


10. 2nd Annual Best In Show | Pets

Cкріншот 2nd Annual Best In Show | Pets

Source: Artists Network

This is another niche art competition by Artists Network made specifically for those who love pets. If you have a cat, dog, aquarium fish, bird, lizard, or any other pet, try to depict them in your artwork. Apart from the full freedom of choosing their pet models, participants are also free to use any painting and drawing media. However, there is one key condition—it must be two-dimensional traditional art (oil, watercolor, acrylic, pastel, gouache, graphite, markers, and many other variants).

Deadline: December 12, 2022

Participation fee: $15 till November 21, afterward—$25

Prizes: $750–1750, gift cards, promotion on the website and social media, a free 1-year Artists Network membership, additional prizes


11. International Achievement Awards (IAA Awards) 2022

Camelback Gallery organizes monthly themed international art competitions in various mediums. Currently, artists can enter several competitions, including Flower Power 2022 (dedicated to flowers and blossoms), Abstracts with Blue 2022 (abstract artworks with shades of blue), and Drawing Competition 2022 (drawings of any subject matter and style). Also, the Gallery hosts a monthly competition – Artist of the Month – without any restrictions in mediums, styles, or topics. Application fees vary from competition to competition, as well as prices, which include money prizes, participation in virtual exhibitions, and online promotion.


To sum up

Participation in professional contests is often underrated, even though it can provide numerous benefits. Apart from the chance to make a statement, get unbiased feedback about your works, make useful connections, and actually contend for the prizes, it is a great opportunity to become more confident. In fact, you have to be brave enough to present your creative works to an audience and be able to take criticism. But even if you don’t win the contest, this can be one more step to your development. So, don’t give up an opportunity to challenge yourself and grow.


Find even more opportunities and ideas in our content:

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