This summer Nik Van Es, an illustrator from the Netherlands, was commissioned to design a map for Wilderness Festival following his winning the grand prize of the Bridgeman Studio Award 2015.

Nik was featured in the August issue of Creative Review and has produced the artwork that will be available as a printed map, distributed to 30,000 people, at the multi-award winning 4-day British festival on August 6th-9th.  Nik will have a full biography printed on the reverse side of the map. View the design process below.


Nik draws everything by hand, including the textures, and uses a lightbox to incorporate colour overlaying in the design.


Afterwards he uses the computer purely as a tool to give everything colour. It also gives him the freedom to experiment with the composition.


The completed artwork for the Wilderness Festival map 2015

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Nik van Es graduated in 2014 from the HKU University of the Arts in Utrecht, The Netherlands, with a Bachelor of Design in Illustration. Since then he has been working as a freelance illustrator and has been featured in local magazines and on an online platform which he works weekly for.

Nik uses illustration to create an alternate world which allows him complete freedom and he likes using humour to create absurd situations. Characteristics of his style include a limited colour palette and he is inspired by printing techniques like screenprinting.

On winning the competition

“Having fun to me was more important than winning the actual contest, so you can only imagine how happy and thankful I was when I heard that I was the winner of the Bridgeman Studio Award!

Fun fact: three weeks before getting contacted I actually decided that I wanted to do something for a festival one day, so getting to design a map for Wilderness was absolutely fantastic.  I got complete freedom when designing the map which is basically every illustrators dream!”

Paul Mulvey, Senior Designer at Wilderness Festival, on picking the winner

“It wasn’t easy picking a winner from this years highly talented entries. Niks work jumped out and said, “I will do something original.” It had a wilderness of its own. A story telling illustrative style. Perfect for a festival where fantasy forms part of the narrative and the experience. We are all very excited about this artist and it was a real honour awarding him the commission.”