Wildlife Artist of the Year 2022

If you’re a wildlife artist and want to raise your profile you should consider
entering the
Wildlife Artist of the Year Competition
– sponsored by the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation is association with BBC
Wildlife. The deadline for entries is 11.59pm (UK time) on the
31st March 2022.

Last year the
DSWF’s Wildlife Artist of the Year
competition broke records with 

  • entries from 1,199 talented artists 
  • from 70 countries 
  • who submitted a total of 2,307 pieces.

This post is about:

  • the prizes
  • who can enter
  • what to enter – in the different categories
  • how to enter and the deadline

I’ve previously written about this competition – when it was exhibiting at the Mall Galleries – and you can read my past posts
about the exhibitions at the end .


DSWF has introduced a new emerging artist award for 2022 which celebrates first time entrants.

Prizes include 

  • Overall winner and Wildlife Artist of the Year: £10,000 (including a £5,000 conservation donation to a DSWF project of the winner’s choice), 
  • Runner-Up: £2,000 (including a £1,000 conservation donation to a DSWF project of the winner’s choice). 
  • Each of the category winners and the winner of the newcomer award will receive £500.

The Exhibition

You should note that in 2022 – as in recent years – the exhibition is virtual and artwork can no longer be seen in person.

The sale of
all shortlisted artworks will be via the DSWF
website (davidshepherd.org) and other virtual
media. Accordingly the quality of the digital image will be critical to the selection of an entry

No allowance will be made for poor digital
images, bad quality photographs or low resolution videos. 

This was the video introducing the 2021 virtual exhibition


How to enter


Entries must correspond to one of the seven categories described below.  Detailed descriptions of each category are available in the Terms and Conditions.

Any pieces featuring domesticated animals (e.g. pets, farm animals) as the main feature subject do not fall under the following categories, and therefore will not be considered by the judges. 

The categories for entries are 

  1. Animal Behaviour – should show a true understanding of animal
    behaviour, capturing moments which might be
    humorous, tragic, aggressive, or simply a part of
    their daily ritual.
  2. Earth’s Wild Beauty – celebrate wild landscapes and
    seascapes and all that live within them. 
  3. Facing Extinction – Please check that your
    featured species is listed as ‘Under Threat’ on
    the IUCN’s Red List (www.iucnredlist.org).
  4. Human Impact (note constraint on age of entrants – age 16-22 years) – work which makes a
    statement through art on how humans are having
    an impact on the environment.
  5. Into the Blue –  illustrate the wonderful world of
    water – be it ocean, seashore, wetland, river or
    stream – and the incredible wildlife and landscapes within them.
  6. Urban Wildlife – entries in an urban setting or which depict the
    city life of animals and plants, demonstrating a
    contrast and harmony between wild and urban
  7. Wings – show
    the extraordinary variety of winged wildlife on
    our planet, including birds and insects, in flight or
    at rest

Eligible Artists

The competition is open to both amateur and professional artists over the
age of 17.
  • EXCEPT for entries for the Human Impact category which are open to
    artists aged 16 to 22 years.

There is no residence requirement and entries are regularly sent from
international artists living and working all over the world.

The main conditions are:

  • All artwork entered into the competition
    must be unsold and available for sale by DSWF
    during the exhibition if shortlisted
  • There is no limit on the number of entries
  • All entered artwork MUST: 
    • be original 
    • be completed by the named artist i.e. The artist must be the sole author and owner of the copyright of all artwork entered
    • have been completed within the last 5 years i.e completed after 31 March 2017
  • Artists using exact reference from another professional artist or photographer will need permission from the copyright owner.
  • The judges will accept any medium but including original prints (but EXCLUDING photography and digital drawing/painting) 

For the purpose of this competition, an original print is a print either in black and white or in colour, drawn from one or several plates, conceived and executed entirely by hand by the same artist, regardless of the technique employed, with the exclusion of any and all mechanical, digital or photomechanical processes. Every stage must have been completed by hand by the artist


How to enter / Terms and Conditions and FAQs

These are the links to the detailed instructions which you need read carefully if contemplating an entry. I summarise some of this text below.

DSWF cannot accept original artwork for entry submissions or return photographs or CDs sent by post.

Method and cost of entry 

Entries can be my post or online 

  • Entry is online or via the post. 
  • all images submitted as an entry must be digital.  The quality of your image is extremely important as they are used in the judging process and are then processed for the virtual exhibition. The image must be 
    • a high resolution (300dpi) JPEG digital image
    • with a file size of 2200 pixels on the smallest side 
    • no larger than 6MB.
    • all artwork files must have an easily identifiable name eg labelled as ‘Artist name/artwork title’.
  • the image can be submitted
    • either via the digital online entry
    • or via the postal form – on CD (pc format only)
  • all entries must reach the Foundation by 11:59pm UK time on 31 March 2022. No entries
    will be considered after the closing date. 

What does it cost to enter

  • The cost (per entry) to enter all categories (apart from the ‘Human Impact’ category for young people) is
    £25 each for the first two entries and £15 per entry for any subsequent entries. 
  • For artists entering the ‘Human Impact’ category the cost per entry is £15. 
  • Payment can be made by cheque, bank transfer to DSWF or card payment over the phone.

How should I price my work?

  • All entries must be for sale. Do NOT enter anything you don’t want sold as this exhibition aims to sell – and that includes making your sale price appropriate for the exhibition and marketplace.
  • All prices need to be realistic i.e. priced for sale. Note that this competition is a bit different. Sale price will be negotiated with the artist but the final decision will be made by DSWF. That effectively means that if you enter your work and then put
    • a silly high price on it so it won’t sell, that DSWF can vary that so it will sell
    • a low price on it that DSWF can raise it so that it’s consistent with prices asked for other work of the same quality in the exhibition.


There are three commission rates:

  • Sales proceeds for works exhibited at the exhibition are to be split
    50/50 for sales made for the duration of the exhibition and for one
    month after.
  • After one month, any sales made as a result of the continued
    promotion of the piece by DSWF will be split 70% artist and 30% DSWF
  • Sale proceeds resulting from commissions taken at the exhibition are split 70% artist and 30% DSWF.


DSWF will manage the delivery process in
liaison with the artist and the buyer. 

The cost of
the collection/delivery of the artworks will be
charged directly to the buyer including any
import duties or VAT as relevant. 

This means you don’t need to make any provision for delivery costs in your pricing.

Wildlife Artist of the Year: REFERENCE

The following relate to exhibitions held at the Mall Galleries before the exhibition went virtual.