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BA (Hons) Illustration

Our stimulating degree programmes are delivered by our team of academics, technical demonstrators and invited experts who together deliver excellence in teaching. You’ll learn from real industry professionals, to ensure your future success in the fast-paced creative industries.

Sam Rowe
Sam Rowe
Senior Lecturer & Course Leader
Sam Rowe is a Senior Lecturer and Course Leader on BA (Hons) Illustration and a lecturer on BA (Hons) Graphic Communication, where he team-teaches modules on sequential illustration, professional practice, and independent and self promotional practices. Outside his time teaching at Arts University Plymouth, Sam is a freelance illustrator, art director, and designer, working with clients such as The New York Times, Financial Times, Airbnb, Atlassian, The McConnell Foundation, NPR, Dyson, and Bristol University amongst others. Sam is represented globally by The Loud Cloud, an agency that works with a dynamic group of unique illustrators, designers and animators. Sam regularly works with the Society for Research into Higher Education, delivering workshops and seminars focusing on visualising research and sharing best practice. Prior to joining the academic teaching staff at the college, Sam taught illustration at the universities of Gloucestershire and Plymouth. In 2021, Sam also became part of our Postgraduate cohort of students, beginning his MA in Illustration. His research centres on voice and communication, particularly those that bridge difficult gaps in understanding such as language and deep time.
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Benjamin Wright
Senior Lecturer & Course Leader
Since graduating in 2009, Ben has been operating as a Freelance Illustrator, working for clients in New York and Canada, to more local work in Plymouth and Exeter. Ben’s practice consists of regular illustrative work for large-scale publications and advertising, as well as the creation of products, independent printed materials, and exhibitions. All of these recent and challenging experiences have all been directly tied to his career as a lecturer; enhancing his knowledge base as he supports students with similar ambitions to realise their creative potential and begin to operate as professionals themselves. Ben advocates an intuitive led approach to Illustrative Practice; promoting the creation of work that is independent of a single client, operating in collectives and developing a creative community. Ben’s personal work is mainly based in comics and toys, recognising a rich visual history in vintage ephemera, married with contemporary production techniques.
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Mel Brown
Senior Lecturer & Assistant Head of School for Design + Communication
Dedicated to teaching both theory and practice since 1999, Mel began teaching at Arts University Plymouth in 2004. She is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, AUP Teaching Fellow and RSA Fellow. Mel’s skills and experience are consolidated in her role as Assistant Dean and Principal Lecturer, having long since decided that working alongside the next generation of designers and creatives was exactly where she wanted to be. Previously course leader for BA (Hons) Illustration, Mel built a team of dedicated staff to help shape the identity and curriculum of the course, and the Illustration provision at Arts University Plymouth grew from strength to strength Current pedagogic research is focused on play and the role of curiosity in creative learning. Mel has presented papers at conferences across the UK and Europe: Illustr4tio International Conference (‘Illustration as Reparation’ 2019), GLAD Conference (‘Trading Places: Developing a Model for Interdisciplinary Practice’ 2017), HEA Annual Arts and Humanities Conference (‘The Great Editorial Race: the serious business of play’ 2016), ELIA Teachers Conference (‘The Serious Business of Play’ 2015). She is co-author of journal paper ‘Drawing Thinking: Illustration as Pedagogy' with AUP Senior lecturer Jason Hirons. With a BA (Hons) in Graphic Design and MA in Visual Culture from Bath Spa University, in her own practice Mel is obsessed with discarded books and abandoned photographs and seemingly random pieces of ephemera. Through drawing and collage Mel plays with juxtaposition to transform the use, meaning and interpretation of the images she finds and a recurring theme is the plight of lost, broken and damaged things. Website
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Phil Trenerry
Lecturer
Philip is a Lecturer on BA (Hons) Illustration, where he team-teaches modules on Sequential Illustration, Independent Practices and Research & Experimentation. Outside of teaching, Philip explores interests in hauntology and folklore through various projects, including site-specific fabrications about the dangers of walking on Dartmoor, illustrations of substation ritual sites and skateboarding clips which often feature audio samples from public information films and TV shows.In 2010 Philip co-founded Pylon Press, a shared framework for students, academics and practitioners who want to investigate authorial avenues and independent publishing within their Illustration practice.Pylon Press now has over 20 publications, which have been showcased through various local and national events and stockists including Bristol Artists Book Event, Counter Plymouth, Native Makers, Gosh! Comics and Gnash! Comics & Graphic Novels.
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Jason Hirons
Senior Lecturer, Undergraduate Contextual Studies
Jason is an artist, writer and educator with an interest in the detritus, flotsam and jetsam of the everyday. Other areas of interest include landscape, walking, critical writing, comics, Actor Network Theory, poetry and performative practices. Since 2001 he has been walking, collecting and archiving the city of Plymouth; this work has been realised in a number of ways, including published texts, performances (locally, nationally and internationally), installations, and public talks. Jason studied Performance Writing at Dartington College of Arts followed by a Masters by Research in Landscape at the University of Plymouth, and he is currently a doctoral candidate at the Institute of Education, where his research involves speculations on the future of the art school and communities of practice. As one half of Driftingspace and a founding member of the art and architecture group Interchange, Jason explores the possibilities of place, space and critical education as a conduit for transformational learning. He also runs theopenartschool, which includes the ongoing microlecture series #5minutecontext, hosted on his Instagram account @JasonHirons. For years Jason led and coordinated the Contextual Studies modules at Arts University Plymouth, and he currently teaches on the BA (Hons) Illustration, Masters in Art, Masters in Photography, and MFA programmes, and is the Course Leader for Distance Learning at Arts University Plymouth.
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Caroline Pedler
Lecturer
Caroline is an Illustrator, artist and educator. She has exhibited and curated numerous shows around the UK and more recently been part of illustration exhibitions in Bologna, Italy and Shanghai, China. She has illustrated over 50 children's picture books and worked with a variety of International clients over the past 20 years. Being a predominantly co-edition iIllustrator, her books are in 27 different languages and sell all over the world. Her clients include Little Tiger Press, Barnes & Noble, Hallmark, Sony, Tescos, Walmart, Scholastic, Parragon, Marks and Spencers, Readers Digest and Matalan. She completed an MA in Authorial Practice / Illustration at Falmouth University in 2011 and shortly after founded her own small press An-Ti-Dote Press where she publishes her own artist / picture books. She runs various Masterclasses in art and Illustration around the county and currently works as a lecturer on BA Illustration and leads the MA Illustration pathway at Arts University Plymouth.
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Bridgette Ashton
Lecturer
Bridgette Ashton is a part-time lecturer teaching on Arts University Plymouth's BA (Hons) Illustration programme. Bridgette’s practice includes sculpture, printmaking, drawing and publications. She has staged a number of participatory art events exploring neglected or unfamiliar aspects of particular locations. Looking at redundant places, objects and archives - sometimes real and at other times invented - she makes scale-models, depictions and proposals that engage with the histories and narratives of the sites. She has exhibited widely with museums, commercial galleries and alternative spaces in the UK and in Europe.
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Jack Viant
Lecturer
Jack Viant graduated from Arts University Plymouth with a BA (Hons) Illustration in 2015. Previously, Jack has been a Graduate Studentship Lecturer at the university, working alongside the Careers team, students and lecturers. Jack currently lectures on BA (Hons) Illustration at Arts University Plymouth. “As a Studentship Lecturer I work primarily with 1st year degree students and I provide confidence boosting and guidance as well as a mass amount of online visual resources which assist students in making the most out of their time and resources here at the college. Additionally I offer advice and guidance concerning my experience in the art industry as well as supporting the whole ‘good student bad student paradigm’ I aim to guide students along the correct path!” As well as working at the university Jack also focuses on his work as a Freelance Illustrator. Jack has worked with clients including Oxford University Press, Woodmansterne publications, Supha's Street Food Emporium, Syfy, OKIDO Magazine, Hallmark Cards, Dartmoor Zoo, Animated Exeter and Plymouth History Week. Specialising in children’s illustrations, Jack is published by Bloomsbury, Miles Kelly, Hachette and Oxford University Press, and represented by the Bright Agency. “My work is playful and abstract. A lot of my imagery is influenced by vintage edgy cartoons and the surrealist movement. My work is composed digitally but contains hand rendered textures and other elements which are then implemented and manipulated digitally. I enjoy the thought of perpetual chaos! “ Visit Jack’s website: www.jiantillustration.co.uk