Dedicated to teaching both theory and practice since 1999, Mel began teaching at Arts University Plymouth in 2004.
Mel’s skills and experience are consolidated in her role as Principal Lecturer on the BA (Hons) Illustration programme at Arts University Plymouth, having long since decided that working alongside the next generation of Illustrators & Image-makers was exactly where she wanted to be. As the Illustration provision at Arts University Plymouth has grown from strength to strength, Mel has built a team of dedicated staff to help shape the identity and curriculum of the programme and deliver a high quality HE experience to our undergraduates.
While studying in Bath for her BA (Hons) in Graphic Design and MA in Visual Culture, Mel became obsessed with discarded books, abandoned photographs and seemingly random pieces of ephemera, and a recurring theme in her own practice is the exploration of juxtaposition to transform the use, meaning and interpretation of the things she finds. One of the co-founders and members of Bread & Butter – a Bath & Bristol based collective of Artists, Illustrators, Printmakers & Ceramicists working together to promote and exhibit their work - the power and potential of the collective and creative collaboration has remained an interest ever since.
Mel Brown (and research partner Elaine Garcia)'s research around experiential and collaborative learning investigated the potential of blogs to extend opportunities for peer critique outside the classroom, and their papers were presented in the UK, Europe and the US.
Current research interests explore play and the role of curiosity in creative learning.
Shaping Thinking - Mel Brown and Sam Rowe partnered with Diversity Business Incubator, a Knowledge Exchange Funded project (Research England and AUP). Shaping Thinking explores how an illustrator's approach to the relationship between text and image can support and benefit professions outside of the creative industries by supporting them to develop their visualisation skills.
Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (SFHEA)
Fellow Royal Society for Arts, Manufactures & Commerce (FRSA)
Arts University Plymouth Teaching Fellow
- Curiosity, Play and Collaboration in creative learning
- Illustration and Adaptation: interpretation influenced by personal narrative when adapting/illustrating texts
- Drawing Thinking/Shaping Thinking: exploring notions of 'draw everything'
The Little Poster Festival - poster presentation with Jason Hirons at the 11th Illustration Research Symposium - Education and Illustration: Models, Methods, Paradigms: Kingston University (2021)
‘Drawing Thinking: Illustration as Pedagogy' Hirons, J. and Brown, M. (2019), ‘Drawing thinking: Illustration as pedagogy’, Drawing: Research, Theory, Practice (2019)
‘Illustration as Reparation’ - Paper presented at the Illustr4tio International Conference ‘Illustration and Adaptation’ at the University of Burgundy, Dijon (2019)
GLAD Conference ‘Exploring Territories: The Changing Landscape of Art and Design in Higher Education’- ‘Trading Places: Developing a Model for Interdisciplinary Practice’ presentation: with Paul Fieldsend-Danks and Ellen Sims (2017)
HEA Annual Arts and Humanities Conference, Brighton - Inspire: Sharing great practice in Arts and Humanities teaching and learning - Presentation: ‘The Great Editorial Race: the serious business of play’ (2016)
ELIA Teachers Conference, Tilburg, The Netherlands - Presentation: ‘The Serious Business of Play’ (2015)
European Conference on Games Based Learning (ECGBL), Berlin – Presentation: ‘Why Play The Great Editorial Race? Gamification and the role of ‘play’ in building professional practice skills’ (2014)
The Changing Roles of Staff and Students within a Connectivist Educational Blog Model Paper presented E Garcia & M Brown) and consequently published in the proceedings of the European Conference on E-Learning 2012, Groningen (2012)
The Effectiveness of Collective Group Blogs as a Tool for Reflection within Experiential Learning Projects: A Case Study of Simulated Work Based Learning within Higher Education Paper presented (by E Garcia) and consequently published in the proceedings of the 6th Annual Conference in International Technology, Education and Development Conference, Valencia (2012)