Illustration Research is a network of academics and practitioners with the purpose of promoting the cultural significance of illustration, and to create opportunities to share research into and through illustration.

Our sister publication is the peer reviewed ‘Journal of Illustration’

Each year we collaborate with cultural and educational institutions to organise a symposium and exhibition. Selected papers and practice -led presentations are published in the peer reviewed Journal of Illustration (Intellect Books)

Matthew Richardson

Matthew Richardson originally studied Graphic Design (BA) at Middlesex University, followed by postgraduate study in printmaking and Illustration at Central St. Martins, and Fine Art (MA) at UWIC, Cardiff.  His research and practice looks at the slipperiness of human narrative and how memory and histories are created and fabricated. He looks for cultural myths and half-hidden stories, often re-told or re-cut to provoke questions around place, identity and the gaps between fact and fiction.  Often one idea is explored across different forms - object-book-print-film, incorporating collage, assemblage, animation and text. He has made work within widely differing contexts, including commissions for the V&A, English National Opera, BBC and Penguin. He is a part time lecturer at Norwich University of the Arts, on the BA Illustration course.

Norwich University of the Arts

Amelia Johnstone

"Wonder has no opposite; it springs up already doubled in itself, compounded of dread and desire at once, attraction and recoil, producing a thrill, the shudder of pleasure and of fear. It names the marvel, the prodigy, the surprise as well as the responses they excite of fascination and inquiry; it conveys the active motion towards experience and the passive stance of enrapturement."

-Marina Warner, 1996

Cardiff Metropolitan University

Chris Glynn

Chris Glynn’s teaching and research interests are inspired by his previous work in animation design and music education. Key interests include: – Illustration of complex ideas; visual narrative; visual humour;
 – Use of illustration and live drawing for public and interdisciplinary engagement and understanding; – Creative Pedagogy;

Cardiff Metropolitan University

Leah Fusco

Leah explores ideas in relation to landscape, people and time. Drawing on geographic and historic subject matter, she is interested in past, present and future stories that observe the shaping of communities by physical environment. Her current doctoral research investigates the documentation of a deserted medieval village in East Sussex and considers how audiences engage with lost places in the 21st century.  

More broadly, Leah is concerned with developing methods for visual storytelling through documentary narrative, with a focus on the role of drawing as a means of recording experience and readings of place. 

Alongside her practice, Leah is a visiting lecturer at the Royal College of Art.

Royal College of Art

James Walker

Jim Walker teaches visual theory on the illustration course at the University for the Creative Arts and is associate editor for the Journal of Illustration. He previously managed the Animation Archive at UCA. His research interest includes areas of propaganda, visual culture, terror and trauma, visual narrative, documentary/reportage and animation. He is the author of “A Terror Lexicon: Shadows, Places and Ghosts” in Coulter-Smith, Graham and Maurice Owen (2005) Art in the Age of Terrorism London: Holberton Publications. ‘The vernacular line: Adoption and transposition of the kitsch in illustration’, Journal of Illustration.

Unversity of Creative Arts, Farnham

Susan Doyle

Susan Doyle holds a BFA in illustration and a dual MFA in painting and printmaking from RISD. Having spent a a good deal of her professional life involved in both design and fine art, she is particularly interested in the tension between how something is conceived versus how it is perceived. Currently she is working on a series of prints and paintings exploring the confluence of abstract and denotative constructs in work that involves graphing, optical illusion and pictorial imagery derived from the stuff and nonsense of myth, fine art and contemporary culture.

Rhode Island School of Art

Dr. Sheena Calvert

Dr Sheena Calvert is a philosopher, writer, designer and artist. She has a PhD in philosophy of language and aesthetics (2013). Her PhD work in the philosophy of language consolidated this engagement, and considered the implications of a ‘Sensual Logic’; one which acknowledges the significance of paradox (something ‘a-logical’, operating at the limits of thought).

Royal College of Art

Jonathan Gibbs

Jonathan Gibbs teaches Illustration in the University of Edinburgh. Currently he has been working on fabric designs for St Jude’s and a series of new wood engravings for Editions & Objects at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park. Jonathan Gibbs exhibits regularly in London and Edinburgh and is represented by the Central Illustration Agency, London.  He studied at the Central School of Art & Design and the Slade School of Fine Art, London. Jonathan Gibbs lives in Scotland and has recently made illustrations for the Radio Times, Granta and the London Sinfonia. 

Edinburgh College of Art

Desdemona McCannon

Desdemona McCannon is a writer, illustrator, curator and academic and a Senior lecturer at Manchester School of Art, specialising in Illustration and print culture. She is principal editor of the peer reviewed Journal of Illustration and on the steering committee of the Illustration Research Network. She is interested in illustration’s role in the minutae of everyday life, and in forming wider cultural identities.

Manchester School of Art

Professor Peter Lloyd

Peter is Director of Southampton Solent School of Art, Design and Fashion, and a Visiting Professor at the Shanghai Institute of Technology, China and the China Academy of Arts. He has over 20 years experience in education and has taught, led and managed a whole range of courses in the area of visual communication during this time.

Southampton Solent University

Dr. Stephanie Black

Stephanie Black puts pictures and words together, and could be described as a practitioner-researcher in illustration. She completed a practice-led Ph.D. at the University of the West of England (Bristol) and currently lectures at Plymouth University. She has exhibited nationally and internationally, works to commission, and is also co-editor of an online drawing research project called Hatch. Stephanie also writes about illustration, focusing on the methods employed and theoretical territory it traverses.

Plymouth University

Dr. Jaleen Grove

Jaleen Grove, Ph.D. joined Washington University in July 2016 as the Postdoctoral Fellow in Popular Print in the Douglas B. Dowd Modern Graphic History Library. A Canadian art historian with specialization in the history of the commercial graphic arts, she has been writing and publishing on aspects of illustration since 2006. Other research areas include cultural studies, visual communication, nationalisms, and studio practice. Grove has taught at OCAD University, Wilfrid Laurier University, Stony Brook University, Parsons School of Design, and Washington University.

Washington University, St Louis

Adrian Holme

Adrian is a lecturer on the BA Hons Illustration, Camberwell College of Arts, UAL, delivering and coordinating theory / contextual studies, and associate lecturer on MA Art and Science, CSM. He is an associate editor on the Journal of Illustration, and member of Illustration Research steering committee. A writer and artist, his research interests include alchemy, media theory, and the relationship between technology and the human.

Camberwell College of Arts, UAL

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Steering Committee