Book illustration by Tatum
Croft, BA (Hons) Illustration graduate

What is the project? 

A knowledge exchange project between Dr Naomi Tyrrell (social scientist and author) and Tatum Croft (University of Plymouth graduate and freelance illustrator) has led to the development of an educational resource that takes the form of a children’s picture book, designed to support children and their families with the process of moving home. 
Naomi was very conscious while writing the book to be inclusive; to think about campaigns, people’s experiences and characters who haven’t been equally represented in children’s books historically. The prevailing message behind the story is that there are always ways of making the process of moving house a positive experience for children and families. 
“I created it specifically as a moving book for children because there’s not that many and the ones there are could be more diverse in terms of demographics and children’s experiences.”
Naomi Tyrell, social scientist and author

How did the project begin?

This project began when Naomi started developing an organisation focused on supporting families move house. This was inspired by her interest in people’s moving experiences, stemming from her own experiences as a child and continuing to the experience of moving with her family now that she has her own children. As part of this new business adventure, she began by writing a book for parents about how to help their children adjust when moving home, drawing on her eighteen years of research on children’s experiences of moving home. Because of the success of the first book, Naomi was inspired to create a companion book marketed to children, however, due to the different requirements of a younger audience, this new book also required illustrations.
Naomi wanted to find out if there were any students or graduates from the University of Plymouth who could bring her story to life, so she visited the IGNITE webpage where she noticed Tatum’s profile and portfolio. Tatum was encouraged to apply for the virtual internship opportunity that Naomi had created with support from Sarah Holcombe, Project Manager on the Virtual Internship Scheme. Tatum was successful and the pair worked together collaboratively throughout the Internship.

During my internship I found it important to learn as much about the topic and the process as I could, which lead me to delving deep into new research techniques, finding out methods in which I enjoy exploring a topic and keeping me inspired and excited about what I was creating for the client.

Tatum Croft, BA (Hons) Illustration graduate

Illustration by Tatum Croft

What are the impacts of the Virtual Internship?

  • Tatum gained the opportunity to participate in the creation of a published book and experience a working relationship with a client.
  • Tatum’s career as a freelance illustrator has been kick-started.
  • Naomi gained access to Tatum’s talent, skill and insight which has helped her develop her book to the next stage.

What is the future of the project?

The planned future of this project is first to self-publish the book. This is to help control the cost of publication so that a portion of the money can be given to the charity Plymouth in Poverty

Plymouth in Poverty has a reading scheme where medical students from the University read books online to children in areas suffering from deprivation. They wish to read the book to the children to prove that they can do anything.

“Being very new to the professional world after graduating, everything became a learning curve. I was surprised at the range of new skills I developed during my internship that I was able to take with me into my own business. Whether it was learning new practical skills, improving communication methods, using new software, creating timesheets and invoices or even becoming more confident in developing my own business, I was able to build on the fundamental tools to push my career in the right direction.” 
Tatum Croft, BA (Hons) Illustration graduate
Illustration by Tatum Croft

As part of the University of Plymouth’s commitment to enhancing the productivity of the regional Creative Economy and supporting businesses through the economic recovery period, we are piloting an innovative new scheme to pair local businesses with talented postgraduate students in order to undertake a defined project or R&D challenge.

Find out more about the innovative placement scheme.

Woman explaining the plan to office team

This case study was written by Olivia Templeton, a student at the University of Plymouth. Connect with Olivia on LinkedIn.