Student successes

Reuben places first in global challenge

BA (Hons) Illustration graduate Reuben Lane has won first place in the THU 2019 Desirable Future Golden Ticket Challenge, student category.

"I am absolutely over the moon to have won this challenge! It started just at the right time where I could really invest myself into it, and it was a super fun journey! Perhaps the best aspect is seeing what everyone else is contributing alongside you in real-time, and being able to see how their unique interpretations of the brief also grew and came to fruition. I felt instantly inspired by the theme of Desirable Future, which compelled me to explore mixing forms from nature with functions of the future! I am so excited to have the opportunity to visit beautiful Malta and go to THU!”

Find out more about Reuben's success

Winning artwork by Reuben Lane for THU Golden Ticket Challenge

 Bologna Book Fair success 2019

Children’s Markets Stand Leader, Emma Carlisle secured internal funding from the School of Art, Design and Architecture, allowing her to arrange for three final year students and herself to travel to Italy for the 2019 International Bologna Children’s Book Fair. This trade fair is one of the pinnacles of the children’s publishing world. All three students received great feedback and made useful industry contacts.

Our field trips are designed around industry contacts, this year’s visit to Bologna Book Fair meant our students interested in children’s markets met with publishers and agents receiving advice, suggestions for their final major projects and offers of publishing contracts.

Sophie Lunnon

Picture book deal signed with Little Tiger Press. A lot of interest and great feedback from publishers for her author/illustrator book ideas. 

“I was so happy to be given the opportunity to go to Bologna Book Fair as part of my course! My tutor Emma helped me so much in the weeks leading up to the trip, going through my dummy books and offering advice on how to make my stories and illustrations more exciting. Once at the fair I had seven meetings over four days. It was great to get feedback on my work and hear the different opinions. In the weeks after the fair I’ve signed my first picture book deal with Little Tiger Press as well as developing my portfolio and personal projects which I plan to take to D&AD this summer.” 


Jenni Scampton

Had several positive meetings at Bologna and has since started as a Junior Designer at Macmillan as well as signing her first picture book contract with Quatro. 

“Being in Bologna was really inspiring for me and I came back so motivated to make more work. I had eight meetings in total with publishers like Nosy Crow and Flying Eye and they all gave really useful advice for furthering my professional practice. I had such an amazing time and have made contacts which I’ve followed after the fair as well as ones which I’ll be contacting as a professional illustrator after graduating. I can't wait to go again, it was such a valuable experience to make connections with publishers and other illustrators from the industry I want to go into.”


Rachel Simpson

Interest from agent whilst at the fair, after returning from Bologna Rachel has been highly commended for the Macmillan prize (2019) and has since had serious interest from several publishers for her first author/illustrator picture book.

“The Bologna children’s book fair was an amazing experience! I had 10 meetings in total, which were a mix of portfolio reviews and meetings with potential clients. Being at the fair was really inspirational and it was useful to get feedback on my work from top publishers and to hear about their knowledge and scale of the industry. Going to the fair as a third year was an amazing experience and definitely something you should do if you’re considering going into the children’s market!”


Association of Illustrators World Illustration Awards (WIA) 2019

Every year the course submits work from Year 3 students into the WIA and every year so far we have been successful. It's a terrific confidence builder and launch to their careers to be accepted into the Awards.

Alice Combe shortlisted in the Research category

I created this project in collaboration with visually impaired (VI) members of the Royal National College for the Blind (RNC), to expand public understanding of VI. Based on interviews, I created a series of portraits of people with different VI, in the way that they see.

This portrait depicts artist Lennie Jordan, who has Keratoconus - a non-inflammatory eye condition in which the normally round dome-shaped clear window of the eye progressively thins causing a cone-like bulge to develop. The purpose is to educate people about the different types of VI people have.

Summer Churchill shortlisted in the Book category

A personal response to the book, 'The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas' by Ursula K. Le Guin. A story of a utopian city with a dark underbelly. A child must be kept in constant misery in the basement of the city, so that the people of Omelas may live in a perfect society.

This is a webcomic and I wanted to use animation to suggest an atmosphere of disquiet, which is foreshadowed in the book. I utilised a limited colour palette to illustrate the beauty of the city changing as the city's dark truths and the reader's realisation sets in. The story poses a moral quandary and it was this aspect that I chose to explore further, with a character and his decision to leave.