City mural project

Isabel and Jack win prestigious competition run by GWR and Exeter City of Literature 

Isabel Keen (working under the name Billy Ruffian) and Jack Ratcliff have won a £20k competition to design and implement two murals at Exeter St David's station – one of the biggest permanent public art commissions to take place in Exeter for a while. The competition was open to all artists across Devon.  
Isabel and Jack will produce artwork celebrating Exeter’s status as a UNESCO City of Literature, which will be unveiled in early 2024 and seen by thousands of visitors to the city each year. 
Isabel Keen, Jack Ratcliff
Photo Credit: Great Western Railway / Billy Ruffian

Success at D&AD New Blood 2023

Three of our illustration students received Best in Show awards at the D&AD New Blood Awards 2023.
  • Anna Oliver – BA (Hons) Illustration 
  • Amii James – MA Illustration 
  • Annabel Hitchmough – BA (Hons) Illustration 
AandAd New Blood booth 2023 - Illustration 
Best in show winner at New Blood 2023
Best in show winner at New Blood 2023
Best in show winner at New Blood 2023

Association of Illustrators World Illustration Awards 2023

BA (Hons) Illustration student Isabel Keen has been shortlisted for the 2023 Association of Illustrators World Illustration Awards. The shortlist is 200 of 5000 entries from across the globe. 
Isabel was shortlisted in the exploration section for her Geevor Tin Mine in Cornwall narrative in comic format, helping to preserve oral histories for future generations.
Her work will be shown in Somerset House, London and will be a part of a travelling exhibition.

James wins award at the Angoulême International Comics Festival

BA (Hons) Illustration student James Taylor won the inaugural 2023 UNESCO Literary Project prize for their comic narrative.
“It was an honour to be chosen to go to Angoulême on behalf of Exeter City of Literature, and a huge surprise to win the Literature Award! I was so inspired by all of the French comics I got to see, and everyone else at the Festival, too. I can't wait to take everything I learned from this trip forward into my own work. Thank you to the UNESCO Creative Cities!” James Taylor
Students from the Illustration programme were given the opportunity to attend the Festival thanks to the Exeter and Angoulême Cities of Literature offices. 4 students were selected for the opportunity and were awarded bursaries to help with travel within France, accommodation and subsistence.
Angoulême: city of comics find out more about the illustration students who represented Devon comic creators in Angoulême.
BA Illustration student James Taylor at Angoulême International Comics Festival

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

BA (Hons) Illustration graduate Reuben Lane has won first place in the THU 2019 Desirable Future Golden Ticket Challenge.
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, Rachel Simpson and Jenni Scrampton at the Bologne 2019 Children's Book Fair.

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.

Omelas by Summer Churchill, BA (Hons) Illustration student. 

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.

Visual Impairments by Alice Combe, BA (Hons) Illustration student. 

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.

Fresh Air project

Chronic lung disease is an increasing concern in developing countries. Working with Professor Rupert Jones and The Fresh Air Programme illustration students created educational materials aimed at reducing the risk of health complications from biomass fuel consumption in Uganda. 

The ‘Smoke Monster’ animation by Illustration student Angus Ulyett, made in collaboration with Professor Rupert Jones’s Fresh Air Programme in Uganda has been adopted by the Ministry of Health in Kenya as an education tool to help Community Health Extension Worker (CHEW) training following a recommendation from the World Health Organisation. The Ministry of Health met recently to discuss final plans for the CHEW curriculum to be rolled out in January as part of Universal Health Coverage. There are also plans to use the animation in other countries including Uganda, Cameroon and Ghana.

 ‘The smoke monster’ by Angus Ulyett, University of Plymouth Illustration student
‘Smoke Monster’ by Angus Ulyett
Illustration student work for the Fresh Air project
Illustration student work for the Fresh Air project
Illustration student work for the Fresh Air project
Illustration student work for the Fresh Air project

The Eel Suitcase

The decline of the critically endangered European Eel (Anguilla Anguilla) has had a significant impact on a staggering breadth of species, including birds, mammals and fish, and both marine and freshwater species. The Eel Suitcase collaborative project engaged with the plight of the eel by creating a series of eel related artworks and publications.

In 2018 The Eel Suitcase ran several student projects, one of which took a group of University of Plymouth students from illustration, creative writing, documentary photography and publishing to exhibit eel artworks at the European Parliament in Brussels and create an eely guidebook of the city.

More recently the Eel Suitcase collection was exhibited at The London Wetlands Centre, The Dutch Church and The Natural History Museum.

The Eel Suitcase

Oxford University Museum of Natural History

Year two Illustration students have been working on briefs set by scientists from the Oxford University Museum of Natural History relating to the museum collection and public display. This year student artwork relating to the very first living organisms, has been put on display as part of Interpretative Panels within the Discovery Aspiring UNESCO Global Geopark, situated in Port Union, Newfoundland . The site will be visited by UNESCO evaluators later this year as part of the process of the area securing full global geopark status. One student took the opportunity to visit Port Union where she undertook a week-long residency.

Work by Rachel Simpson - illustration student
Image courtesy of Rachel Simpson