Mr John Kilburn

Mr John Kilburn

Lecturer in Illustration

School of Art, Design and Architecture (Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Business)



Programme Leader
MA Communication Design & MA Illustration
Exchange: Illustration

Yr 2 co-ordinator BA (Hons) Illustration
Strand Leader for Comics & Visual Narratives


Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice (PGCAP) - University of Plymouth
MA Illustration: Authorial Practice – University College Falmouth 
BA Graphic Design – Bath Spa University College 
BTEC Multimedia – Chelsea and Kensington College
John Kilburn is the programme lead for MA Communication Design & MA Illustration and Year 2 coordinator for BA Illustration at the University of Plymouth. John is interested in the importance and potential of illustration research methods within collaborative and inter-disciplinary research including graphic medicine, oral history, live-drawing, authorial practice and pop-up books. John is a member of the Message research network and editor of the peer-reviewed Message journal. John's research has led to many successful community-focused and inter-disciplinary projects working closely with colleagues from Health, Nursing, History, Criminology, Geology and Environmental Science, and organisations and academic groups such as Fresh Air Africa, Clean Air Africa, and The Sustainable Eel Group supported with funding from the Global Challenges Research Fund, The Arts-Health Research Fund, The Explore Awards and the Sustainable Earth Institute. Illustrated materials from these projects have been adopted across Africa by the World Health Organisation (Fresh Air World) and for global marketing and distribution by Glaxo Smith Kline (Patients illustrated stories of Asthma)
As an illustrator, John graduated with a BA in Graphic Design & Illustration in 1999 and began working in the entertainment industry creating over 400 club flyers and posters. After completing his MA in Authorial Illustration John became immersed in the small press scene as a director of Atlantic Press and working on the production of international artzine Tiny Pencil. In 2012 John founded the gallery and artspace 64 Killigrew Streetin Falmouth with the artist Vincent Larkin. John’s illustrations, handmade zines, pop-up books and comics have been collected, published and exhibited internationally by the likes of Thames & Hudson, Cappelen Damn, the TATE, V&A, Gestalten, Printed Matter NY and the Yale Center for British Art. 


  • Returning the Stories with Dr Darren Aoki, UoP 2023
  • The Idiotlect Dicktionary with Michał Kamil Piotrowski, 2022
  • Bunnies Behind Bars with Astra Papachristodoulou, Knives, Forks and Spoons Press, 2021
  • Auditioning for Poem Atlas with Astra Papachristodoulou, Poem Atlas, 2021
  •  Archipelago: An Atlas of Imagined Islands.Thames & Hudson, 2020 (anthology)
  • The Eel Suitcase with Luke Thompson, Guillemot Press, 2018
  • Robot Squirrel by Luke Thompson, ZimZalla 2017
  • Henry and the Moon Baby by Rob Magnuson Smith, Guillemot Press 2016
  • W.A.A.F.P.P, self-published 2016
  • 72 Hours, Atlantic Press 2015
  • The Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Filtered Through The Hypercube, self-published 2015
  • Only Now Do I Know: Poems of a Five Year Old Boarder, Carole Inman 2015
  • Visual Families, Gestalten 2014
  • Snuff Comix vol.6 2014
  • Tiny Pencil IV: Death and Resurrection, Tiny Empire Press 2014
  • Making Time - Featuring William Arnold, Hannah Guy, Andy Hughes, Nicholas Hughes & Oliver Raymond-Barker 2013
  • Tiny Pencil II: Mammals, Monsters, Mars! Tiny Empire Press 2013
  • Tiny Pencil: The Forest Issue, Tiny Empire Press 2013
  • The Leviathan, self-published 2012
  • The Golden Plaice, self-published 2012
  • Blood, Breasts and Beasts, self-published 2011

As co-director of Atlantic Press:
  • Seacroftby Steve Braund
  •  The Black Madonna’s Song by Mat Osmond and Kate Walters
  • Licitus by Viktoriya Staykova
  • CHAOS: A Co-Creation
  • By Orchestral Waters by June Moore
  • Cassiopia: Knee by Hannah Rae Alton, Irene Vidal Cal, Amy Goodwin, Anne Harild, Catrin Morgan
  • Mouth - anthology
  • The Red Haze by Emilia Wharfe
  • Vassa Zheleznova by Emily Juniper
  • the clearing by LukeThompson illustrated by Mairaed Dunne
  • Stone by Em Strang illustrated by Mat Osmond
  • On Ridgegrove Hill by Alyson Hallett illustrated by Phyllida Bluemel
  • Isomorphology by Gemma Anderson
  • The Devil’s Noose by Heidi Ball
  • Pick me up by Anna Kiernan illustrated by Harriet Lee Merrion

• Save the European Eel: Where next for eel protection? ft. eels from the Eel Suitcase, The Natural History Museum, London, 2019

• 'The Creel' an exhibition of illustrated eel poetry, The Dutch Church, London 2019

• Save the European Eel: Where next for eel protection?, ft. eels from the Eel Suitcase. The London Wetlands Centre, 2019

• 'Seeing Voices' group exhibition. Falmouth, 2018.

• Save the European Eel: Europe's Own Ivory Trade, The European Parliament, Brussels 2018

• The Murmuring Guillemot, Collaborative daily newspaper at Port Eliot Festival with Guillemot Press, St Germans 2017.

• Guillemot Press. Henry and the Moon Baby launch & exhibition. Terre Verte, Alternun. 2017

• First Impressions 5, Plymouth University 2016

• Comica, House of Illustration, 2016

• The Cultshare Show 2015, Penryn Arts Festival.

• Bristol Artists Book Event, Arnolfini April 2015.

• Marlborough School, Visual literacy workshops for children. Falmouth, 2015.

• Bizarre Noel, Falmouth, December 2014.

• The Small Publishers Fair, London 2014

• ‘As Above So Below’ Resident Artist. 64 Killigrew Street, Falmouth 2014.

• “Of Green Leaf, Bird, and Flower”: Artists’ Books and the Natural World. Yale Center for British Art, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut. USA, 2014

• Camp Bestival, Workshop Leader, Dorset 2014.

• ‘Homage’ 64 Killigrew St. Falmouth, 2013

• The Small Publishers Fair, London 2013

• International Artist’s Book Competition Exhibition, Bank Street Arts, Sheffield September 2013

• The Tobacco Factory, Solo Show. Bristol November 2013

• Guest Printmaker, The Print Shop, Bristol, October 2013

• ‘12’ Falmouth Poly. September 2013

• ‘Waterlog’, Falmouth Poly. Aug 2013

• Tiny Pencil Launch Party. Live drawing at GOSH Comics. Soho, April 2013

• Bristol Artists Book Event, April 2013.

• Penryn Arts Festival, Drawing workshop with Tom Hubmann. Penryn 2013

• 64 Killigrew Street - gallery and exhibition space. Co-founder/manager/curator. Falmouth 2013

• The Small Publishers Fair, November 2012

• Comica, London November 2012.

• The Alternative Fresher’s Fair. Falmouth 2012

• Truro Arts, Truro Sept-Oct 2012

• MA Shows. Woodlane campus. Falmouth

• Illustration Stuff Fair, Plymouth CAD. 2012

• Hung,Drawn and Authored. Falmouth Poly, March 2011

• Museum of Walcot Art (MOWA), Walcot Street, Bath, Summer 2010

• Back to Mine, ‘Shopfront’ Exhibition of Posters 2007-2010

• Multimedia Show, Chelsea and Kensington College, Summer 2007

• Squat Art, Ex-Car dealership, Montpellier, Bristol, August 2006

• Bath Fringe Festival, Mural Workshop Leader, Bath 2006

• Solo Exhibition, The Hat and Feather, Bath, 2005

• The Shri Tulsi Mandir Foundation, Resident Artist. Kapsi, India 2004.

• Bath Spa University Degree Show as honorary fellow, Summer 2001

• The Love and Worry Show, The Coningsby Gallery, London. Dec 1999

• Peep! Degree Show, London. Summer 1999

• Bath SpaUniversity Summer 1999

Presentations and posters
Other Publications


Reports & invited lectures

  • 'The MESSAGE research network' presented at the China University of Mining and Technology. Xuzhou, Jiangsu, China. 1st November 2023 with Mrs Victoria Squire 
  • Collaborative and Interdisciplinary Graphic Medicine within the MESSAGE Research Cluster at the University of Plymouth (UK) Graphic Medicine Toronto Conference. July 13-15th 2023 with Mrs Victoria Squire 
  • “Pandemic Pop-ups” presented at the 2022 Illustration Research Symposium, Falmouth University. 15.07.22
  • ‘‘An Illustration of a Rhizome: integrating collaborative, interdisciplinary and ethical projects within the illustration curriculum’.: presented at the 2021 Illustration Research Symposium, Kingston University. 11.02.21
  • Talk on own practice & small publishing, Illustration Online MA, Falmouth University, June 2019
  • 'Comic Books & Graphic Novels', Folkestone Academy, June 2019
  • 'The Eel Suitcase' with Dr Luke Thompson. Environmental Arts Practice Research Conference, University of Plymouth, April 2019
  • Urban Dialogues, University of Plymouth, 2019
  • 'The Eel Suitcase' with Dr Luke Thompson. Sustainable Earth Conference, June 2018 (marketplace presentation)
  • 'Service Learning and Sustainability within ILLUS510' Sustainability in Higher Education Conference, January 2018 (poster presentation)
  • 'Making the Golden Plaice' MA Illustration Research Symposium, Falmouth University 2013