With research interests that centre around experiential and collaborative learning, Mel Brown and research partner Elaine Garcia have been investigating the potential of blogs to extend opportunities for peer critique outside the classroom, and their papers have been presented in the UK, Europe and the US.
While studying in Bath for her BA (Hons) in Graphic Design and MA in Visual Culture, Mel became obsessed with discarded books, abandoned photographs and seemingly random pieces of ephemera, and a recurring theme in her own practice is the exploration of juxtaposition to transform the use, meaning and interpretation of the things she finds. One of the co-founders and members of Bread & Butter – a Bath & Bristol based collective of Artists, Illustrators, Printmakers & Ceramicists working together to promote and exhibit their work - the power and potential of the collective and creative collaboration has remained an interest ever since.
Dedicated to teaching both theory and practice since 1999, Mel began teaching at Plymouth College of Art in 2004. Mel’s skills and experience are consolidated in her role as Programme Leader on the BA (Hons) Illustration programme at Plymouth College of Art, having long since decided that working alongside the next generation of Illustrators & Image-makers was exactly where she wanted to be.
As an Illustrator, Phil initially focused on children’s book commissions, producing artwork for poetry anthologies and fictional texts to be used within the primary school curriculum and alongside his practice built up extensive teaching experience across a range of Art & Design courses.
Since joining Plymouth College of Art in 2004, Phil has committed to his role in helping to shape and develop the identity and curriculum of the Illustration degree programmes. Specialist interests in Independent Publishing have been explored under the banner of Pylon Press. A support structure for the transmission of creative energy, Pylon Press is designed to enrich the HE Illustration programmes at Plymouth College of Art, providing opportunities to produce artwork for publications and associated products in a supportive, nurturing and curriculum embedded context, encouraging collaboration with students, lecturers and industry links.
Current personal practice explores themes relating to nostalgia; an attempt to reconstruct something that he ‘probably never even experienced in the first place’.
Since graduating in 2009, Ben has been operating as a Freelance Illustrator, working for clients in New York and Canada, to more local work in Plymouth and Exeter. Ben’s practice consists of regular illustrative work for large-scale publications and advertising, as well as the creation of products, independent printed materials, and exhibitions. All of these recent and challenging experiences have all been directly tied to his career as a lecturer; enhancing his knowledge base as he supports students with similar ambitions to realise their creative potential and begin to operate as professionals themselves.
Ben advocates an intuitive led approach to Illustrative Practice; promoting the creation of work that is independent of a single client, operating in collectives and developing a creative community.
Ben’s personal work is mainly based in comics and toys, recognising a rich visual history in vintage ephemera, married with contemporary production techniques.
Jason is an artist, writer and educator with a particular interest in the detritus, flotsam and jetsam of the everyday. Other areas of interest include landscape, walking, critical writing, comics, Actor Network Theory, poetry and performative practices. Since 2001 he has been walking, collecting and archiving the city of Plymouth; this work has been realised in a number of ways, including published texts, performances (locally, nationally and internationally), installations, and public talks.
Having studied Performance Writing at Dartington College of Arts followed by a Masters by Research in Landscape from Plymouth University, Jason is a key member of the BA (Hons) Illustration and BA (Hons) Costume programmes at Plymouth College of Art, fully committed to his role teaching contextual theory and practice across the two programmes.
As one-half of Driftingspace – his collaborative research practice with the artist Sally Hall – Jason explores possibilities and concepts around space and place in urban contexts. Driftingspace attempts to read the city through ideas of architecture and the built environment, displacement, entropy and the ephemera of the landscape. The experience of walking and driving through the city, its transitional spaces, and its undefined places are all elements within their ongoing inquiry.
Andy is a multi-disciplinary image-maker. The main focus of his activities centres on the creative investigation of ‘process’, with an emphasis on a direct hands-on approach to the interaction and manipulation of media and materials. His visual practice explores the relationship between text, image and narrative; integrating digital applications within a traditional craft based approach, incorporating printmaking, drawing and bookbinding.
Within Andy's freelance practice, he has worked on a wide range of commissions from book cover designs for a variety of UK-based publishing companies including, Random House (Vintage) and Absolute Press, as well as editorial work and design briefs. Besides from teaching, Andy continues to actively participate in exhibiting his personal work in various solo and collective exhibitions and press events.
Caroline’s role at Plymouth College of Art is as a part time lecturer, two days a week. She co-runs and designs modules, runs tutorials and presentations, designs and delivers workshops, assessing and holding interviews for new students and staff for BA Illustration. She is also the MA illustration Specialist tutor/course leader with similar responsibilities and roles.
She has been working as an illustrator for nearly 20 years, predominantly illustrating ranges of greeting cards and children's books, and has created artwork for over 50 books, selling worldwide in over 23 languages. She works for publishers in the US and the UK, and works on a rolling book contract with Little Tiger Press, London.
She completed an MA in Illustration - Authorial Practice at Falmouth University in 2011 and since then has fostered a healthy authorial practice alongside her commercial work to brief. She creates her own illustrated books under the umbrella of her own small press, called An-ti-dote Press. Her life is a contradiction of the commercial versus the authorial and constantly striving for a balance between the two. She strives to understand the relationship she has with her work and has a passion to pass that on to her students in the most honest, authentic and inspiring way. Her knowledge is varied and wide and she has an abundance of ideas and solutions which can be useful in mentoring and consultation situations.
Tristan's main focus is in art direction, design and illustration. His clients past and present include Real World, Womad, Universal, BBC, Habitat, EMI Records, Rich Mix, Cheltenham Festivals, Soil Association, Modern Art Oxford and the Arnolfini Gallery. High profile projects include the iconic Blur 'Think Tank' album cover. As creative director of Think Beautiful Design, Tristan also works with international contemporary artists in an art direction role for clients such as Wahaca.
In 2002 Tristan's first book, Stencil Graffiti was published by Thames and Hudson worldwide. This was followed by Street Logos (2004), Graffiti Brasil (2005), Street Sketchbook (2007), Street Sketchbook: Journeys (2010), Raw + Material + Art (2012), Big Art / Small Art (2014). His most recent book Make Your Mark was recently published in 2016. He also often contributes to arts and design publications such as Juxtapoz, Varoom Magazine and Creative Review. In 2014 & 2017 he was invited to be one of the judges for Association of Illustrators annual World Illustration Awards.
Besides working at Plymouth College of Art, Tristan has also lectured at Tate Modern, the ICA, the Arnolfini, and the RCA. He also lectures in Illustration at USW in Cardiff.
The staff listed on this programme are correct at the time of writing. Students will be notified if there are any changes to key staff (i.e. Programme Leaders and Lecturers).