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Gillian Sampson

Gill joined NUA in 2019 as the Course Leader for BA(Hons) Illustration.

Gill has extensive academic and professional experience combining illustration, freelance and teaching. Professional employment includes many major clients and industry commissions ranging from 4AD records to The British Council and the BBC.

Gill’s teaching focus supports individual creativity and practice through the diverse subject area of illustration, engaging students in industry projects, professional and career opportunities. Her teaching includes narrative illustration genres, younger audiences, research and professional practice.

Research and Practice

I have over 30 years experience as an illustrator and educator, working across a wide range of commissions from editorial, books and publishing to design, advertising and licensing for national and international clients including British Telecomm, Northwest London Health Authority, Hallmark Partnership, Penguin Books. My illustration has featured in many magazines and newspapers ranging from Vogue to New Scientist. My work in print includes several children’s classics including “Sleeping Beauty” (Octavian Press, 1996) and “Peter Pan” (Justin Knowles Publishing, 1984).

I studied Illustration at the Royal College of Art, awards including the Vogue Cecil Beaton Award at the Royal Academy (1986) and Folio Society (1987). My work has been exhibited nationally and internationally, such as Breakthrough, Twenty Years of Illustration (1988), “Still there will be stories” Children’s book illustration (1994) at the Henry Moore Gallery, RCA London through to Ji Lin University of Art and Media, China (2017, 2018)

My illustration research interests include narrative illustration genres, reportage, storytelling and diversity within the picture book exploring drawing practices, mixed media and image making. I am studying a practice-based Manchester Metropolitan University, School of Art PhD project part time, exploring illustration practice and it’s potential to generate stories from archival objects.

2018 : Exhibition : ‘Fieldwork from Northern Places’ Place, Space Action staff show 1 Market Gallery Huddersfield   

2018 : Exhibition : Place, Space Action staff show 2 Market Gallery Huddersfield   

2018 and 2017 : Exhibitions : ‘Northern Stories’ Work submitted Ji Lin University of Art and Media, China, University of Huddersfield staff exhibition

2018 : Paper and presentation at Gifcon, Glasgow International Fantasy Conversations University of Glasgow Conference April 2018

Escaping Escapism in Fantasy and the Fantastic : Exploring the role of illustration in picture books at the intersection between fantasy, imagination and meaning

2018 : Exhibition : The Shed Sylvia’s Sisters International Women’s Day Exhibition 8 March, Research in Arts and Humanities at Manchester Metropolitan University, School of Art.

2017 : Presentation and workshop : European Researchers Network Poetry and Print inspired by the Ted Hughes Archive, collaborative research presentation and workshop for younger audiences, September 2017, Heritage Quay with Dr James Underwood, Research fellow in Modern Contemporary Literature, British Academy Rising Star Engagement Award holder 2017 to 2018.

2016 – 2019 : Studio member ArtSpace 2, Bates Mill Huddersfield

2013 – 2016 : Licensing illustration portfolio, Image By Design agency representation at Spring Fair International NEC Birmingham, Autumn Fair International NEC Birmingham, Surtex, New York, USA, Brand Licensing Olympia, London.

2005-2009 Children’s book research and teaching project with exhibition, supporting the national In The Picture Project (a SCOPE campaign supported by Quentin Blake), created to promote the inclusion of disabled children in picture books encouraging publishers, illustrators and writers to embrace diversity.

2006-2008 Research, curation and production of the Exhibition of 20 years of Illustration at the School of Art and Design, Millennium Gallery, University of Wolverhampton.

Alumni database, exhibition and reunion event celebrating illustration and achievements within the visual communications industry. Catalogue (2008) Illustration Alumni Exhibition, celebrating 20 years, School of Art and Design. University of Wolverhampton

1987 – ongoing : Freelance illustration practice across editorial, books, publishing, design, advertising and licensing.

Academic Activities

Current PhD lllustration Practice based part time study, Manchester Metropolitan

University, School of Art Research

2018 : Regional Cross Institutional Action Learning for Women, University of Huddersfield with University of Leeds, Leeds Beckett University, Leeds Trinity University, Sheffield Hallam, York St John, Northumbria University

2018 : Course Leader and team member Year 1 Contemporary Art and Illustration ‘Flying Start’ project as part of University of Huddersfield HEFCE catalyst- funded project aimed at engaging students through an intensive induction programme. The University of Huddersfield Flying Start programme won the Guardian University Teaching Award for Curriculum Design.

2017: Awarded Fellow of The Higher Education Academy

2012: Teaching Learning and Assessment Module (PTLLS) PGCE Lifelong Learning, University of Huddersfield

2000-2005 A wide range of pedagogic research project work and involvement including: assessment and review project, on line learning in the curriculum, the e.portfolio. Awarded Learning and Teaching Innovation of the Year, Teacher of the Year 2003-2004 University of Wolverhampton, School of Art and Design.

External Examiner roles

2017 – 2020:  BA(Hons) Illustration at the University of Central Lancashire, School of Art, Design and Fashion

2017 -2020: Creative Arts Foundation Route at the University of Chester

2018: External Validator International Study Centre, University of Huddersfield International Foundation Year Module Revalidation: Drawing, Art and Design History, Visual and Perceptual Studies

2016- ongoing: International Study in Higher Education: E-portfolio assessor The International Study Centre, University of Sheffield Business, Law and Social Sciences Foundation Pathway leading to BA(Hons) Architecture and Business Law and Social Sciences Pre-Masters Pathway leading to MA Architectural Design


The Association of Illustrators College Membership

D&AD Education Network Membership

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