An insight into the world of illustration by guest speaker, Alexis Deacon

This week, the School of Art & Design at Nottingham Trent University (NTU) hosted a guest lecture with renowned author and illustrator, Alexis Deacon.

Alexis has created a series of successful children’s books, with his first, Slow Loris, being published in 2002. After being shortlisted for the Blue Peter Book Award in 2015, it found its way into the top hundred children's books of all time, awarded by Time Magazine.

Throughout his career, Alexis’ work has received continual recognition; he has twice been shortlisted for the Kate Greenaway Medal and is a two-time recipient of The New York Times Best Illustrated Children's Books Award.  More recently, his book The River won the Observer/Jonathan Cape/Comica Graphic Short Story Prize.

Alexis delivered an insightful lecture, and spoke in depth about the underlying process which he uses to create his books and art work. He touched on observational drawing, character development and how his own experiences inform his work.  He also discussed how important the audience is whether you are working as a designer or illustrator and gave tangible examples of how these areas have shaped his work.

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Alexis delivering his lecture in our Waverley lecture theatre

His talk attracted a diverse audience, with students attending from our BA (Hons) Graphic Design, BA (Hons) Fashion Design and of course, our MA Illustration course.  Jade Broughton, final year Graphic Design student told us: “Alexis’ lecture was one of my favourite so far. It was lovely to see the variation of illustrations he produced for his publishers.”

Ela Jones, added: “I really enjoyed the lecture as I have a particular interest in illustration and the publishing world. He provided a great insightful into the best ways of getting your work recognised, and how the industry works. Alexis’ work is very beautiful and he explained in detail the process he goes through to create them.”

We caught up with Alexis at the end of this lecture, who commented: “It was fantastic to come into the University and meet all of the BA and MA Illustration and Graphic Design students. To all those graduating this year, I would say the one thing that has helped me the most is to realise that learning is a lifelong process. Just because you are leaving NTU doesn’t mean you are at the end of your journey. It’s a cliché, I know, but really, it’s just the beginning.”

An insight into the world of illustration by guest speaker, Alexis Deacon

Published on 16 March 2018
  • Category: Culture; School of Art & Design

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