Illustration for 15 - 17 Year Olds

Nottingham Trent University, 50 Shakespeare Street, Nottingham, Notitnghamshie, NG1 4BU

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Illustration for 15 - 17 Year Olds


7th August – 11th August | 2023 | Monday to Friday 10 am – 4 pm, one week
Nottingham Trent University

This course is a fun and dynamic way to experiment with both drawn and digital illustration.

You can have little or no previous knowledge to attend and you can have any drawing ability – you will still achieve great results!

On this course you'll discover different creative approaches to illustration and investigate the broad possibilities that illustration offers, it's ideal for anyone thinking of completing further studies in illustration or graphic design.

You'll learn how to communicate ideas and visual concepts whilst developing your unique personal style and produce illustrations for different outcomes, including making work for children's books, graphic novels, editorial publishing, and commercial purposes.

You'll start by completing practical projects where you'll experiment with a selection of traditional artistic methods and materials and be encouraged to push your creative thinking and self-expression.

With an emphasis on playful experimentation, you'll use these hand-made visual elements to digitally edit and manipulate your work in Adobe Photoshop.

You will be introduced to techniques through hands-on workshops, group demonstrations and discussions, feedback and tutorials.

On this course, you will:
• learn about different types of illustration and the relationship they have with an audience
• analyse different illustrative approaches and their purposes
• explore and develop visual metaphors
• learn how to develop your own work through idea generation and research skills
• practice mark making with different tools and materials
• creatively explore mixed media techniques and basic paper model and maquette-making
• participate in group discussions and one-to-one tutorials
• be encouraged to practice new ways of working including collaborative and large-scale work
• learn how to digitally edit hand-made work in Photoshop
• record and reflect on your work throughout the course to include in your portfolio.

You'll work alongside like-minded creatives, exploring all aspects of illustration in a vibrant studio environment.

You'll be encouraged to think differently about what illustration can be and gain an understanding of the different types of illustrations by looking at the work of established illustrators for inspiration.

Level: Open to all

Entry requirement: You should have an enthusiasm for drawing and an interest in developing your creative and technical skills.

What will you gain?

You'll leave with portfolio-standard work that'll support a college or university application and will help you to gain further experience and transferable skills in illustration and visual communication.

You'll have real hands-on experience of what it is like to be a design student at university, and an understanding of what admissions tutors are looking for.

A certificate of attendance will be awarded upon completion of the course.

Where you'll learn: You will be based in the Nottingham School of Art and Design on the City Campus.

You'll find collaborative working spaces where you develop your sketches and concepts, and IT suites equipped with industry standard software including Adobe Creative Cloud.

You'll also have access to our library to use outside of your short course; whilst you can't reserve or take away books, you are welcome to use them as a resource for research and referencing.

Tutor profile:

Maddy Burt (she/her) is an illustrator, writer, fine artist and educator.

Originally trained in Fine Art, Maddy has exhibited her work extensively, including in London, Berlin and New York.

She retrained in 2020, completing an MA in Illustration here at NTU.

Maddy is a highly experienced art educator, having taught for over 20 years, including at Bilborough College where she was Head of Department and taught on the Art A-Level, Art IB and History of Art A-level courses.

She has previously worked as a participating artist and educator on various youth art collaborative projects in conjunction with Nottingham Contemporary Gallery.

In 2021 she was longlisted for the World Illustration Awards and has subsequently been employed for editorial and commercial illustration work.

She is currently undertaking a PhD at NTU specialising in graphic novels.

Maddy loves helping young people engage with art in ways that are right for them as individuals, and enjoys creating a studio atmosphere that is relaxed, friendly and purposeful.

You can see Maddy's work on her website and on Instagram.

Need accommodation?

If you're aged 16 or 17 then you can stay unaccompanied with agreement from a parent/guardian.

To support safeguarding, all guests aged 16 and 17 will be accommodated together in the same halls of residence.

The reception and security team are available 24 hours, and there will be a dedicated supervisor(s) during the evenings and mornings, outside of class times.

Guests will be provided with a mobile number for the supervisor(s) during their stay.

If you're aged 15 then you can stay as long as you are accompanied by a parent/guardian.

Find out more at

Doing your Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award?

This course can count as your Gold DofE Residential.

DofE participants must book both the course and accommodation on campus for this to count towards your Gold Award.

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