SUE CLARKE, SENIOR LECTURER
Sue Clarke has been an academic and illustrator for over 30 years; she graduated from Central Saint Martins in 1989 with a first-class BA (Hons) degree.
Sue is currently a Senior Lecturer on the BA Illustration Course at Falmouth, and External Examiner for the BA Illustration Course at Derby University. She has taught at Falmouth for 17 years, across different roles, including Head of the 1st year and Module Leadership for Level 4 and Level 6. Key specialist curriculum development and delivery includes Visual Problem Solving, Children’s Books and Professional Practice.
Previous academic roles include Joint Course Leader on the MA Illustration/Animation Course at Kingston University, External Examiner for the BA Illustration Course at Hull School of Art and Associate Lecturer/Visiting Lecturer at various Universities, including Central St. Martins, Brighton and Buckinghamshire. She has taught across a range of levels, such as Art Foundation, BA and MA, in Illustration and textiles, and has written various short courses.
Sue has worked substantially as a freelance illustrator alongside teaching throughout her career and has built up a large international client list across Editorial Illustration, Design, Advertising and Publishing, in the UK, USA, Spain, Italy, Germany, Japan and Holland. Selected clients include Time magazine, Wall St. Journal, The Guardian, The Times, The Telegraph, The Radio Times, New Scientist, Penguin Books, Walker Books, Transworld, Macmillan, Hyperion/Disney, BBC Educational Books, The Royal Festival Hall, Nat West, Amnesty International and Decca Records. Notable, sustained commissions include regular contributions to Wall Street Journal in the US, Europe and Asia, and several self-authored fiction and non-fiction children’s picture books and award-winning Pop-up Books.
Personal research in conjunction with ‘Painted Words’ Illustration agency in New York continues to explore paper engineered books with inbuilt visual illusions, based on the Chinese ‘Jacob’s Ladder’ toy mechanism.
Her visual language has a conceptual/symbolic leaning, originally stemming from research into ancient Egyptian Art, resulting from a bursary and award from Thames TV.
Previous agent representation includes ‘Eastwing’ Illustration Agency and Kim Clark Designs (for textiles).
Her illustration work has been featured in Creative Review and various academic books on Illustration such as, ‘Illustration: A Theoretical and Contextual Perspective’, and ‘Illustration: Meeting the Brief’, by Alan Male for Bloomsbury publishing.
She has curated and exhibited in various contemporary Illustration shows in London, in conjunction with galleries, museums, universities, and other institutions, such as the AOI (Association of Illustrators), The London Transport Museum, The Conningsby Gallery/Debut Art Illustration Agency, The Mall Galleries and Central St Martins.
Recent research includes a written contribution to an academic book on Illustration titled, ‘A Companion to Illustration’, edited by Alan Male, published by Wiley Blackwell in the US, with worldwide distribution, for which she also illustrated the cover of the book.
Her 15,000 word chapter is titled: ‘The Illustrator as Visual Problem Solver: A Deconstruction of Conceptual Strategies for the Contemporary Illustrator’. It examines the role of ideas across different illustrative contexts, explores a breadth of visual problem-solving techniques, and provides a ‘Toolkit’ of conceptual strategies (E.g. Negative Space, Metaphors, Symbols, Flags, Wordplay, Humour, Media, Colour and The Head and Body as conceptual strategies).
For the last few years Sue has co-developed the BA Illustration Promotional Printed Magazine, ‘Wunderkammer’, taking responsibility for the art direction, research, editorial content, interviews, editing and thematic narrative, which addresses topical themes in contemporary illustration. Recent themes have addressed: illustration and its role in ‘making a difference’ to society; the illustrator’s responsibility when tackling sensitive, challenging subject matter; and the breadth and diversity of Illustration across different platforms and audiences
- Clarke, Sue(2019) Chapter title: ‘The Illustrator as Visual Problem Solver: A Deconstruction of Conceptual Strategies for the Contemporary Illustrator’. Book title: ‘A Companion Guide to Illustration’. In: ‘A Companion Guide to Illustration’, edited by Alan Male. Wiley Blackwell, USA and worldwide. ISBN ISBN: 987-1-1191-8553-6 Item availability may be restricted.
Selected client list:
Courses taught at Falmouth University:
- Illustration BA(Hons)
EXAMPLES OF WORK
Commission for Wall Street Journal, US 2014. An article about sustainability and mass migration of populations moving from the countryside to the city. Part of a large body of commissioned work for Wall Street Journal in the US, Asia and Europe
Illustrated book cover and written chapter for ‘A Companion to Illustration’, published by Wiley Blackwell, US, with worldwide distribution, 2019. Chapter Title: ‘The Illustrator as Visual Problem Solver: A Deconstruction of Conceptual Strategies for the Contemporary Illustrator’.
‘The psychology of collecting’, explored through a collection of illustrated, symbolic vases. Traits include the desire to create a personal world or safety zone, the thrill of the search, achievable goals, and fantasized omnipotence. 2021