Profile: Illustrator and Creative Educator

I grew up in the Scottish Borders and now live in Dundee where I work freelance as an illustrator from a shed at the bottom of my garden. My work is guided by noticing and I learn about the world by looking, listening and recording what I observe through drawings and notes. Being directed by observation leads me to illustrate myriad topics that may delight, educate, amuse or challenge. Recent projects include Memory Exchange: Dundee's Waterfront - a reminiscence book for RRS Discovery and Dundee Eats, a guide to eating and drinking in the Tay region, commissioned by Dundee City Council. Primarily working in pencil, paint and ink, I use traditional and digital printing techniques to combine hand-drawn layers, creating playful and engaging illustrations.

 

I am currently undertaking a residency at Hospitalfield in Arbroath, running Year Two of the Free Drawing School. I plan and deliver weekly drawing workshops which are rooted in observation and inspired by the 800 year history of the walled gardens. I have several years’ experience working with people of all ages and abilities on creative projects, and I regularly plan and deliver sessions for V&A Dundee and McManus Galleries, Dundee. I am listed on Scottish Book Trust's Live Literature database and have worked on several projects with UNESCO City of Design Dundee.

 

Professional Experience

  • Artist in Residence | Hospitalfield Free Drawing School | May 2019 – (April 2020)

Role: running Year Two of three-year drawing school, working with community groups, school children and the public.

I design, plan and deliver weekly drawing classes, workshops and drop-in sessions at Hospitalfield House in Arbroath.

  • Creative Educator | V&A Dundee | September 2018 - ongoing

Role: planning and delivering creative learning workshops and tours for primary schools; community groups; families; public drop-in sessions.

I design and create quality learning resources, liaising with Education team and other freelance designers.

  

  • Creative Educator | McManus Galleries | Dundee | November 2015 – ongoing

Role: planning and delivering creative learning workshops for primary schools; community groups; families; young people; public drop-in sessions at McManus Galleries, Mills Observatory and Broughty Ferry Castle Museum, plus outreach projects at community centres across Dundee.

I design and create quality creative learning resources, liaising with Creative Learning team and other freelance artists.

  • Festival Administrator | Dundee Women’s Festival | September 2017 – January 2018

Role: collating information for festival programme; planning theme and timetabling events.

I communicated with DWF committee and partner organisations to ensure timely and accurate production of programme.

  • Project Support Lead | Dundee International Women's Centre | Sep 2014 – Mar 2019

Role: producing quality learning resources for classes and groups and promoting DIWC events and news online.

I gathered feedback from events; created engaging and accessible PR material; social media.

  • Gallery Assistant | Dundee Contemporary Arts | March 2015 – May 2017

Role: facilitating visitors’ experience of exhibitions within DCA; gathering feedback.

 

Short projects and workshops

  • Dundee Design Parade | Dundee | April – May 2018 and 2019

Role: working with Dundee-based youth groups to design and create items inspired by UNESCO cities, for use in Dundee Design Parade.

 

  • Re-Formation | Dundee | July – September 2018

Role: as part of public art project Reformation, I worked with a group of young people at the Finmill Centre, Dundee to create a unique design and paint the final piece onto the cobbles of Dundee’s Reform Street.

 

  • Make a Zine! | Dundee International Women’s Centre | November 2018

(Families) Part of Book Week Scotland programme. Participants learned how to make an 8-page book with one sheet of paper, using collage, drawing and a photocopier.

  • Rebel Books! | Broughty Ferry Library | November 2018

(Children 8-12) Part of Book Week Scotland programme. The group learned simple book-making techniques and explored making nonsense stories by re-ordering the pages.

 

  • Layers and Mark-making | Forgan Arts Centre | November 2017, February 2018, May 2018

(Adults) Illustration workshop exploring layering colours and textures with use of a light-box.

  • Fun and Food | Dundee – April 2017 | various primary schools and community centres

(Mixed Primary) In partnership with McManus Galleries: workshops included mask-making; exploring Egyptian artefacts; paper ship models.

  • Aspire, Rite of Spring | Dundee | February - March 2017 | St Vincent’s & St Pius Primary

(Primary 4/5) Each class explored a different theme within the broader topic of global warming through design; drawing; mark-making; printing; stencilling; collage; paper craft; and kite-making. The Aspire project culminated in a dance performance at Dundee’s Caird Hall where the children wore t-shirts they had printed onto during our sessions

  • New Architects’ Club | October 2016 | Verdant Works

(Age 7–12) Print-making; drawing; pattern; collage inspired by architecture of High Mill

 

Awards, exhibitions and residencies

  • Art for All | group exhibition | Lamb Gallery, University of Dundee | August - October 2019

  • Oor Wullie's Big Bucket Trail | Scotland-wide Public Art Trail | June - August 2019

  • Artist in residence | Free Drawing School, Hospitalfield | May 2019 - April 2020

  • Visual Artist and Craft Maker Award | March 2019 | Dundee

  • Patterns of Migration | solo exhibition | March – July 2018 | Verdant Works, Dundee

  • DCW Takeover | group exhibition | September 2017 | GENERATORprojects, Dundee

  • Writing for Children Award (Highly Commended) | August 2016 | Moniack Mhor

  • Kelpies Design and Illustration Award (Shortlisted) | February 2016, 2015, 2014

  • Illustrator in residence | August 2014 – July 2015 | Edinburgh College of Art

  • Andrew Grant Scholarship | September 2013

  • Solo exhibition | Coconut Grove | Edinburgh 2008

  • Helen A. Rose Bequest | July 2007

  • Andrew Grant Bequest | July 2007

  • Macmillan Prize for Children's Picture Books (Highly Commended) | May 2007

  

Education

  • MA Illustration (Distinction) | August 2014 | Edinburgh College of Art

  • BA (Hons) Visual Communication (1st Class) | July 2007 | Edinburgh College of Art

 

Illustration clients

Leisure and Culture Dundee; The Archie Foundation; Hopscotch Children’s Theatre; Hospitalfield Art; Dundee Heritage Trust; UNESCO City of Design Dundee; Verdant Works; Open/Close Dundee; Dundee Women’s Festival; Creative Dundee; McManus Galleries; Wild in Art; Dundee Rep Theatre; Edinburgh City Council; Dundee International Women's Centre; Ayr Action for Mental Health; Edinburgh College of Art