To celebrate the publishing of the landmark book Illustration Research Methods (Gannon and Fauchon, 2021) this year’s symposium calls education into focus.

As the traditional position of the illustrator ‘for hire’ diminishes and Illustration practices become ever more chimera-like, the current high demand for illustration courses raises important questions around how we educate a future generation of illustrators and make known their value to employers, collaborators and commissioners, outside of the ‘bubble’ of academic study. The case for criticality in the subject is urgent.

As educators our role is to be at the forefront of championing the development and understanding of our disciplines. What are the tools that educators and students of illustration need to understand the subject with both criticality and professionalism? What are the key questions those teaching the subject need to ask to facilitate illustrators to better understand their cultural agency and have the means to work ethically and effectively? How can we best consecrate links between innovative or exploratory educational practices and professional applications?

The symposia will incorporate presentations from academics, professional practitioners and recent graduates. The conference will also include a virtual poster forum and an exhibition showcase.