Colouring In


Colouring In is a collaborative research project by Dr Stephanie Black (Kingston School of Art) and Luise Vormittag (Camberwell College of Arts, UAL), through which we are examining the impact of illustration on themes of critical importance to global debates.

We are taking a cross-disciplinary approach to look specifically at the intersection of illustration with other areas and disciplines, as we focus on shared concerns such as the natural world, urbanism or remembrance and identity construction.

We are interested in discovering more about the impact illustration currently has in these areas and the possibilities of critical illustration practice to make meaningful interventions.

The PDF publications on this website are working papers – an initial insight into our research that we will develop into a more fully realised publication at a later stage. We invite you to write to us with your thoughts, feedback and references to innovative work that might enrich these discussions.

Issue 1 September 2021


Motifs derived from nature can often be found in commercial illustration, adorning the surfaces of packaging, advertising and clothing and visually enriching our everyday lives. However, this isn't the only role that illustration can play in this regard. So what else can illustration do, in addition to providing visual pleasure and imparting a whiff of 'natural-ness' or 'wholesome-ness' to products? What other possibilities are there for illustration to engage with the natural world? How can illustration actually contribute to the creation of knowledge in this area? What are the different types of knowledge claims that illustration can make?

With Colouring In we are interested in exploring answers to these questions, and are concerned with illustrative practices that intervene within conversations concerning the natural world.


  • Jean Blackburn
  • Nina Carter & Martha Dillon
  • Hugo Drummond
  • Michelle Kuen Suet Fung
  • John Kilburn
  • John Miers
  • Svetlana Pavlova
Issue 2 July 2022

The City

Cities are complex and in constant flux. How can illustration address something as overwhelmingly cacophonous and vast as the urban environment? What role can illustration play when it seeks to intervene in the fabric of the city itself?

Humans are becoming city-dwellers in increasing numbers, with over half of us worldwide living in a city today. Cities offer many ecological, cultural, economic and social benefits. However, their shortcomings are also significant, such as pollution, cost of living, quality of life and imbalances of power. In our second issue of Colouring In we tackle the relationship between illustration and the city: from street art to urban mapping, representations of fictional cities to the visual dérive, we explore illustrative strategies to draw out urban histories, reveal city dwellers’ struggles for space and visibility, and present polyvocal narratives that uphold the vitality and richness of our urban environments.


  • Stuart Bannocks
  • Franz Buhr
  • Yo Hosoyamada
  • Ksenia Kopalova
  • David Madden
  • Giada Maestra
  • Mitch Miller
  • Becky Moriarty
  • Billie Muraben
  • Sergios Striklogiannis
  • Olivia Twist
  • Xiaobin Wang
  • & various illustration students from KSA and UAL

The Past

Issue #3 of Colouring In will emerge from a generative one-day symposium hosted by University of the Arts London (UAL) which took place on Friday 9 December 2022.

This symposium was concerned with illustrative strategies that unearth, activate and reposition our relationships to the past.


Dr Jaleen Grove, Assistant Professor of Illustration
(Rhode Island School of Design, USA)
The Lacuna’s Calling: A graphic reckoning with history

Dr Alexandra D'Onofrio, Visual Anthropologist
(University of Manchester)
Drawing and Animating Futures Past:
Exploring existential possibilities of migratory experiences

PDF publication due out in spring 2023.

In the meantime read our symposium programme. ↓↓

Read Programme
Issue 4 To be released 2023


Coming soon.

Further Reading

See below for a list of resources, readings and projects that we are planning to take into account as we develop this work.

Please email us with any suggestions – we will be delighted to see this list grow!


We welcome and encourage your thoughts and/or feedback on Colouring In (we are particularly keen to receive suggestions for our reading lists).

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All content © Colouring In, 2021–22, unless otherwise noted.

Colouring In has been generously supported by the Camberwell, Chelsea and Wimbledon Research Staff Fund, UAL and by the Kingston School of Art Research Support Fund.

Website design and development by See, Also.

Colouring In
ISSN 2752-9533

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