Colouring In


Colouring In is a collaborative research project by Dr Stephanie Black (Kingston School of Art) and Dr 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
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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
  • Illustration students from KSA & UAL
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Issue 3 June 2023

The Past

What are productive illustrative strategies to unearth, activate and reposition our relationship to the past? What kind of competence can illustrators bring to the task of reconstructing forgotten or otherwise absent histories? Should we even be “colouring in” the past, or might other kinds of gestures yield more nuanced results?

This third issue of Colouring In is the result of an extraordinarily rich and engaging symposium that took place on 9 December 2022 at the University of the Arts London. We are delighted to hereby publish our speakers’ compelling contributions, including invocations of iIllustration as a conjuring act, reflections on the benefits of presentism, explorations of illustrative methods for articulating non-linear time, and thoughts on grappling with illustration’s own histories of representation. Our most extensive issue to date, it seems that the past will not let us rest...


Catherine Anyango Grünewald
Gareth Brookes
Alexandra D'Onofrio
Jaleen Grove
Ian Horton & Maggie Gray
Serena Katt
Sharon Kivland
Anushka Tay
Rachel Emily Taylor
Sharpay Chenyuè Yuán

... and many more!

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Issue 4 May 2024


What are truthful images? How can illustration – which often takes the form of fabricated pictures – carry the burden of truth? What kinds of reality do we expect illustration to show us?

In this fourth (and final) issue of Colouring In, we plunge into a hugely engaging exploration of how illustration practice intersects and overlaps with notions of truthfulness: From the subjective truth of drawing on site, to illustration as evidence; from the challenges of running a picture desk to illustrations circumnavigating censorship, the knotty questions just kept coming. In spite of the countless challenges of our post-truth era we draw hope from illustration’s capacity to conjure shared and relatable worlds. Here’s to us illustrators!


  • Rebecca Douglas-Home
  • Susan Doyle
  • Geoff Grandfield
  • O Haruna
  • Chloe Hayward
  • Mrudula K
  • Hilde Kramer
  • Kathryn Martin
  • John Miers
  • Louis Netter
  • Holly O'Neil
  • Michelle Salamon
  • Dr. Carolyn Shapiro
  • Ann Wong
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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, 2021–24, 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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