A ground-breaking Kingston University design course taught using the worldwide web has produced its first group of graduates. Twenty-five students from the South Korean capital Seoul have completed a creative illustration programme delivered online by staff teaching Kingston’s MA in Illustration and Animation.
The two-year post-experience programme was set up by course director Brian Love in collaboration with the Froebel Institute in Seoul following a visit from a group of Korean illustrators in 2000. The students consolidated their knowledge through a series of intensive personal tutorials and workshops delivered by email and through a dedicated website. To complement the online delivery, senior lecturer Robin Harris travelled to South Korea twice a year to hold a series of masterclasses and group seminars. “We looked at various methods of story-telling through colour, composition, drawing and character creation before asking the students to produce their own picture book for young readers,” Mr Harris said. “Although most of them were experienced book illustrators, they had never actually illustrated their own stories before. Each student had a page on the website so I could check their progress online and give them instant feedback by email.”
The final picture books went on show at the Coningsby Gallery in London in April in an exhibition entitled New Illustration from Korea – Chasing the Future on the Tiger’s Back. Student Hee Young Kim, whose artwork depicted her childhood memories, said it was the first opportunity her coursemates had been given to display their talents to a European audience. “There aren’t any courses like this in Korea and I know the skills I have developed will benefit my career. I’m determined to succeed in the European market, as well having my work accepted in Korea and it has been fascinating to experience the difference in illustration culture,” she said.