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 Kingstonâ€™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. â€œWe 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,â€ Mr Harris said. â€œAlthough 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.â€
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 Tigerâ€™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. â€œThere arenâ€™t any courses like this in Korea and I know the skills I have developed will benefit my career. Iâ€™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,â€ she said.