Dr Jake Abrams

About

I am an experienced educator holding a Senior Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy (SFHEA), a National Art Design and Media Teaching Fellowship (ADMHEA), and a Kingston University Teaching Fellowship. I have taught nationally and internationally and currently teach on the multi-award winning BA Illustration Animation course at Kingston. I have also been an external examiner at a range of other institutions.

Alongside this I have maintained an active practice and profile as an illustrator, designer and artist working for the likes of The Independent, Creative review, The Times, The Guardian, and Blueprint and I continue to hold exhibitions at home and abroad (including a solo exhibition at The Southbank Centre, London).

I am a keen advocate of internationalisation within Kingston School of Art and have helped forge international collaborations and partnerships across the globe in Japan, Thailand, Taiwan, the United States, Korea, China, and Norway.

My academic and artistic research is wide-ranging with a current fascination with the potency of objects: notably the chair. 

Academic responsibilities

Associate Professor

Qualifications

  • Professional Doctorate in Fine Art, UEL 2017
  • SFHEA (Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy)
  • ADMHEA (Art Design & Media Fellow of the Higher Education Academy)
  • MA, Manchester Metropolitan University
  • BA, Kingston University

Teaching and learning

I started my career in education as a peripatetic working for a range of the leading Art & Design HE institutions as a visiting lecturer at postgraduate and undergraduate level. (Glasgow School of Art, Manchester Metropolitan University, Birmingham Institute, Falmouth..) As a full time member of staff at Kingston School of Art I have  brought an experimental approach to teaching students and this has resulted in a number of commendations nationally and internationally. I am one of the few in the UK who have achieved a National Fellowship in Art Design and Media (ADMHEA Fellowship). This was awarded to me for my innovations in Blended Learning in Art and Design contexts. I have achieved a Senior Fellowship of the HEA and a Kingston University Teaching Fellowship. I have lectured and taught extensively across the UK and the Globe. 

I have been an active External Examiner for a range of institutions at home and abroad including Oxford Brookes University, Bath University, Plymouth School of Art, University of Northampton and DIT. As an External Examiner, International co-ordinator and key member of staff with Kingston School of Art, my leadership roles have given me valuable insight into a wide range of L&T methodology. This has led me to continuously develop my areas of activity, core knowledge and professional values and bring valuable knowledge to my own courses. Alongside my teaching practice , I have consistently maintained a professional practice in the subject areas that I teach. As an illustrator, artist and designer I work for a range of influential clients such as The Times, The Independent, The Guardian, The Spectator, The Observer, Creative Review, THES, TES, Penguin Books, Random House, Jonathan Cape, Vintage, Picador.. to name but a few. This provides me with an up to date understanding of the creative industry keeping me current with developments in this fast changing discipline. This in turn, informs my teaching practice and curriculum design reflected in the high levels of employment on graduation 

Qualifications and expertise

  • ADMHEA ( Fellowship of the Art, Design & Media HEA).
  • SFHEA ( Senior Fellow of the HEA).
  • Professional Doctorate in Fine Art ( UEL)

Undergraduate courses taught

Research

My research encompasses several concurrent strands that interweave and co-depend on each other :

  • Masculinity: my doctorate research, 'Uncertain Masculinities', was an auto-ethnographic investigation that appropriated the chair to examine notions of gender. As part of this ongoing study, I continue to create artworks using drawing, painting and sculpture. I'm particularly  interested how objects can hold particular potency in expressing these ideas. 
  • Visual communication to allay anxiety in paediatric patients. I have an ongoing interest in how visual communication can be a powerful medium  within clinical arenas. Working in tandem with clinicians at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London, I have helped create a series of interventions to help young patients facing major surgery . The interactive books that have been authored are deceptively simple yet hold  important and increasingly quantifiable intent. Procedural anxiety is a major concern within hospitals , slowing down procedures and causing lasting mental health problems. These interventions are carefully designed to 'speak in the patient's language'. 
  • Ideas about Ideas. Through my work with objects I have become increasingly fascinated in how ideas are formulated and can be expressed. 
  • Humour and sardonicism and satire within illustration and animation contexts. My wide-ranging  practice as an editorial illustrator has informed this ongoing research into historical and contemporary modes of illustration. This is augmented by an understanding of the subject as a wide-reaching democratic art form.
  • Modes of observational drawing. Drawing practice and research are coalescent and ongoing concerns. The sketchbook as observational enquirer and idea former is of particular interest.

Qualifications and expertise

  • Professional Doctorate in Fine Art (UEL)
  • Masters in Communication Arts( Manchester Metropolitan University).
  • Ideas about Ideas

Areas of specialism

  • Expressions of Masculinity.
  • Visual communication to allay anxiety in paediatric patients.
  • Humour and sardonicism and satire within illustration and animation contexts.
  • Modes of observational drawing.
  • Art & Design Pedagogy.

Business, knowledge transfer and international

Knowledge Transfer

Health Care

My work with Great Ormond Street Hospital in London has  received a plethora of positive feedback as well as a D&AD Impact Award 2021. It has been written up in the BMJ and been part of a poster presentation at one of their conferences.

This work has led to other artistic and communication design collaborations. I have co-created a series of  animated shorts(9) in collaboration with Dr. Kate Oulton (Senior Research Fellow Great Ormond Street Hospital) to help educate clinicians in Children's hospital settings, on how best to work with children with learning difficulties, autism or additional needs , when accessing clinical services. The aim is to reach far beyond Great Ormond Street, to the wider paediatric care community.

During the pandemic I created health campaigns for children's hospitals across the UK. 'Pause for Paws' and 'I'm keeping 2 metres apart' ( Nottingham, Liverpool Southhampton, London..).

Publishing

I have created  a series of collaborations with preeminent publishers during my time at Kingston. I devised an ongoing creative link and ' real world' project with Vintage Books  where collaborative teams of Illustration Animation students work with top authors and senior staff at Penguin Random House to devise animated 'shorts' to accompany the release of key pieces of literature.

International

Art and design is all too often studied, researched and understood through myopic lenses. I have a  passionate interest in trying to ensure a much wider understanding and have worked hard to internationalise our subjects. I have lectured and run projects in Botswana, Japan, Norway, Taiwan, Thailand and the USA and have been instrumental in making our courses at Kingston much more international and outward-facing.

Qualifications and PROFESSIONAL expertise

  • D&AD Impact Winner 2021
  • British Medical Journal 2020
  • Publishing Links- Penguin Random House/ Picador/ Bloomsbury Publishing

Areas of interest

  • Communications in Healthcare
  • Interactive Health Books for Children
  • Training Clinical Staff in Hospitals

Industry links

  • Great Ormond street Hospital

Professional practice, knowledge exchange and impact

Professional Illustration commissions (selection)

2019 The Largesse of the Sea Maiden( Denis Johnson, Penguin)

2014  Weekly Illustration ‘My Week' for Waitrose Weekend'.

2012-2017  Editorial Illustrations for The Times Newspaper.

2010-  ‘Bull-fighting'- Book Cover Illustration (Roddy Doyle, Vintage).

2009-  ‘The Average Life of the Average Person' Cover and inside Illustrations (Tadg Farrington,Square Peg).

2009-  ‘Flaubert's Parrot' Cover Illustration ( Julian Barnes, Vintage)

2009-   FT Magazine. Illustrations.

2009    The Guardian. Newspaper Illustrations.

2008-9 Spectator Magazine- Series of front Cover Illustrations and Articles.

Other Editorial commissions:

Director Magazine; Times Educational Supplement, CNN Traveller Magazine,

The Independent. Sunday Business, The Financial Times, The Times, Classic CD, Evo, BBC Top Gear, 

Creative Review. monthly ‘Brief Lives' strip for the back page.

Blueprint – a monthly illustration ‘Awful Corner' commenting on Architecture and Design.

The New Statesman, Spectator, Men's Health, The Oldie, Observer, GQ, Punch, Design Week and Deign Review

Children's Book:

My SDR Operation(2020), My New Heart ( 2020), My New Kidney (2019) Kick-Back Cover and inside Illustrations for Children's novel by Vivian French

Adult Bookcovers:

Hodder, Penguin, Carcenet,  Picador, Macmillan and Random House.

Design/Advertising

Amnesty International Smile Bank,,  Waterstone's and The Royal Mail. Aids Malawi, Holsten Pils.

Exhibitions

2017  Uncertain Masculinities. UEL Doctorate Exhibition. London.

2016 Chaired By.. Solo exhibition Platform Gallery, Kingston London.

2015  ArtMasters group Exhibition. Truman Gallery, London.

2015 Make Create QEST Griffin Group Exhibition, London Craft Week, Collaborative group exhibition working with Margaret Jones.

2012   Human Face Exhibition- Seoul, South Korea at the  Wooduk Gallery. 2011     

2009    The Expanded Communication of Illustration, Group exhibition, Gallery Wooduk, Seoul, South Korea.

2009             Solo exhibitions, The Southbank Centre, Kings Cross/St Pancras, London Sinfonietta

2006             Z-A Exhibition Galleri Breneriet, Oslo. Solo exhibition of original biographical prints

1996             Cat & Dog Jake Abrams and David Hughes' Illustration at the Beint & Beint Gallery

Qualifications and expertise

  • MACommunication Arts (Manchester Metropolitan University)
  • D&AD Impact Award Winner 2021
  • Professional Doctorate in Fine Art (UEL)

Videos of my work