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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.
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
My research encompasses several concurrent strands that interweave and co-depend on each other :
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..).
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.
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.
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
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
Hodder, Penguin, Carcenet, Picador, Macmillan and Random House.
Amnesty International Smile Bank,, Waterstone's and The Royal Mail. Aids Malawi, Holsten Pils.
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
An introduction to KSA
Jake discusses his own drawing practice, his view that drawing is a fundamental discipline for creative practitioners and Kingston School of Art's unique approaches to this subject.