Mr Geoffrey Grandfield


I was appointed Head of Department of Illustration Animation in 2016, after 10 years of being BA Course Director at Kingston.

Previously BA Illustration Programme Leader for 12 years at Middlesex University. I have held BA and MA External Examiner and validation roles at 15 different U.K. Art Colleges and Universities including Edinburgh, Leeds, Brighton, Bath, Derby, Worcester, Camberwell, Bristol and Dundee.

As co-founder of ‘Mokita', an illustration critical forum (since 2010), I have campaigned for the greater recognition of Illustration as a subject, discipline and practice and its importance for societal and cultural value. 

Academic responsibilities

Associate Professor Head of Illustration Animation Department


  • Illustration MA (Royal College of Art)
  • Illustration BA Maidstone College of Art

Teaching and learning

I lead the Department's taught provision, teaching across the undergraduate and postgraduate programmes and supervise illustration practice-based PhD students. The understanding and recognition of Illustration as a reflective practice that has value not determined by industry, has underpinned my approach in teaching and building the Department and team of staff at Kingston.

I am co-founder of the cross institutional Illustration subject group critical forum ‘Mokita' and have organised and contributed to a number of subject events and conferences in the UK and internationally.

The strength of the discipline within education and the subjects ability to prototype effective and innovative forms of social communication forms the basis of the Departmental strategy of discipline identity, audience finding, and new models of practice in a sustainable outward-engaged future. 

Undergraduate courses taught

Postgraduate courses taught


My Research and supervisory interests cover illustration and the emergence of new approaches to the discipline as a practice and pedagogic subject. In particular, new ways of articulating the central tenet of Illustration as a discipline of translation and representation. 

Since 2014 I have taken on six PhD students, four as a lead supervisor. They share the common ground of using Illustration Practice as a tool to examine such diverse areas as archive, place, education, interpretation and choreography:

Hannah Rollings - Co-designing Ecology with Children for Mental Wellbeing.

Leah Fusco - Imag(in)ing Northeye: the visual reclamation of a shifting landscape through memory, experience and speculation.

Mireille Fauchon - Parallel Narratives; Interpreting Vernacular Histories through Participatory Illustration Practice.

Yeni Kim - Drawing Home: Visualising Oral History of Migrants Through Illustration Practice

Matthew Richardson - I underline the things you should keep: The Para-illustration of J G Ballard.

Nic Clark - In/Visible Dances: Commuters Choreographies as Social Cartography.

As an Illustration Animation Department we welcome new PhD proposals and are committed to build across disciplinary divides and develop new opportunities for collaborative enablement and new knowledge.

Areas of specialism

  • Illustration
  • visual interpretation and translation
  • visual narrative and sequence

Research student supervision

Main supervision

Other supervision

Professional practice, knowledge exchange and impact

I am a practicing Illustrator and particularly interested in exploring the dialogue between materials and the design problem through iteration. I use the illustration methodology of translation to originate visual forms drawn from subject content, acknowledging the period when the work was authored and audience. I have worked for major international publishers, design agencies and newspapers producing images for book series, film editions and narrative environments and artefacts.

Qualifications and expertise

  • V&A Illustration Award, overall winner
  • two D&AD Yellow Pencils, best illustration series
  • 3×3 publishing Educator of the Year
  • five times Association of Illustrators Awards, book illustration category winner