Skip to main content Go to Site Map
Illustration of an overground train on a bridge over a street, with people in the carriages and city buildings either side.

Illustration Welcome Guide

Preparing for your course

We're delighted that you've chosen to join our creative community at Arts University Bournemouth. We can't wait to see what you'll create.

Welcome to BA (Hons) Illustration

This welcome pack is designed to give you an idea of what to expect during the first weeks of your course. Please take the time to read it carefully and take particular note of the pre-course preparation. We hope that you'll enjoy a happy and productive time with us, and we look forward to meeting you in October.

A message from your Course Leader

It’s almost time to begin your time on BA (Hons) Illustration. We're really looking forward to meeting you all and getting to know you. We'd like to take this opportunity to welcome you to the Illustration course, and we hope that you'll enjoy your time here at Arts University Bournemouth.

Please review the reading list recommended for the start of your course and the background information to the course. You'll be given further information upon the commencement of the course.

- Christian Edwardes, Course Leader

Before you join us

This year, rather than asking you to complete a ‘project’, we are asking you to just keep making work that interests you based loosely around the theme of Play. This can be in the form of drawings, sketches, and 2D and/or 3D objects. Keep creative by continuing to explore websites and magazines, read books or play games – anything that feeds your illustrative interests.

To create a starting point for our first conversation with you and your new peers, all we ask of you this year is that you find an image or two of a contemporary professional illustrator’s work that you find interesting or inspiring and points to ways of working or aesthetics you would like to explore in your own practice. Additionally, feel free to bring along any recently created images, to give the tutors and your peers and idea of your practice, and current areas of interest.

None of this work will be assessed, so keep it as an opportunity to make work that you enjoy.

How to submit your summer project

Bring an image (or two) of a professional illustrator’s work with you, alongside any work you have made that you wish to share, to Welcome Week (this won’t be required on the first day).

The Library here at AUB is extremely well resourced and includes all key texts that you'll need. The list below indicates the key texts that will be useful throughout your studies, all of these are available from the Library at AUB. You might want to borrow a copy from your local library to look at before you arrive. You'll receive a comprehensive reading list in the Course Handbook and at the start of each unit.

  • How to be an Illustrator by Darrel Rees and Nicholas Blechman
  • Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud
  • Thinking Visually for Illustrators by Mark Wigan
  • Fifty years of Illustration by Lawrence Zeegen
  • The Fundamentals of Illustration by Lawrence Zeegen
  • Visible Signs: An Introduction to Semiotics in the Visual Arts by David Crow
  • Reading Images: The Grammar of Visual Design by Gunther Kress and Theo van Leeuwen
  • Drawn in: A Peek into the Inspiring Sketchbooks of 44 Fine Artists, Illustrators, Graphic Designers and Cartoonists by Julia Rothman
  • Making Great Illustration by Derek Brazell and Jo Davies
  • Illustration Next: Contemporary Creative Collaboration by Ana Benaroya

  • Varoom
  • Anorak Magazine
  • Computer Arts
  • Fukt: magazine for contemporary drawing.
  • Fantagraphics
  • 3x3 Magazine

Current student work

Have a look through some of the work our current students are producing to get an idea of the type of work you may be making on our course.

What to bring on your first day

The first day is a chance for us to tell you about the weeks ahead, so just bring note-taking equipment. You won’t need to bring along the images of contemporary illustrator's work/your own work on day one.

You'll be provided with a basic material kit at the start of the course, with some additional equipment that you can supplement according to your needs.

Follow BA (Hons) Illustration on social media

Explore more


We’re delighted for you to join us at AUB – we can’t wait to see what you’ll create.

Two university buildings with square shaped trees in front of them.

Next Steps

Find out the useful dates and contact before you start here.

Latest news and events