Lindy Norton

Award-winning artist Lindy Norton specialises in hauntingly atmospheric dry-point etchings and joyously colourful illustration. An experienced educator and practitioner, both areas of practical expertise inform her Illustration teaching at Hull School of Art and Design (HSAD).

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She has 17 years’ commercial experience as a freelance illustrator in London, notably working on children’s books, greetings cards, wrapping paper and packaging. Her portfolio includes work for clients such as: World Wildlife Fund; Hamlyn; National Gallery Publications; Medici Society; Greenpeace; The Born Free Foundation; Boots; Marks And Spencers; and Random House. She does private commissions, and counts TV medic Dr Miriam Stoppard among her clients.

In recent years, she has shifted the focus of her personal practice towards fine art and exhibited her dry-point etching work in the Royal Academy in 2011. The following year, a large dry-point piece, Martin’s Room, won first prize in a competition at the Ropewalk gallery in Barton-upon-Humber, where she delivers regular workshops to beginners and experienced artists.

Visit www.the-ropewalk.co.uk for details of Lindy’s next dry-point printmaking workshop.

She also delivers workshops at Studio Eleven, in Humber Street, Hull, and is currently working towards a solo exhibition of drawings and etchings.

“My research is chiefly my own practice,” she says. “With my fine art dry-point work, I like the atmosphere of empty rooms and the quality of light coming through windows. You could say I’m exploring a sense of human presence without explicitly including the figures“.

Although Lindy says she loves to explore dry-point as a medium, she has not turned her back on her illustrative past.

“I still like the decorative qualities of the illustration work,” she says. “It’s more cheap and cheerful – in many ways, a happier piece of work than a dry-point.”

Lindy has a BA (Hons) in Fine Art from HSAD and an MA in Printmaking from Chelsea School of Art. While working as a freelance illustrator in London, she taught at Stourbridge School of Art, and returned to HSAD, this time as a lecturer, in 2000.

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Some of her commercial illustration work can be seen HERE & HERE.

Caroline Miekina-Houseman

A freelance illustrator with more than 30 years’ experience, Caroline Miekina-Houseman has adapted her craft for use in the digital age.  After all this time she is still excited by the many different styles and applications of the genre. She prefers to think she is not typecast, and is fluid and adaptable, but concedes that her portfolio has a certain colourful, playful, upbeat consistency, which she hopes sums up her attitude to her life and her work.

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Having made the transition from traditional media to digital in the late 1990s, she now enjoys blending the “integrity” of the hand-drawn with the “excitement and freedom” of digital. She continues to use a range of media, from oils to vectors.

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Over the years, her illustrations have been used by clients including: Nestle UK in York for its seasonal packaging for Smarties and Milky Bar; advertising agencies producing educational, medical and architectural literature; and an impressive range of museums and galleries.

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“Some of my early influences were the greats of the Golden Age of Illustration,” says the Harrogate School of Art and Design (HSAD) media lecturer. She refers to the “flowering” of mass printing and publishing that occurred during the industrial revolution. These influences still underpin her professional practice and her current MA research draws upon parallels between that era and the present.

Caroline says:

“Arthur Rackham, one of my all-time heroes, is a very good example of a traditionally trained artist who was able to take advantage of the rapid progress of new technology and infrastructure in the late-Victorian epoch to share his phenomenal work with a worldwide audience. In a similar way, illustrators and creative people in general are now discovering that we can use evolving technology to share our work in new ways. We have to move along with current practice and be prepared to take advantage of all the new avenues that are available to us.”

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Caroline has lectured at HSAD on a part-time basis since 2002, and has found a niche teaching digital media. She specialises in illustration, graphics, retouching, photo manipulation, 3D visuals and spatial design.

She delivers modules on the FdA Visual Arts, Interior Architecture and BA Applied Creative Design courses, as well as running evening classes in Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator.

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In 2009, she joined forces with museum designers JANVS Design, for whom Caroline has produced designs, 3D concepts, visuals and illustrations for clients such as: National Trust – Clumber Park Discovery Centre; London Transport Museum; National Coal Mining Museum; Waterford Viking Triangle; and the recently opened temporary exhibition ‘Strike a Pose’ at the National Football Museum in Manchester.

Her illustrations have been commissioned for use in two recent temporary exhibitions in Mickelgate Bar, York commissioned by York Archaeological Trust; The Battle of Towton 2011-2012 and A Royal Gateway 2012-2013.

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Caroline’s current research interest is an MA in Image and Time-Based Media. She is linking sequential imagery and the story telling legacy that found favour during the golden age of illustration with research on the historical and academic aspects of an 18th-century North Yorkshire hero, Jack Metcalf, commonly known as Blind Jack of Knaresborough.

She is working on 12 finished images, based on an anonymous contemporary account of his life, The Life and Times of Jack Metcalf. These will be exhibited at Henshaw’s Arts and Craft centre for blind people in May 2014.

“It’s an extraordinary story about an extraordinary character. He had a series of very physical adventures, including taking part in the Jacobite rebellion of 1745, marching with the king’s army and playing his fiddle … it’s hard to believe that Blind Jack had no peripheral vision at all, and it’s certainly an avenue I am investigating as part of my research. I’m trying to bring that story into a form that 15 to 18-year-olds would engage with, and bring to life the rollicking adventure story that it is.

“I know from my experiences teaching National Diploma Graphics and Multimedia that it can be quite a difficult audience to impress,” says Caroline, “it needs to be presented in a style or styles that will grab their attention and make them want to find out more.”

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In her spare time Caroline enjoys playing the violin and helping her husband to look after their flock of Zwartbles sheep – not necessarily at the same time.

Caroline has BA (Hons) in Art and Design from North Staffordshire Polytechnic and a PGCE from Huddersfield University.

Some examples of her work can be seen at www.miekinaillustration.co.uk and on her blog.

Some of the museum, gallery and visitor centre projects she has worked on can be seen HERE.