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.

Arbeia Roman Fort Septimius Severus family jigsaw interactive

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.

smarties packaging

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.

Pipiatum Latin app - ALL

“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.”

ECM explore discover and realise - ALL

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.

Keswick Museum and Art Gallery - exhibition hall

Keswick Museym and Art Gallery Mountain Heritge room

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.

3 Towton Who's Who II Lancastrians col

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.”

Viking Zwartbles Xmas 2008

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.

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Emma Smetham

A fast and varied career in the world of interior design has taken Emma Smetham all over the UK and parts of Europe.

 “My practice has become increasingly interdisciplinary and multi-disciplinary with an emphasis on visual communication,” says Emma.

Emma teaches Interior Design at our Harrogate site. Her professional expertise spans the Faculty of Art and Design to include Hull and Harrogate. She is also our Quality Improvement Student Support Manager at both sites has recently been involved in Open University validation events; and offers academic advice and support where she is able to within the faculty.

Emma began to diversify into teaching in the early 1990s and has taught higher education at Harrogate since 2007.

Reflecting on her own academic background, Emma says:

“It was An Art and Design Foundation course at Nottingham Polytechnic in 1988 that sparked my interest in interior design, engaging in the design process including 3D design. “I was very lucky to have tutors that guided me in the right direction.”

After graduating in Interior Design from Leeds Polytechnic, Emma went straight into industry, working with an architecture practice in London. The next rung on the career ladder took her to another architecture practice in Nottingham this time as project designer on large-scale commercial interior and architectural projects.

By 1990, she was working on large office environmental design projects throughout the UK planning and specifying high spec. system furniture for large office environments.

Here, Emma developed a niche area of expertise in commercial lighting, specifying for a variety of internal and external environments. Again she diversified into another area of Interior Design working initially for a German lighting company and then an Italian lighting company and subsequently designing a range of bespoke fittings for a variety of clients and concepts.

For Emma, teaching combined with research and consultancy is the natural career progression.

Her research interests include issues surrounding regeneration and renewal of industrial architecture in Yorkshire and beyond.

In 2012, Emma completed an MA in Image and Time-Based Media based around her research interests, which allowed her to maximise existing skills and learn new ones, such as photo-etching.

“I based my MA on the theme of regeneration and renewal of existing industrial architecture located in textile towns in and around Yorkshire,” she says. “One of the focuses of my investigation was a building called Pioneer House in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire which was once a co operative and now a Grade 2 listed building. Working with Kirklees Council, I looked at ways in which its legacy could be continued by regenerating it for a variety of uses and opportunities with in a once thriving and now struggling community. I feel we have a responsibility as designers to look at ways of regenerating communities and areas that are sadly in deprivation”.

The social responsibility of designers is a recurring theme in Emma’s teaching, practice and research. Organisations such as English Heritage, Urban Splash, Urban Renaissance,  The Prince’s Regeneration Trust are all influences.

My work is a fusion of my industrial experience, research and teaching,” she says. “This involves raising awareness of personal and professional responsibilities as a designer, being aware of environmental issues, utilising sustainable design and developing a strong identity and philosophy.”

Consultancy work in the interior design industry has been a constant throughout Emma’s career. She aims to achieve a balance between having an awareness of contemporary current industrial knowledge and experience which ultimately feeds into her teaching.

Louise Lumsden

A passion for interior design coupled with an academic interest in creative teaching: Louise Lumsden has a well rounded approach to her subject, practice and teaching.

“Interior Design is a very visual subject,” she says. “It is very important to present visual stimuli and experiences to the students.”

After 15 years’ experience running a family building development company, Louise branched out into domestic interiors, and ran paint effect workshops from 2003 onwards.

“I have always had an interest in interiors,” she says. “I painted, created artefacts and ran my own workshops from the family business.”

Qualifications in Interior Design and Paint Effects from York’s Askham Bryan College followed and in 2008, she began lecturing at Harrogate School of Art and Design (HSAD). She now combines interior design commissions and practice with her teaching and research, and also has a degree in Professional Training and Development.

Louise’s MA in Higher Education Practice with the University of Huddersfield involves theoretical and practical applications of Creativity In Teaching. It is due for completion in 2013.

Of her MA studies, she says: “I am looking at the environment, the way our landscape shapes the way we see things – the multi-sensory experience. The way you learn is really important as it can stimulate the senses and promote learning.

“We want students to achieve and enjoy their experience. It is vital to present learning materials in an imaginative way to meet the needs of students and provide links with industry.

She takes her students to inspirational exhibitions such as the Surface Design Show in London.

“It is an opportunity to find out about new products, establish contacts and develop links with designers, manufacturers and suppliers,” she says. “The students return full of inspiration, enthusiasm and motivation.”

Louise keeps up-to-date with nationwide exhibitions, journals and e-journals to ensure her teaching and practice remains on-trend.

Thanks to her industry experience, she has a healthy book of contacts, which helps her to provide her students with varied live projects.