Derek Bainton Ba (Hons) MA Contemporary Dialogues in Visual Communication

Head of School of Graphic and Digital Arts


Tel: +44 (0) 1792 481000

derek bainton

  • Strategy and management of School of Graphic and Digital Arts
  • Partner Team Leader of BA Illustration, BA Illustration & Animation and BA Graphics and Media Design at Hereford College of Art
  • Chair of School of Visual Communication Board
  • Member of Faculty Board
  • Delivery of modules on BA/MDES Illustration
  • Maintaining quality and monitoring learning outcomes.
  • Coordinating student feedback
  • Marketing of the course
  • Applicant Interviews
  • Recruitment

I have worked extensively within the illustration and design industry since 1995 – ranging from fulltime graphic artist posts to on going freelance illustration and design. Clients include: RSPCA, HM Revenue & Customs, The National Trust, Future Publishing, NewsCom Group, Gomer Press & Golley Slater. The shift in balance of working within a predominantly professional environment to Higher Education has been gradual over ten years, leading to my current full time position of Senior lecturer, Programme Director of Ba (Hons) General Illustration and Head of School of Visual Communication at UWTSD Swansea.

Previous employment:

2000 – Present: Senior Lecturer, University of Wales TSD Swansea

1995 to Present: Registered Freelance Illustrator and Designer

1997 – 1999: Graphic Artist/Designer NewsCom Group of Newspapers Newport

Founding Member of the Association of Illustrators VaroomLab Research partnership.

Over the past 13 years I have coordinated project briefs and delivered lectures on each of the modules below. Teaching is studio based and is delivered as a combination of workshops, group and individual tutorials. I have also given lectures to foundation and feeder colleges on the subject of Illustration.

Year 1 (level 4)

  • Visual Communication
  • Media & Techniques

Year 2 (level 5)

  • Illustration for Books
  • Negotiated Student Led

Year 3 (level 6)

  • Marketing Promotion & Exhibition
  • Major Project
  • Dissertation Supervision

Research interests focus upon Psychogeography in relation to Narrative Illustration Practice. 

Freelance Illustration & Design for print and digital output, including traditional and digital media. 
Location painting – plein air

The combination of both a professional and academic background provides a harmonious balance in coordinating on going enterprise projects between students, staff, industry and NGOs.

A recent example involved co-ordinating the acclaimed art and conservation project Ghosts of Gone Birds, Swansea. This culminated in a large format published book by Bloomsbury.  Works from established artists like Sir Peter Blake, Gerald Scarfe and Margaret Atwood, sat alongside work from University staff, students and emerging talent.

Other enterprise links with students include: St John’s Ambulance, Arriva Trains Wales, NHS.

Papers and Conference / Presentations

Presented paper:

"Housing the Beast” - A Psychogeographical approach to The House and the Beast " Illustration Research Network Symposium No.1: Shadowplay 2010.

Articles in Journals:

“Inside Out” - A Major feature article on representations of the Window in illustration and art. Varoom Journal Issue 13, Summer 2010

“Urban Legends” – Depicting issues such as civilization, pleasure and homelessness in modern urban living. Varoom Journal Issue 15, Spring 2011

"Illustration and Sustainability" A feature article on the rise and fall of specialist courses in illustration such as Natural History and Technical Illustraiton. Varoom Journal Issue 18, Summer 2013


Reviewer of The Surreal House exhibition at the Barbican, London 2010


"13” – Bath Fringe Festival Exhibition, Summer 2010

“Contemporary Dialogues” Swansea, Summer 2011

“Rich Mix” London Illustration and Music exhibition, Winter 2014

Organiser and Chair of “Spatialising Illustration” 2 Day VaroomLab Illustration conference, January 2013