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Monday 30 March 2015

Illustration lecturer's work takes him to Oslo, Norway

Southampton Solent University prides itself on providing students with an education that meets the needs of employers. Hiring teaching staff who both love to teach and are at the top of their game professionally is a vital part of this process.

Jonny Hannah, who is the senior lecturer on our BA (Hons) Illustration course, is a great example of a member of staff who ticks both boxes.

Jonny Hannah (left)

In addition to teaching at Southampton Solent University, Hannah is a professional designer and printmaker whose distinctive illustrations appear on a variety of consumer objects, as well as in books, magazines and newspapers from around the world.

As a working artist, his commitment to arts education goes far beyond the classroom, most recently taking him to Oslo, Bergen and Trondheim, in Norway.

At his first stop, he delivered a series of book-making workshops to illustration students at the Norwegian School of Creative Studies (Norges Kreative Høyskole). Hannah assigned each student at the workshop a person, character or place that was to serve as the inspiration for an 8-page book, which they would then construct from a single sheet of A3 paper.

Jonny’s latest book, Greetings from Darktown

Many of subjects chosen were taken directly from Jonny’s new book, Greetings from Darktown, an illustrated monograph set in a mysterious coastal town that can’t be found on any map.

By the end of the workshops, each student had created their own “hot dog book” or “Darktown chapbook” telling the stories of such luminary figures as Robert Burns, Woody Guthrie and Moby Dick.

The books were then donated to Darktown’s public library, where they now proudly sit alongside copies of Bukowski, Prevert, Poe, and other Darktonian classics.

While in Oslo, Hannah held a book launch at Grafill, a prominent gallery and visual communication organisation in Norway. His talk guided listeners through some of Darktown’s sites like the Mermaid Café, McVouty’s vintage clothing shop and a pier with a condemned helter skelter.

Jonny giving his talk at Grafill

Some of the students may come to Southampton Solent University to continue their studies with Hannah and the rest of the teaching team this autumn, where they will be encouraged to develop a unique personal style and learn how best to position themselves as professional illustrators.

To find out more about studying illustration here at Southampton Solent University, visit the illustration course page.