Susan Thornton

Job Role
Senior Lecturer in Design Communication


Sue has extensive experience in higher education and research, exploring the role of illustration in an international marketplace with specialist opportunities for commercial practice.

Since joining the University, Sue has been instrumental in the development of a suite of successful, unique, industry-led programmes at the University. Many postgraduates and alumni students are now leading experts in their respective fields.  

Sue has a particular interest and knowledge in the Children’s Publishing market and ‘telling visual stories’ and has co-authored ‘Writing and Illustrating Children’s Books’ and lectured at both national and international venues such as the Olympia in London and Parsons school of Art, Paris.

Before moving into higher education, Sue was a full-time freelance illustrator and was represented by John Martin and Artists Illustration agency in London during the 1980’s and has worked for clients suc as: Kingfisher Books, Hamish Hamilton, British Telecom, DC Thompson, Grisewood and Dempsey Publishing.


City in Guilds Teaching in Higher and Further Education

BA (hon’s) Design for Communication Media: Illustration

MA Design Practice


Narrative illustration and storytelling

Art of the picture book


30 years teaching experience from Programme leadership of BTEC and HND programmes, to the writing, validation and programme leadership of:

Art Foundation course

BA Hons Illustration

BA Children’s Books

BA Comics

National and International Conferences, Lectures and Teaching

‘The Art of Illustrating for Children’ Lecture and workshop, Parsons School of Art, Paris

‘Illustration Rainbow Bridge’ lecture and workshop, Academy of Fine Arts, Katowice, Poland

‘Illustration for Children’s Publishing’ lecture, Artists and Illustrators Exhibition, Business Design Centre, London

‘Children’s Publishing’ lecture, Artists and Illustrators Exhibition, Olympia, London

‘Museoumix,’ collaborative project, Ironbridge Museum, Telford.

ArtEZ, Netherlands (Erasmus)

Academy of Fine Arts, Katowice, Poland (Erasmus)

European School of Visual Arts, Angouleme, France (Erasmus)


Co-author of the Encyclopaedia of Writing and Illustrating Children’s Books