Image credits


Graduates have had freelance commissions from companies such as Penguin Books, Random House, Disney and The Observer. Many have been accepted by major illustration agencies such as Arena and Eastwing, which are led by NUA graduates.

NUA’s MA Communication Design provides a natural route for academic progression. NUA graduates receive a tuition fee discount.


Illustrators predominantly work in a freelance capacity. Typical markets include:

  • Editorial (magazines, newspapers and comics)
  • Books
  • Advertising
  • Fashion
  • Merchandising (greetings cards, calendars, t-shirts, etc)
  • Corporate work (brochures, annual reports)
  • Multimedia (video games, websites, animation)

NUA provided me with both the support and facilities to hone my practice, but also the direction and knowledge I needed to actualise a career in the creative industries. I have gained commissions from the likes of The Guardian and The Sunday Times. Most recently I have worked on a range of products for WRAP magazine.

Adam Avery
2011 graduate

At NUA we had the opportunity to work on real jobs for real firms — I took many of these through to the print stage. The best thing about my work is being my own boss! In recent years I’ve worked with the Natural History Museum, Royal Mail, Tate and Waitrose.

Rebecca Sutherland
1988 graduate

I’m currently working on commissions for custom temporary tattoos and tote bag designs. I now have stockists in London, Liverpool, Nottingham and Brighton.

Deborah Ballinger
2010 graduate
Deborah Ballinger Illustrations

After graduation I had one month’s work experience in the marketing department at HarperCollins Children’s Books which gave me the opportunity to meet art directors and designers and show them my portfolio. This resulted in being offered a week’s work experience in the children’s design department; a week turned into a month and then that turned into a paid internship.

Amanda Scott
2013 graduate
Junior Designer
HarperCollins Children’s Books

Other graduates

  • Tamlyn Francis
    Director, Arena Works
  • Hayley Potter
    Illustrator / Writer and Lecturer
  • Frank Pudney
  • Priscilla Moore
    Published Illustrator
  • Gemma Correll
    Freelance Illustrator
  • Matthew Brazier
    Freelance Illustrator

More advice

For more advice about careers in illustration visit the AOI website.