Biddington Research Papers


Do you use old school or new school tools when creating your work?

All my illustrations are hand drawn. I draw the main image in pencil and then layer up each colour on a separate piece of paper using a light box. This means I can be as messy and scribbly as I want and the colours don’t just merge into a giant mess. Then everything gets scanned and layered up in photoshop.


Show and tell your piece of work. Describe your submission for Old School.

My Old School pieces are a set of 7 limited edition prints from my ‘When We Were Young’ illustration series. I reckon ‘Hobby Horse’ has to be my favourite. I have great memories of trotting down our street as a kid on the hobby horse my mum made me out of a broom and one of my dad’s old socks.



What is your creative process?

I start with an idea, often a word or sentence, then research around it and begin to play with what I find.  My best work happens when I don’t think too much, when I let the design just happen naturally.


Does your work represent your personality?

I’ve never thought about it. I reckon it must do or else I would’t be doing it.  I guess that’s why artists/illustrators do self-initiated work in our spare time. Working on something that you really care about reminds you of what you like about your work.

Send in a picture of your desk now and describe your studio space.

At the moment I’m living out of a teeny tiny room in London.  I can sit my desk and reach all four walls or if i get bored of that I can lie in bed and still work at my desk. It’s… cosy, if nothing else!



What’s your earliest memory of drawing/creating?

Drawing has always been my favourite thing to do. I was constantly drawing and colouring as a child. I was a bit slow at learning to read so I would just spend hours gazing at the pictures, re-drawing my own versions and making up my own stories instead.



Did you have an imaginary friend?

Doesn’t everyone?! I had numerous imaginary friends, from all the different imaginary worlds which I dreamt up whilst drawing.



Did you know at school what you wanted to be?

I always wanted to be an illustrator when I was young.  I would make my own books full of stories and pictures.  I would meticulously colour everything which could be coloured. There was a period where I changed direction for a while as I had no idea how to get there but now I’m in it for the long haul…


What advice would you give now to your ‘old school self’?

Illustration as a whole seems to have grown so much since I was at school.  I remember a career day where I was told my options were either children’s book illustration or editorial cartoons for newspapers. These days everything is illustrated; there are so many more options and the range of styles out there is phenomenal. I guess I’d tell myself not to be put off by those first stuffy teachers who told me illustration wasn’t a proper job.

Smug’s colour is yellow. What colour best represents you?

Hmmm, white. A confusion of nothing and everything.


If you had to choose one Smug product what would it be?

I love Matt Pugh’s wooden owls. I’d like a whole clan of them!

With rising rates of unemployment amongst young people in Australia as in other industrialised countries, considerable research has been undertaken on the transition from school: nearly 500 studies have been done in the past five years. This paper reviews them.

The assumption of most researchers is that the major transition from school is to work. Other transitions, such as from adolescence to adulthood, are relatively neglected. Although the issue is approached from four main disciplinary standpoints — educational, psychological, social and economic — the theoretical assumptions and practical conclusions can be put in the two categories of supply and demand. Supply is preparing young people for roles, on the assumption that better preparation will not only raise employability, but might also call jobs into being. Demand can mean creating new jobs in the private and public sectors, developing new forms of cooperative employment, or reallocating the jobs which already exist through work-sharing, more part-time work, early retirement for older people or rewarding some groups to refrain from wage employment.

The impression is that policy is not led by research, but that research is stimulated by policy and action. The roles of research indeed are mainly design, monitoring and evaluation. Four gaps in research in Australia are identified: better social book-keeping, longitudinal studies, rigorous case-studies and policy analysis.

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