Gareth Cowlin


Digital, Tech, Innovation & Business

Whenever I think back to where my love for comics and comic art originated, I instantly picture myself around seven years old, hunched over a spread of Buster or Transformer comics on the living room floor. Most of my school exercise books had Optimus Prime haphazardly, but passionately, drawn in them.

Bill Watterson’s Calvin & Hobbes accompanied me during my film & video degree at The Surrey Institute of Art and Design and I moved onto Maus and Watchmen while I studied the history of graphic novels at the University of Glamorgan, for my MA in Graphic Communication.
During my film & video degree, I began drawing cartoons for various publications. It started as a hobby, initially, and then developed into a very rewarding career. Over the last few years, I have regularly produced illustrative work for a range of magazines and newspapers, including: Private Eye, Punch, The Sun, The Bookseller & The New Statesman.

I have received several awards recognising my cartoon work and my illustrations have been sold for charity.

Outside of my role at Staffordshire University, I continue to practice as an illustrator and I believe that this is fundamental to my role as an effective lecturer. I feel that students will often appreciate advice from a lecturer who actually practices professionally in their field and can therefore advise them from a realistic and practical perspective.

I exhibit and sell work online and I am currently represented by CartoonStock, Bath.

Academic qualifications

Post Graduate Certificate in Education – MMU (2007 – 2008)
Graphic Communication (MA) – University of Glamorgan (2004 – 2005)
Film and Video BA (Hons) – Surrey Institute of Art and Design (1996 – 1999)
Foundation Diploma in Art and Design – University of Wales Institute, Cardiff (1995 – 1996)

Research interests

I am currently in the process of developing a PhD proposal, Titled ‘Sequential Art and the reconciliatory nature of imaginative work’,

It is my intention to research, develop and produce an allegorical narrative work that will provide grounding for further research to be made into our understanding, and use of, sequential art as therapy.

I would also like to use the creation of the graphic narrative to compare how the medium interacts with the reader, and how this quality compares with other types of media. For example, producing a narrative work, rather than an individual piece, such as a painting, encourages the creator to view the events linearly and from multiple perspectives.


A range of modules within the Cartoon & Comic Arts Award, including:
Fundamentals of Cartoons and Comics – Level 4
Comic Narrative & Art – Level 5
Visual Storytelling – Level 5
Negotiated Programme of Study for Cartoon & Comic Arts – Level 6
Personal Tutor – Level 5

in the UK for Quality Education

Sustainable Development Goal 4, Times Higher Education Impact Rankings 2023

for Career Prospects

Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2023

for Facilities

Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2023

for Social Inclusion

The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023

of Research Impact is ‘Outstanding’ or ‘Very Considerable’

Research Excellence Framework 2021

of Research is “Internationally Excellent” or “World Leading”

Research Excellence Framework 2021

Four Star Rating

QS Star Ratings 2021