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Ceredigion Education Mid Wales News

UWTSD welcomes back Swansea College of Art alumnus Karl James Mountford

UNIVERSITY of Wales Trinity S.t David BA Illustration students received an invaluable opportunity to attend a presentation by illustrator and author Karl James Mountford.

Karl studied at Swansea College of Art from 2008 to 2013 completing his BA and Masters in Illustration. In the final year of his MA he was also artist in residence for the Illustration course.

Karl is an illustrator who works in both traditional and digital media. He has created artwork for such titles as ‘The Uncommoners‘ by Jennifer Bell, published by Penguin Random House (2017), and ‘The Peculiars’ by Kieran Larwood with Chicken House publishing (2018).

Karl specialises in book cover design and chapter illustrations but also works on picture books, with recent titles including ‘Maurice the Unbeastly’ by Amy Dixon, published by Sterling Children’s Books (2017), and ‘The Curious Case of the Missing Mammoth’ by Ellie Hattie with Little Tiger Press (2017).

In 2022 he published his first book as both author and illustrator, ‘Circles in the Sky’, to critical acclaim.

Jane Delve, a second-year illustration student said, “Karl’s presentation was inspiring and the fact that he is a graduate of Swansea College of Art makes me even more determined to succeed in the industry. I feel more confident in pursuing my own career goals after attending the presentation.”

This visit underscored UWTSD’s commitment to providing practical, industry-relevant experiences to its students, further cementing its reputation as a leading institution in this field.

Lecturer Ian Simmons said, “It was fantastic to meet up with Karl again, we have been trying to book him for our students for several years but our diaries never quite synched. Karl’s expertise added tremendous value to our students’ learning experience, ensuring they are well-prepared to navigate the competitive landscape of freelance illustration.

“We always stay connected with our alumni and follow their careers, often offering help and advice where needed. The students were treated to a wonderful presentation, and Q&A session, with one of the world’s top book illustrators and the fact that Karl is also a graduate of Swansea College of Art added to the excitement and anticipation.”

Karl said, “It was wonderful to come back to Swansea College of Art, I loved my time on the course, and it was great to meet the current students and catch up with the staff.”