Lets Talk about practice and how we love it: HELEN WHEELER

My practice started, studying BA Illustration at the University of Wolverhampton, and later, MA Illustration, specialising in narrative, at the University of Gloucester. My illustration career had a very commercial start, working as an in-house artist for two major greeting card companies. This spanned 9 years, between graduating from university and starting to teach part time at BCU and the University of Wolverhampton in 2009.

My current practice is heavily engaged in narrative. How is humour used as a vehicle for empathising with a character, and also to connect with other people?

My work draws upon real-life experiences and observational humour, relaying these observations through animation instantly communicates this comic playfulness. Clear narratives, and the mix of texture, collage, and child-like drawings, reveal a snapshot into my children’s world, a constant source of inspiration.

I have always been a varied and experimental practitioner; I like the process of making to feel exciting and free. The aim of my practice is to be spontaneous, and ultimately capture a child’s honesty of description. The challenge is to understand the complexity of the language we use in order to visualise my subject in a convincing humorous way. Voice, language and pronunciation of words, coupled with the pace/ rhythm of the animation, all enable me to create and communicate the intended humor with my audience.



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