Linda Newcombe

What subjects do you teach?

I am illustrator, printmaker, artist and tutor who specifically focusses on adult education.

How many years have you been teaching?

I have been teaching various art and design subjects in colleges and universities for over 25 years until 2014, when a change of direction in my career led me to concentrate on a more leisurely approach to teaching.

What do you enjoy about teaching adults?

I enjoy the pace and variety when teaching adults on leisure courses, and the creative freedom and joy of discovery it allows participants. Both the illustration and printmaking courses are designed to enable people of varied abilities and knowledge to practice and learn some basic skills and techniques alongside each other, and then to apply their preferences to an exercise or longer project. I teach different methods and approaches each term and throughout the year to keep the courses fresh and varied.

What got you into art and design?

I graduated from Central Saint Martins School of Art in 1993 with a degree in Graphic Design, where I specialised in illustration. Most of my student years were spent in the printroom and I went on to complete a post-graduate certificate in Printmaking. I returned to education more recently, achieving a distinction in a master’s degree in Authorial Illustration, in which I created award-winning, hand-made illustrated projects, using my printmaking knowledge to create all of the illustrations.

What other passions do you have?

I am interested in exploring different ways of presenting books and stories; I have made wordless books for adults that appear to be childrens’ picture books. During lockdown, I took part in an artist’s residency designed for artists to work ‘at home’, working remotely with an animator and supported by the National Lottery and the Arts Council England. In 2018, my work was projected onto the walls of Reading Gaol for the ‘Art After Dark’ project and featured in ‘Open for Art’. I have made short ‘how to’ videos and projects in techniques that are free to use on YouTube. I am currently collaborating with a psychologist writer on a special project: a picture book for the European market.

Why should someone join your classes?

My classes are open and varied enough for open-minded, entry-level artists to work alongside seasoned professionals who want to try something new, re-learn, upskill or just refresh their creative practice. My mantra, if I had one, would be ‘play like a child to discover a treasure’.