ISSN: 20520204
First published in 2014
2 issues per volume
Volume 4 Issue 2
Cover Date: November 2017
Creation as a method of enquiry: Reflections on practice-based research in children’s picturebook illustration
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Authors:  Laura Little 
DOI: 10.1386/jill.4.2.173_1

Keywords
practice-based research,children’s picturebooks,illustration,interdisciplinary research,children’s literature,image-making

Abstract
While practice-based research is a relatively new area of research in the United Kingdom, it is growing rapidly. The theoretical frameworks that underpin practice-based research are broad, which can result in anxiety or confusion in students who undertake it. This article explores frameworks for practice-based research and considers some applications of these frameworks to a research project in children’s picturebook illustration. One challenge of practice-based research is a perceived gap between creation and interpretation. Chris Rust’s findings for the AHRC report on practice-based research, for example, highlight tensions between the discourses of the practitioner and the theorist. While there is a significant body of literature on children’s picturebooks, academic work by illustrators and artists that focuses on the processes rather than on the finished picturebook is currently underrepresented. The research described here aims to build on existing literature to offer insights from a picturebook maker’s perspective into the often-undisclosed thought processes underlying his or her work. It demonstrates the possibility for the practitioner to take an interdisciplinary approach to practice-based research in picturebooks and offers an accessible framework to explore and discuss practical work.
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