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  • Gareth Sleightholme

    Freelance Creative Consultant & Illustrator

    Hull, East Yorkshire, United Kingdom

Gareth Sleightholme began his career as an archaeological illustrator producing historical reconstructions and finds drawings for an archaeology unit based in Beverley, Yorkshire. Since 1997 he has worked in creative consultancy, illustration and concept visualisation in the heritage/leisure industries (inc Theme Park design) both on a freelance and full-time/in-house basis. Gareth worked on the design of a wide range of diverse projects across Europe, Scandinavia and the US, inc. The London and Hamburg Dungeons, The Norwich Castle Museum, SantaPark (a large themed visitor attraction in the Arctic Circle in Finnish Lapland), various large sea life aquariums; he has also been engaged in art direction and design for film and television as well as helping to develop and teach the new Masters Degree in Animation and Sound Design at Norwich. Following a short period of producing conceptual design work on a freelance basis, Gareth joined hpl europe ltd full time, taking on the role as Senior Creative, then Creative Director, in their design dept, a role which saw him produce concepts and design for corporate exhibition and events for amongst others, Orange, Virgin Atlantic and Blackberry over the next five and half years. As of late 2008 he has again acted as Creative Consultant to the Visitor Attraction and Heritage Industry (including historical illustration work), whilst primarily lecturing at HSAD (Hull) on their Games Design & Animation BA Hons programmes. He is currently looking at work in the field of Conceptual Design for the Games Industry; while pursuing his post MA research into the links between Deep Reading, Empathy and Creativity following completion of his Masters Degree (merit) in Design looking at The Visualisation of Educational Concepts within Art Schools. He is currently developing an educational 3D open world game concept called Rabbit Heart with his colleague Paul Starkey, working on EU funded research relating to Applied Gaming, post Masters research looking at links between Deep Reading, Empathy & Creativity as well as developing his own writing and artwork towards a graphic novel (The Cthulhiad) which has been showcased at Thought Bubble Comic Con for the last two years.

Work Samples

  • Games Design Concept Art

  • Heritage Historical & Museums Illustration

  • Posters & Graphic Design

Work History

  • Educator, Concept Illustrator & Creative Consultant

    I currently hold a position within the Arts Faculty at the Hull School of Art and Design lecturing on the Games Design & Animation BA(Hons) programmes, as well as pursuing personal design and illustration projects within the Visitor Attraction, Heritage and Leisure markets; I am also actively seeking interesting Concept Art and Illustration work.

    My current academic research strands are looking at the links between Reading, Empathy and Creativity (currently collating qualitative data from a survey of nearly 400 student participants), whilst having an active interest in, and giving support to colleagues in research areas such as Drawing, HE T&L practice, and most recently being part of a team that developed a (Games oriented) technology research proposal that has won a substantial funding opportunity.

    Please feel free to contact me should you wish to know more about the services or consultancy I can provide.

  • Lecturer

    • Hull School of Art and Design
    • 2008 - Present (9 years)

    For a number of years I lectured in Games Design and Animation (BA Hons) as well as teaching on several FE courses (all primarily concerned with drawing/design for 3D/visualisation/CAD etc), including FD in Design for the Public Realm, 3D Design & Extended Btec Diplomas, & various CAD modules within other disciplines, Fine Art Fashion, 3D Design, Jewellery & Ceramics etc; allowing me to consider and monitor student progression to HE from personal perspective, giving me insight into potential marketing strategies and opportunities.

  • Creative Director

    • hpl europe ltd
    • Sible Hedingham, United Kingdom
    • May 2003 - Oct 2008 (5 years 5 months)

    As freelancer, senior designer then Creative Director my time at hpl saw me leading the design/visualisation from client liaison, site survey through to concept and completion of a diverse range of projects within the retail, events and exhibition markets for clients such as Orange, Virgin Atlantic, Cadburys, Roadchef, Lego, National Trust, Touchwood, Bluewater and Cine UK.

  • Freelance Creative Consultant/Illustrator

    • Northman Illustration/or as in-house design consultant for various...
    • Jul 2001 - May 2005 (3 years 10 months)

    Various national and international projects:

    Historical & Archaeological Illustration for the Norfolk Museum Service, inc’ the “Tolhouse” & “Time & Tide” Museums, Great Yarmouth & the Castle Museum Norwich. 2002 to ‘05.

    Conceptual Design for Chameleon Projects/Cubic Design Ltd towards various Sea Life (+ other) projects inc’ the giant medusa sculpt at Brighton Sea Life. 2001 – ‘03.

    Research & Conceptual Design for Rex Sign & Scenic Studios, inc’ a "Jack the Ripper" Themed Bar, an 'Edu-tainment' Space Ride, the “Hocus Pocus” Haunted House & the “Hans Christian Andersen Experience” (Copenhagen) + various other visualisation/design works. July 2001- Jan ‘03.

    Design Consultant for MJP Studios. 2001 – ‘02.

    Freelance Research, Illustration & Copy for the “Gilmerton Cove” (Edinburgh) visitor attraction. 2002.

    Freelance Conceptual & Production Design, Old Time Automatics Ltd. 2001 – ‘02.

    Art Director/Stand-by Art Director & Prop's Buyer, "August/Grace", short film for Anglia Television's "First Take" series. July 2001.

  • Freelance Illustrator/Designer

    • Freelance
    • Norwich, United Kingdom
    • Sep 1990 - Apr 2001 (10 years 7 months)

    Various Freelance illustration and design work, Aug '95 - April 2001, inc: commissions from Coe’s of Norwich, The British Association of Day Surgeons and design/storyboard work for an ITC research project.

    Animation tutor, animation summer school, Norwich School of Art and Design, Summer '95. duties inc: organisation and preparation of a program of study, tuition and supervision of students (aged 14 to 40). inc: basic model making and animation, practical and theory, and camera and video equipment operation.

    Art Gallery Invigilator, Pt/time Norwich East Gallery, Summer '94 - Aug '95.

    Full Time Education, Sept '90 - July '95.

  • Project Designer

    • APW (Attraction Projects Worldwide) group
    • Beccles, United Kingdom
    • Nov 1996 - Apr 2001 (4 years 5 months)

    Dealing with all aspects of design manufacture & installation of various visitor attractions & theme parks, inc’: The London, Hamburg & Edinburgh 'Dungeons', 'Linninmaki' Finland, 'Tales of the Silent City’ Malta, 'Santa Park' Lapland, 'Treasure Island' & 'Speeltuin' casinos Holland, 'Bamses World' animal park Sweden, Kristiansand 'Circus' Park Norway, Harrods 150th year event & various Sea Life Centres in Europe & the UK.

    Typical duties inc’: Leading design from concept to production, Site visits, Basic surveys, early ground plans & layouts, Conceptual design packages & presentation models, Presentation video design, production and editing, Historical/relevant research, Customer flow & batching assessment, Scale model & technical services model building, Workshop production drawings, Audio/Visual show research design, scripting, storyboarding, production & editing, Soundtrack design, Interpretation panel copy & design. On-site art direction, Hands-on theming & set dressing.

  • Archaeological Illustrator

    • Humberside Archaeology Unit, Beverly, Yorkshire.
    • Beverley, United Kingdom
    • Feb 1989 - Feb 1990 (1 year)

    Typical drawing office duties inc' the drawing of "finds", and the visualisation/illustration of accurate historical reconstructions for the archaeological record, displays and educational materials. Plus attending site surveys, digs, often drawing on-site.

    Many of these drawings/visualisations were then prepared for print and educational publication.

    Duties included some externally commissioned illustration/schematic drawing works based upon survey museum peices, which contributed to the restoration of period vehicles outside of the region etc.


  • Leeds Metropolitan University

    • MA Design (merit)
    • 2011 - 2013

    ...looking at Visualising Educational Concepts within Art Schools. And beginning a research interest in the links between Deep Reading, Empathy and Creativity.

  • Norwich School of Art and Design

    • BA(Hons) Graphic Design Animation
    • 1992 - 1995
  • Withernsea High School

    • 1980 - 1986