Gareth Sleightholme began his career as an archaeological illustrator producing historical reconstructions and finds drawings for an archaeology unit based in Yorkshire. Since 1997 he has worked as a creative consultant, and illustrator in the heritage/leisure industry both on a freelance and full-time/in-house basis, working on the design of a wide range of diverse projects across Europe and Scandinavia, such as The London and Hamburg Dungeons, The Norwich Castle Museum refurbishment, SantaPark (a large themed visitor attraction in the Arctic Circle in Finnish Lapland), various sea life aquariums, 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 over the next five and half years. As of late 2008 he is now once again a Freelance Illustrator and Creative Consultant to the Visitor Attraction and Heritage Industry (including historical illustration work), while lecturing at HSAD on their Games Design & Animation BA Hons programmes. He is currently looking at work in the field of Conceptual Design for the Games Industry and at Music & Theatre Graphics; as well as researching further into the links between Reading, Empathy and Creativity following completion of his Masters Degree (merit) in design looking at Visualisation of Educational Concepts within Art Schools.

Work Samples

  • Games Design Concept Art

  • Heritage Historical & Museums Illustration

  • Posters & Graphic Design

Work History

  • Freelance Illustrator & Creative Consultant

    • Gareth Sleightholme - Concept Art/Illustration/Design Creative Consultant
    • 2008 - Present (6 years)

    I am currently Lecturing at the Hull School of Art and Design in Games Design & Animation as well as working on various freelance design and illustration projects within the Visitor Attraction, Heritage and Leisure markets; I am also actively seeking interesting Concept Art and Illustration work.

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

  • Lecturer

    • Hull School of Art and Design
    • 2008 - Present (6 years)

    Currently Lecturing in Games Design and Animation (both BA Hons), having taught across a number of 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.

  • Creative Director

    • hpl europe ltd
    • May 2003 - Oct 2008 (5 years 5 months)

    Leading the Design/visualisation from concept to completion 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

    • Jul 2001 - May 2005 (3 years 10 months)

    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

    • 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 group
    • 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.
    • Feb 1989 - Feb 1990 (1 year)

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


  • Leeds Metropolitan University

    • MA Design (merit)
    • 2011 - 2013

    ...looking at Visualising Educational Concepts within Art Schools.

  • Norwich School of Art and Design

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

    • 1980 - 1986