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Dr W John Hewitt

Senior Lecturer
Illustration with Animation

My creative practice switches between the media of drawing and etching. Its subject matter invariably deals with observed events, people, animals, objects and locations. Notions of memory run through it. My artwork is housed in several national collections, including the V&A and the Government Art Collection. My illustrations have appeared in books, magazines and newspapers including the Sunday Times, the Radio Times, the Guardian, New Statesman, Time Out and Ambit. In the late 1980s I toured as a sketch artist with the Pogues, co-illustrating Poguetry: The Lyrics of Shane MacGowan (Faber and Faber, London 1989) with the photographer Steve Pyke. In addition to my work for exhibition or publication I post a daily drawing on Instagram, under name w_john_hewitt.

In 2005 the Righton Press published my remembered drawn and written account of the London bombings of July 7 2005 (Emblem Issue 2: There and Back, Righton Press, Manchester 2005). Twenty-four of these drawings are on permanent display in the Museum of London.

I completed a PhD in 2008, on the subject of contemporary English courtroom sketches. My research encompassed aspects of reportage drawing, various modes of print publishing, relationships between words, photographs and drawings, notions of authorship in the context of art practice and criticism, and the value of personal memory as an evidential tool in visual documentation. I have subsequently contributed articles to Varoom! magazine and Varoom!Lab on subjects arising from this research.

I am an 0.5 Senior Lecturer in Illustration with Animation at MMU. I have taught widely in English art schools since 1981, in the areas of fine art, printmaking and illustration at undergraduate and postgraduate levels, and have acted as External Examiner on ten art and design courses since 1998. I was made an Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Art in 2003 and was elected to the Manchester Academy of Fine Arts in 2011. I won the Hugh Casson Prize for drawing at the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition in 2016.


W John Hewitt is a member of the Design Research Hub.

A selection of recent research outputs.


Hewitt, J., 2019. Cultural Icons,, Potteries Museum and Art Gallery, Stoke-on-Trent (part of the British Ceramics Biennale), 14/9/2019 - 17/11/2019.

Hewitt, J., 2016. 2016: Summer Exhibition, Royal Academy of Arts, London, Royal Academy of Arts, London, 6/6/2016 - 20/8/2016.

Hewitt, W. J., Dant, Adam, Evans, Dave, Hampson, Mark, Lloyd, Peter, Oldfield Ford, Laura, Disley, Francis, Georgeson, Mikey, McCelland, Ryan, Struton, John, Unsworth, James., 2010. Legends of Circumstance, Whitecross Gallery, London, & the Bargate Gallery, Southampton, 12 June - 4 July 2009 & 13 Feb - 21 March 2010.

Hewitt, W. J., 2010. Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, Royal Academy of Arts, London, 14 June - 22 August 2010.

Hewitt, W. J., 2009. Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, Royal Academy of Art, London, 8 June - 16 August 2009.

Hewitt, W. J. with 49 others. Selected and curated by Prof Chris Orr RA, 2008. '10', Upper and Gulbenkian Gallery, Royal College of Art, London, 17- 28 October 2008.


Hewitt, WJ., 2016. 'Ancestral Figures: Mid-Victorian Couple, pencil drawing', Royal Academy of Arts Summer Exhibition.


Hewitt, W. J., 2010. 'Emblem Issue 2: There and Back', Righton Press, MMU, Manchester.

Peters, C., 2006. 'My Secret Rooms', Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester.

Internet Publications

Hewitt, W. J., 2011. 'Courtroom Art: the court art of Priscilla Coleman', Varoom!Lab,

Hewitt, W. J., 2011. 'Sketching Joe Strummer', Varoom!Lab,

Journal Articles

Hewitt, W. J., 2011. 'The 'scribbler' the photographer and the Celtic punk', Varoom!, Issue 14, 32 - 42.

Hewitt, W. J., 2010. 'Saddleworth Animals', AMBIT, Issue 202 Autumn 2010, 17-22.

Hewitt, W. J., 2010. 'The Arms of Sarah Malcolm', Varoom!, Issue 13, 40 - 44.

Other Outputs

Hewitt, WJ., 2019. 'Ancestral Stories'.