Jim Butler

Course Leader, MA Illustration and Book Arts and BA (Hons) Illustration and Animation

Faculty:Faculty of Arts, Law & Social Sciences

Department:Cambridge School of Art

Location: Cambridge

Areas of Expertise: Illustration, drawing and book art

Courses taught: Illustration and Animation, Illustration and Book Arts

Jim is a practising artist with research interests in drawing, printmaking, illustration and artist’s books. His work has been exhibited in the USA, Mexico and across Europe, and is held in numerous collections including Tate, the Art Institute of Chicago and The Hague's Meermanno Museum.

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Visit Jim's website and watch his films on Vimeo


Jim has worked as an artist and educator since completing his MA in 2001. He initially taught in Manchester Metropolitan University before starting at Anglia Ruskin in 2007. In his illustration practice, he's has been commissioned by international clients such as Adidas and Siemens. In 2008, he worked closely with Quentin Blake, Ronald Searle, David Hughes and other leading illustrators when he designed a book of drawings to celebrate Cambridge School of Art’s 150th anniversary.

Jim has a particular interest in visual language developed over large series of work. His ongoing research included a series of several hundred collage drawings documenting different cities. His artist’s books explore a range of themes and have been acquired by a number of major public collections. He sees his practice as being not just integral to research but a means of researching ideas through practice.

Research interests

  • The tactile experience of artists’ books
  • The relationship between the observer and the subject in reportage drawing
  • The act of drawing
  • Structures of visual language


  • MA Communication Design, Manchester Metropolitan University
  • PG Cert Learning & Teaching (Higher Education), Anglia Ruskin University
  • BA (Hons) Illustration with Animation, Manchester Metropolitan University
  • BE (Hons) Electrical Engineering, University College Dublin

Selected recent publications

Butler, J., 2013. The Printmaker and the Challenge of the Editioned Book. The Blue Notebook, 7(2) pp.38-45.

Butler, J., 2008. Cambridge School of Art 1858-2008 New Drawings. Cambridge: Anglia Ruskin University.

Work in public collections

  • TATE Britain
  • British Library
  • Joan Flasch Collection, Art Institute of Chicago
  • Museum Meermanno, The Hague
  • National Irish Visual Arts Library, Dublin
  • Centre for Artists' Books, Dundee Contemporary Arts
  • Western New York Center for Artists’ Books, Buffalo, New York
  • Special Collection, Manchester Metropolitan University Winchester School of Art

Selected exhibitions

  • What the Butler Saw, Williams Art, Cambridge, 2014 
  • Drawings & Etchings, Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge, 2013 
  • Serigraphy, The Art of Screenprinting, Western New York Book Arts Center, Buffalo, New York, 2012
  • Da impressão ao livro de artista, Universidade do Porto, Portugal, 2012
  • Signs of Lfe, Signs of Change, Galeria Cozinha, Porto, Portugal, 2011 
  • Cabin: codex, Dundee Contemporary Arts, 2011
  • Bitten & Pressed, Aberystwyth Arts Centre, 2010
  • Sitting Room, Universidad Autonoma Metropolitana, Mexico City, Mexico, 2008
  • Sitting Room, K Gallery, Alameda, California, USA, 2008

Recent presentations and conferences

Keynote presentation, “La Naissance des Images” Illustr4tio conference, Universite de Bourgogne, Dijon, 2014

“Les Espaces du livre”, Tirnity College, Cambridge, 2013

“Obeservation: Mapping: Dialogue” Drawing Research Network, Brighton, 2010