Over the past fifteen years, alongside my academic career, I have been working as an Illustrator, primarily in the field of national and international broadcast and broadsheet media. The best of my artwork is responsible for engaging an audience’s visual attention for high profile news events and in depth issues. My Role: Professor of Design and Head of Design Discipline.

Why I do this job: I went to art school to explore an irrepressible instinct to explain the world visually.

I studied graphic design because I wanted to help change that world for the better. Design and visual communication provides solutions to problems, promotes clarity of thinking and encourages creative ideas. In this way we are developing the human capacity to meet the challenges of our future. The chance to influence how people in any society think and behave, even for a brief moment, is a positive intervention in a world that is increasingly concerned with mindless celebrity, consumerism and self-interest. We have to strive to make life better and not merely make ourselves financially richer.

My research: is focused on the role of design and visual communication in issues of climate change, economic betterment and human behaviour. I am also committed to developing greater understanding of the role of drawing as both a language for art and design practice and as a means of thinking and researching social and personal issues. These research activities have developed from my practice as an artist and designer. I believe that ‘design-thinking’ can be universally applied and that it traverses all disciplines within a University – that at its core it captures the interdisciplinary ethos of my School and attracts many international partners and friends.

Most importantly to both the University and myself personally, it has lead me into the realms of academically recognised research which has been supported by grants awarded by AHRB, EC, NESTA and other bodies for both Animation and Illustration based research. I have been enabled to explore the limits of current knowledge in relation to visual perception of hand made imagery, to show the role that ‘slow art’ can have within multimedia. In particular I have studied the phenomena first identified by editor and academic Wilson Hicks, which came to be known as ‘the third effect’. My research demonstrates that this is a complex issue – given our present day multi media environment. Dadaist Marcel Duchamp once said ‘the lookers is as important as the artist, because despite what the artist thinks they are doing, something is grabbed by society’. I have written one of the first refereed papers on this subject, based on my own academic research and experiences as an artist. This has been supported by AHRB and also by the European Illustrator Gallery, which through curator Dr Kathie Jenkins have created a permanent on line exhibition and live websites. On-line viewing has engaging a global audience and provided a resource for students studying Illustration, drawing and Animation from foundation to PhD.

Where you can find more of my work.

Vortex Official British War Artists site.


Recent Publications: book chapters.

Design and Designing
Garner, S., and Evans, C., 2012 Design and Designing: A Critical Introduction. UK: Oxford International Publishers Ltd, Berg Publishers


Fundamentals of Animation book cover
Wells, P., 2010. Fundamentals of Animation. Ava Publishing  ISBN13: 9782940373024

Recent Books and Papers,  global exhibitions, research blogs and points of dissemination & debate:

The Lunar society lecture 2010, History as an endless industrial accident

‘Vortex’: Official war artists -virtual gallery to further the dialogue on the iconography of war and peace. (basis of papers above plus exhibition)  Curator: Professor Paul Gough

Lunar Ikon BBC talks published online march 2012: Leading Figures from Design and Science debate the some of the challenges facing the world. (2012) 

Reporter online journal: supports visual journalism, documentary drawing and illustration as visual essay.

My War – Northern Stories - Hurricane films, war over the generations

Animation Academy publications and debates around contemporary animation

Hurricane Films with war art drawing as an aid to the recovery of memory and well being, released March 2012. Available in Australia Region Nov 2012.

Lincoln University Recto – Verso, Redefining the Sketchbook conference: 10th – 11thFebruary 2011
 The Collection, Lincoln.

Minichiello, M., 2011. Common Ground Publisher

Ikon and the Lunar Society presented an exciting series of evening talks, revisiting themes discussed by the original eighteenth century Lunar Society within a contemporary context. Chaired by Professor Mario Minichiello.


Visiting Professorships

De Montfort University UK
Sydney University of the Arts


Conference Advisory Boards, Referring and Editorships. Reviewing and Referring:

DRS conferences Design Research Society (DRS)
CG conferences
The 4th World Conference on Design Research, organised by IASDR (the International Association of Societies of Design Research
AOI Association of Illustrators Varoom research board.


Conference Advisory Boards:

GC Design Conference
GC Arts in Society Conference


My Professional Practice:

Published work for Sun Herald Newspaper Australia


Published work for Guardian Newspaper UK


BBC TV News reporting the war (see official war artists site UK)


Hurricane Films My War documentary film 2012.


Recent Shows or Collections

British Council Collection.
Arts Council Leicestershire collection UK.
Goldmark Gallery Collection
Official British War artist archive.
Some of my graduates:


Richard Johnson: Children’s book Illustrator and Animator.


Alison Millar: Director and Filmmaker



Louis Netter: Political Illustrator and academic



Alastair Adams: President of the Royal Portrait Society GB

Head of Drawing LUSAD.


Steve Waterhouse: Illustrator and Animator.



Peter Grey: Artist and Author.



Andrew Selby:  Illustrator and Head of School LUSAD UK.



For more details about The University of Newcastle and Professor Minichiello go to Google.


Link to Mario’s site