Wolverhampton School of Art

Mr David Colton

Course Leader Digital and Visual Communications

David Colton Staff Profile Image
Email address: D.Colton@wlv.ac.uk Phone number: 01902 321977 Location: MK Building Faculty: Arts School/Institute: Wolverhampton School of Art Areas of expertise: Creative thinking and idea generation, interdisciplinary practice, illustration, graphic design.


Dave's first job was putting the eyes in teddy bears in a toy factory. Since then he has been to art college and had two spells at university, gaining a degree in Creative Arts and a masters in Design Management and Web Design. He has worked in graphic design, advertising, web design and marketing. In the nineteen eighties he worked as a freelance illustrator and strip cartoonist in Amsterdam. He has been a cartoonist, designer and illustrator for over thirty years, working for clients both in the UK and all over the world. He has started and run a number of creative businesses including magazine publishing and a web consultancy. He has also taught in a number of further and higher education institutions.

Dave is currently a senior lecturer in Visual Communications at the University of Wolverhampton. He is the Course Leader for the MA in Visual Communications and is currently in his third year of a PhD at Manchester Metropolitan University.

Research interests

  • Chance and aleatory systems
  • Creative thinking, idea generation and appropriation
  • Interdisciplinary art practice

Membership of professional bodies

  • FHEA Membership


  • Currently: Studying for a PhD
  • MA Web/ Multimedia Design (including Design Management)
  • PG dip. Computing in Design
  • City & Guilds 7307 Cert. in FE & HE Teaching Cert.
  • BA Hons (2.1) Creative Arts
  • NWRAC Certificate, Advertising Design


Recent Conferences:

  • The Twelfth International Conference on The Arts in Society. Sorbonne/ American University of Paris, France. 2017
  • Oblique Strategies, Dice and Train Commuters. The re-imagining of interventionist aleatory art systems to change personal realities.
  • The MMU ‘Words at Play’ Exhibition. Manchester Metropolitan University (Cheshire) 2016
  • The Suicide Box and the Zen Mop. Exhibition of art works.
  • Music and/as Process: The fifth annual conference in association with the Society of Minimalist Music 2017.
  • Beyond aleatoricism? The case for varying distinctions between types of aleatory or chance process in the arts.
  • The 9th Manchester Metropolitan University Postgraduate Research Conference 2017
  • The Luckybag of life: Can we appropriate William Burroughs’ aleatory cut-up techniques to gain insights into our personal lives?
  • The Tenth International Conference on the Arts in Society, Imperial College, London
  • Creating new possibilities: What can the textural cut-up tell us about ourselves? An exploration of textural cut-ups. How ‘systematic derangement’ works in a creative environment, and how we can adapt the techniques to discover more about ourselves and our relationship with society.
  • University of Wolverhampton Annual Research Conference 2015
  • Hiding in plain sight… How aleatory or chance art works and ‘systems’ can be presented as consumer objects and used as a tool for changing lives.

Experience in industry

  • Three years in the Advertising industry, working for a range of clients including, Crown Paints, Greenall Whitley and Granada TV
  • Two years in mail order design and production working for Great Universal Stores
  • Over thirty years freelance illustration, strip cartoon and cartoon work for a range of clients and publications
  • National Magazine publisher with licenses sold to publishers in Holland, Hungary, Italy and Australia
  • Developed TV options for Yorkshire Television and Carlton Television
  • Created a variety of Editorial Features for publications including: The Daily Mail, Practical Photography, Metro, Manchester Evening News and France Magazine
  • Created visual puzzles for Mensa magazine, The Daily Mail and The Irish Times. Four puzzle books created for Carlton Books and Hodder Headline
  • Created cartoon illustrations for over 25 books

Further information

  • External Examiner: Design Management MA, Staffordshire University 2016-
  • External Examiner: Design Management & Innovation BA, Design De Montfort University 2006-2009
  • Competition Winner: North West Arts Cartoon/Illustration Competition 1984
  • Competition Runner up: Berol Cartoonist of the year 1987