Interpretation is the name given for the content produced by museums, galleries and so forth which helps to explain what they have on display and why.

I’m currently working on an interpretation tender submission for a wonderful project which will involve creating a map-based family trail for a national heritage site.

I love educational interpretation!

design and illustration for museumI’ve created a lot of interpretation-based work, especially for children and families, and my work is used to help engage with, inform and inspire younger people. I have a deep love for this educational work – nothing makes me happier than provoking curiosity and excitement in others, especially children, and encouraging them to learn, find out more, imagine. I am happiest when learning and it is a joy to have a job that encourages others to feel the same!

So anyway, as part of this tender submission I thought I’d ask one of my most important clients, Grace Todd who is Senior Learning, Participation and Interpretation Officer at National Museum Cardiff, whether she’d be able to write me a sentence or two as a recommendation for this tender.

I was blown away by what she wrote. Here it is in full:

“Frank has been contributing to the work of the Learning, Participation and Interpretation department at the National Museum Wales for several years on a range of projects. Frank is professional, efficient, and has an ability to understand and design what we require. Frank listens, and understands that our remit is engagement and thus their illustrations have to be engaging, they have to hook the reader in.

One of the most demanding projects that Frank worked on was developing illustrations for a children’s story book that we published about a dinosaur. Having written the story I had strong ideas about how the characters should look on the page. The story was an intrinsic part of one of our school’s workshops for 4-7 year olds, and as such needed to encourage engagement, and a sense of exploration and discovery for the pupils. Frank’s illustrations encourage children to go back to different pictures and to discover new things. They help children read characters’ emotions and interactions.

Recently Frank’s designed and illustrated learning and activity resources for a new high profile exhibition on archaeology. In keeping with the brief these were designed to increase the enjoyment and engagement of young visitors and their families. Frank’s playful, lively hand-inked drawings have really encouraged children to be creative, imaginative and spontaneous. They’ve also helped make big themes and topics conveyed in the exhibition accessible and easy to relate to for our younger visitors. Parents, teachers, and children have all embraced these resources, the feedback has been tremendously positive. The illustrations have encouraged visitors to look more closely at what’s being shown, prompted observation, discussion, curiosity and speculation.  One of the archaeology curators said she’d never seen archaeology conveyed in such a fun way!

Frank has also contributed to a lot of ‘one off’ projects for the department over the years. Our audience is varied: families, school groups across the ages, adults, toddlers, teenagers. In each instance Frank has demonstrated sound understanding of the audience and how to engage with them. We’re always asking Frank’s illustrations to work hard, they have to engage visitors, convey ‘big stories’, encourage imaginative, exploration and creativity, and help make the museum experience fun. Frank has demonstrated an ability to do this on every project.”