Liz Ackerley is an urban sketcher with a particular interest in Reportage Illustration, the art of visual storytelling.
Experiences that support a visual storytelling approach
Liz initially trained as a research scientist, obtaining a first degree in Biochemistry at Imperial College London and a Ph.D. in Microbiology at Cambridge University. Subsequently, Liz held several research posts, including the Department of Infectious Diseases at Imperial, before retraining in the arts as a garden designer and landscape architect. Therefore, her science and design backgrounds have both influenced the approaches she has taken to her illustration training. These influences include a close attention to detail as well as an interest in the big picture and a fascination about composition and layout. Furthermore, they enable her to be an inquisitive questioner and this is helpful in her storytelling approaches. Her current illustrational work focuses on capturing a sense of place and occasion and these interests underpin her illustrational works. She is fascinated by urban and rural street life and the diversity of activities and events that happen. Therefore, she focuses on capturing these in her work. She has an interest in documentary drawing and works to commission for both private and commercial clients. Her work is captured mainly on site, observing and drawing in real time, as things happen. Portability and a need to work quickly means that her work is characterised by a combination of illustrational drawing in pen, ink and watercolour together with text as narrative. Her most recent commissions include the Manchester Histories Festival 2016, a biannual Greater Manchester event, #CitiesOfHope2016 a world-first Street Art Convention in Manchester, Local Correspondent for the 7th International Symposium of Urban Sketchers 2016 Manchester and The Kings Street Festival 2017.