Alyssa James

Throughout my time at university, I have aimed to become an all-round designer. However, I have acquired a central interest in illustrative work.

Final Project

Where My Dog Lives Now

For my final self-led project, I wanted to enter the Macmillan Prize for Illustration competition, where I wrote and illustrated a 32-page children’s book.

After the personal loss of family pets, I based my book, Where My Dog Lives Now, on where animals go when they pass away; in a way that’s suitable for children. Every animal has a utopia after death. 

I thoroughly enjoyed this project and am keen to further my illustration skills professionally. 

My book follows a boy who has lost his dog and wonders where he has gone. His dad reveals that all animals live on after death in their own personalised paradise. This is one of my favourite double-page spreads from my project. I had a lot of fun creating the world of each animal’s utopia.

Within the colouring for this project, I experimented a lot with different colouring styles. I wanted to convey the excitement and joy within animal afterlives.

My Universe

At University, sometimes getting the ball rolling on making new friends can be quite a challenge. For this project, I created the concept for a solution. MyUniverse is an app where students can make friends based on course, hobbies and similar interests. As well as having an in-app event sign-up so students make real-life connections.

Cautionary Tales for Adults

As part of a 4 Week University Project, we were given the text for the book called cautionary tales for children by Hilaire Belloc. Our given target audience was adults. We chose our own groups with our peers and had to design an entire poetry book. In our group of five, I came up with the concept for the illustrations and co-illustrating backgrounds and characters. 

The Illustration

Trini Fong and I were in charge of the illustration for this project. We worked together to make sure that both of our illustrations were compatible so that the book flowed wonderfully. It was a lot of fun. It is one of my favourite projects I have ever worked on.

Our full book can be viewed on my portfolio if you would like to see it further.


  • KS4 Fine Art Award

Work Experience

I shadowed senior designers at Rail Media in Coalville, UK. Rail Media is the UK’s leading media group in the rail industry. I shadowed the senior designers in learning composition of magazine double-page spreads. I was able to enhance my Photoshop and Illustrator skills. As well as gaining knowledge of the design process for magazine publishing.

Visionary Thinkers

Visionary Creators

Visionary Makers