Neil Hollis, was born in 1954 and has been teaching for nearly forty years at the Western Australia School for Art Design and Media (then, Central TAFE, then Central Institute of Technology). That is, he has been teaching longer than I have been alive, although he claims to have ‘started young’… He retired at the end of this semester for greener pastures at the Perth Mint.
Neil was a cornerstone lecturer at our department and one of my favourite student quotes is by Natasha Muhl, who attributes her creative development and refinement of her illustration style to Neil:
“I’ve been drawing for a long time but I think the turning point came in my first year of studying fashion and textiles. I spent most of my time on illustration and layout with my assignments (instead of sewing!). The next year I enrolled in Graphic Design and I haven’t looked back.”
and more recently, in our 2015 Alumni survey, where alumni students recount:
“I do look back at the drawings I did for Neil and think wow, how did that happen, oh that’s right, tears and lack of sleep. But that’s just not for me, I really respect those who can draw without breaking down physically and emotionally in the process!”
“Neil was great. I learnt a lot from him in illustration. Neil has a way of pushing students without them knowing they are being pushed and I think that can be seen in the quality of this students work.”
Fittingly, he was awarded an honorary super-hero cape and numerous trophies at his farewell this week.
UPDATE: Jay has organised a farewell event here: https://www.facebook.com/events/397967113738332/