Skip navigation


Simon Mckeown

Career Path: Senior Animator, Electric Image; Post Production Specialist, MGB Facilities; Head of 3D and Animation, Reflections; & Reader, Teesside University
Location: Leeds, UK

During my training in Fine Art in Newcastle, I was one of two students who additionally studied computer animation. I was drawn to this emerging digital technology. Working independently we became skilled and graduated to work in what was a new and very small industry.

What are you doing now?Simon McKeown

I am now a Reader in the School of Computing, Media and the Arts at Teesside University. I am also and award-winning active arts practitioner and researcher involved in digital practice and culture, having worked at a senior level in both the broadcast and computer games sector. My focus now is huge outdoor city centre public art video projection events. As a fine artist, I am known for my work in disability art and I exhibit internationally, including at DOX Centre for Contemporary Arts in Prague, creating work which seeks to challenge the cultural presentation of disability. I have retained my Fine Art training and ethos throughout my business career and have developed my own practice. I have creative performative works with Graeae Theatre in London and Las Fura dels Baus of Catalonia and most recently closed the city centre of Cork, Ireland for a large-scale outdoor performance which formed the culmination of Culture Night, Ireland.

What was it about Northumbria that made you decide to study here?

I was very attracted to the Fine Art Department, which was well equipped at the time with excellent staff and equipment.

What was it like studying at Northumbria?

I have great memories of excellent lectures and seminars, including one on Elvis, another working and setting up your own business and of course fine art and animation.

How connected was your course with industry?

We had some excellent practitioner lectures with renown animators, photographers and practicing artists. All very exciting.

What was the best thing about your course?

I was provided with a sense of independence and a set of practical and conceptual skills that have benefited me throughout my life and career.

How did studying at Northumbria help you achieve your career goals/ give your career an edge?

I became a technology expert and fine artist, which is a heady and unusual mix. This gave me a huge head start which I have enjoyed and mixed and matched ever since.

Which skills/knowledge did you learn on your course that you use most now throughout your career?

I taught myself, along with others, professional animation. In my case, it was using 3D animation which was very exciting and led to my career developing the way it has.

What did you enjoy most about your time at Northumbria University?

I really enjoyed learning the practice of fine art, that is the methods and tools as well as my time spent learning computing graphics. Both have proven fundamental to my career.

What advice would you give somebody who is considering studying at Northumbria?

Work hard, enjoy life and learning and be independent.

How would you describe your time at Northumbria in three words?

Independent, art and technological.

For more information about me visit: 

Latest News and Features

Poetry collection shortlisted for prestigious international prize
Northumbria University launches series of events to help businesses retain top talent
More news

Back to top