What is research?

Research is an investigative process that guides the researcher toward new learning and insight. For the illustrator, these research processes can involve practice-based and practice-led research

This exploratory type of research is unlikely to yield a yes or no answer; research rooted in practice is often phenomenological, exploring information that doesn’t have a measurable result. Discoveries can be evaluated but are open to interpretation.


This approach which includes qualitative evaluation, is very well suited to a creative enquiry and one of the great advantages of creative research is that it allows for play, experimentation and imagination (Kara, 2015 cited in Noble, 2018)

It is a useful approach for understanding about beliefs and values. For example, observational methods whereby a group is observed without changing their behaviour are helpful for inquiry in to feelings, emotions and opinions. If observing group, this would take place in a normal environment and not a laboratory or controlled environment. Ethics must be considered if research involves observation of a group or group activity.

Observations include examining case studies for research. Case studies are particularly useful in creative practice research. They can provide insight in art practice, motivation and technique, public response and understanding.


Noble, M., (2018) Arts based research in practice [online] Available at, https://selfinitiatedproject.myblog.arts.ac.uk/2018/10/10/arts-based-research-in-practice [Accessed 19 April 2019]