Thursday, 23 October 2014

Why Should I Use Illustration?

Ever since I started taking an interest in art and illustration, I've been hearing, "illustration is dying" or "It is too difficult to make a career by drawing or painting" While I agree that there are easier ways to make a living, I disagree wholeheartedly that illustration is dying.

In fact, i think illustration is in the process of making somewhat of a resurgence! The most common "competition" to illustration is through photography. Why pay for a custom piece of artwork when she can use some stock photo or even a paid photographer?

My feeling is, that as technology improves (as it is doing exponentially at this moment in time) its is becoming easier and easier to produce high quality photographs. Everyone now has an iPhone or a smartphone with multi-megapixel cameras and an endless supply of apps that give you any filter you can imagine. Very soon, high quality, "artsy" images will become something of the norm. And before any photographers feel that I am doing their profession a disservice, "just anyone" can't take a great photo. The experience and training involved in photography gives the professional the "eye" to see things that the average guy on the street wouldn't see., and is ultimately what a photographer is paid for.

But to the untrained eye, a photo is a photo. So if magazines, movie posters, book covers, billboards, marketing companies, ad agencies, etc. are looking to stand out, I feel illustration let's them do just that. To commission a one-off piece of art means that image has never been seen before. And the style that comes with any artist or illustrator, gives the viewer the feeling that thought, effort and skill has gone in to making the image, instead of (naively thinking) someone just pointed a camera and pushed the button.

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