Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Who we are and what we do

 Currently I am studying for a masters degree in Communication Design at Central St Martins. Its called 'Communication Design' but as I have no other strings to my, very, flimsy bow I'm sticking with illustrative communication because, lets face it, that's pretty much all I care about. So there are a few strands to my research but my primary goal is that at the end of the two years, which is now fast approaching, I will have a better understanding of what it is that I do.
I think Illustration is important. Not in a real sense, not as how I think feminism is important or social justice or the heartbreaking dismantling of the NHS, of course its not important like that. But within the culture of art and design illustration is significant, not least because it has always been here. Putting information into pictures has been humankind's way of explaining life for centuries; from cave paintings to maps of the stars to diagrams of the human body. Images can be the most powerful, concise and comprehensive way of dispensing information to a varied audience as everyone is, on some level, visually literate. We look at pictures before we can speak, we draw before we write. We know, from childhood, how to read a picture and that makes it immediately more accessible than anything written might be. I think pictures are instinctive and intuitive and, as a result, carry some weight.

However the existence of photography and film dictates that illustration need no longer be the single pictorial delivery method for factual information. Instead the illustrator's role is shifting and currently exists in a fairly malleable state in which we, the artists, can decide who we are and what we do. Perhaps we're not even illustrators anymore?

SO. What I'm wondering is what other Illustrators identify their role as being. 
  • How do you define 'illustration'? 
  • Do you operate under the title 'illustrator' or the more general (and increasingly popular) 'creative' or perhaps you have another name for what you do? And is ALL the work you make illustration?
  • Where do you see your work fitting within Art & Design?
  • What is the importance of images for you?
If you have the time, and indeed the inclination, I was wondering if any illustrator reading might email me their answers to the above questions. I'd really appreciate it and I think (and hope) that together we might be able to come up with some kind of portrait of what we do and why our artform deserves as much critical and historical analysis as any other artistic endeavor. 

EMAIL TO-  lizzy (at) abouttoday.co.uk 



1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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