The Art of Illustration: Four Illustrators Introduce You to the Awe-Inspiring State of Their Art

Con­tem­pla­tive types used to los­ing them­selves in an image may wish to have a motion sick­ness bag on hand when view­ing The Art of Illus­tra­tion, the lat­est entry in Off Book, a PBS web series explor­ing cut­ting edge art and inter­net cul­ture. The edit­ing seems even more ver­tig­i­nous than in episodes devot­ed to indie video game design­ers and glitch artists. The score recalls R. Crum­b’s exis­ten­tial hor­ror inside a mod­ern night­club.

Watch it any­way, for the inter­vie­wees thoughts on the state of illus­tra­tion.

Pro­fes­sor Steven Guar­nac­cia of the The New School’s Illus­tra­tion Pro­gram describes how illus­tra­tion’s cre­ative poten­tial explod­ed once pho­tog­ra­phy became the prime way of doc­u­ment­ing celebri­ty appear­ances and oth­er such news­wor­thy visu­als.

Edi­to­r­i­al Illus­tra­tor Yuko Shimisu inter­nal­izes those obser­va­tions, throw­ing shade on any idea she feels would look bet­ter in pho­to form. Shimisu, like all of the artists fea­tured in the short video, uses tra­di­tion­al media to make her draw­ings, but col­ors them dig­i­tal­ly. The form may pre­date pho­tog­ra­phy, but Shimisu implies that any prac­ti­tion­er unwill­ing to embrace the trend toward new media will find them­selves going the way of the dodo, as edi­to­r­i­al gigs migrate onto tablets and even small­er dig­i­tal devices.

Mean­while over at DC Comics, Sean Mur­phy has yet to dis­cov­er a super­pow­er capa­ble of speed­ing up the work that goes into ren­der­ing a sto­ry in com­ic book for­mat. The facial expres­sions, grand per­spec­tives, and moody light­ing that are his stock in trade could the­o­ret­i­cal­ly be cap­tured with a shut­ter click, but at what cost to the over­all nar­ra­tive?

And then there’s the inim­itable Mol­ly Crabap­ple, pur­vey­or of Vic­to­ri­an-fla­vored kink and founder of Dr. Sketchy’s Anti-Art School, whose Occu­py Wall Street posters chal­lenged the visu­al bound­aries of activist art. Find­ing a per­son­al style one can blow up into a brand is not just a choice, she implies. It’s one’s best hope of sur­vival in a sea flood­ed with com­peti­tors.

- Ayun Hal­l­i­day pub­lish­es her illus­trat­ed zine, The East Vil­lage Inky the old fash­ioned way, then pro­motes it across all man­ner of dig­i­tal plat­forms, includ­ing @AyunHalliday.

by | Permalink | Comments (0) |

Sup­port Open Cul­ture

We’re hop­ing to rely on our loy­al read­ers rather than errat­ic ads. To sup­port Open Cul­ture’s edu­ca­tion­al mis­sion, please con­sid­er mak­ing a dona­tion. We accept Pay­Pal, Ven­mo (@openculture), Patre­on and Cryp­to! Please find all options here. We thank you!

Leave a Reply

Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.