Back to top

Illustration

Artscolumbia / Applied arts  / Illustration

What is illustration? To the average mind which has not given the question thought, illustration consists of drawings, chiefly black and white, done primarily, with commercial ends in view, for reproduction; or, perhaps, the same mind thinks of tests or stories in popular periodicals to accompany which drawings are made — drawings, likely as not, merely of heads, or, more probably, full length figures of men and girls in evening dress sittings up- on sofas in the various atittudes demanded by the authors. It is unfortunate indeed that such a conception of illustration is so widespread.

Drawings such as these are by no means illustration—unless the word be used in a very narrow and restricted sense. There should be some title to differentiate the purely commercial work, the quick and empty incidental drawings, from that great realm of art, that broadest and most meaningful division of all art, illustration. There is no such title that I know of.

It has yet to be invented. I have thought of the word cartooning, but cartooning, like illustration, has its two classes—one, the scrawls of the surface, of the moment—the other, the drawings of the master-craftsmen, the dreamers, carry- ing to the world messages of truth and inspiration as only art can do. The great cartoon and illustration are truly one.

What then is illustration? For the moment let all thoughts of ways and means, paper, black and white, above all, reproduction, escape the reader’s mind. Let him look at the word itself. It means a making clear. It says nothing of mediums, nothing of publications, nothing of reproductions. A making clear — that is illustration. That, indeed, is art. Broadly speaking, all pictures may be divided into two classes, those whose purpose is to delight the eye, and those whose purpose is to delight the mind. True illustration lies in the latter group.

I have no quarrel with the first class. It has its purpose, but the latter is supremely great. It lives when the other dies; speaks to millions, the other speaks to few. With its dreams and visions it thrills mankind, leads ever on toward the star.

The purpose of a great picture is to reveal the spirit, the ideals, of life. This sounds simple, as indeed it is, and it is this that makes any w’ork of art endure. That is the difference between an illustration, a true picture—for all true pictures, all works of art, whose purpose is the revelation of a thought of life, are illustrations—and a canvas that says nothing beyond the surface. Mediums and technique are not illustration, nor discussions of harmonies and balances, and rhythms. These may be the so-called painters’ delectation, but they are not the illustrators. They may be the means whereby the illustrator attains his end, but they are not the end.

And that is why illustration has become so intimately connected with books and magazines and reproduction. Books are printed to be sold; the publisher dare not buy a picture that gives no meaning to the world. It must convey a message — else his magazine will stay forever on the newsstand, and he will fail. And so for his book covers, his posters, his pictures in his magazines, he finds the artists who, to the world at large, best reveal understandable ideas.

The Hartley Collection of Victorian Illustration

In 1955 the finest private collection of Victorian illustrations ever formed was pur chased for the Boston Museum of Fine Arts by Henry P. Rossiter, then curator of the Department of Prints and Drawings. The collection had been assembled around the turn of the century by an Englishman. Harold T. Hartley, and was sold to the Boston Museum after his death by his son, Sir Harold Hartley. The years between 1855 and 1875 were referred to as the "golden decades" of il lustration by Hartley and others knowledgeable in this field, and most of the collec tion is concerned with illustrations of this era, although some important forerunners and successors of the "sixties” artists arc also included. More than 200...

Read More

Women Illustrators of the Golden Age of American Illustration

The period between 1880 and 1914 has been referred to as the Golden Age of American Illustration.' A newly literate public, released for the first time from the constant drudgery of work, avidly consumed the unprecedented number of periodicals being published during this period Advances in print technology high speed presses and the development of the halftone plate—not only made the explosion in printed material possible, but made the magazines themselves quite inexpensive.1 An array of weeklies and monthlies provided the American public with a popular entertainment medium so broad as to be compared to television or movies today. They also served a variety of special interests. Harper's Monthly, Century, The Bookman. The Critic and Scribners were serious, literary, informutive...

Read More

Positive Behavior: Definition and Illustrations

DEFINITION Behavior that tends to satisfy the desires of the respondent is posi tive behavior. It will become apparent that by this definition some positive behavior may lead to antisocial (so called “negative”) responses and hence is not recommended. Further more, some behavior that is itself socially acceptable and apparently positive is not, by this definition, actually positive because it docs not tend to satisfy the desires of the re spondent. The reverse is also true: some behavior that is socially not ac ceptable and apparently negative is yet actually positive because it oper ates to satisfy the desires of the re cipient. These propositions and illus trations of them arc to be considered in the following paragraphs, the...

Read More

Produce a promotional package for a newly formed company

To complete this task I will be required to carry out some research, which will involve using the Internet, and also completing a small amount of non-IT research, perhaps involving a promotional package from a competitors company. These will be included in my next section. In order to create the above items, I will need to use various computer programs and software tools, including a word processor and a desktop publishing program. These will be sufficient to use in order to create a business card, a letter headed sheet and an introductory leaflet. To design a suitable company logo, I intend to attempt to create a relatively simple logo, as my research will prove that successful companies can succeed with only...

Read More

How Do I Write an Example/Illustration Essay?

The example/illustration essay is the most simple, straightforward essay form you will encounter. It is also the one you will always continue to use in writing your future essays, because all essays, whether argumentative or informational, need the support that good illustrations provide. Example Say you’re providing examples of racial stereotyping on television. Your thesis ought to indicate simply that you will be giving examples of racial stereotyping. Save your analysis of the types of stereotyping for a classification essay, your analysis of the causes of racial stereotyping for a cause-effect essay, and your analysis of the differences between racial stereotyping on television and in the movies for a comparison/contrast essay. All you’re “proving” in the example essay is that racial stereotyping...

Read More