Sunday, January 29, 2012

Where have all the book illustrators gone?

This article got my gander up (and the ganders of a few of my colleagues as well). Personally I think there are more - many, many more - illustrators and artists of all specialties who can draw very well these days. The artistic community is open and supportive - even the most seasoned professionals are willing to reveal their hard  won secrets and techniques, often for free. And the internet has provided the means by which this knowledge can be shared. There are a tremendous amount of resources available for artists to learn to draw, and my observation is that artists are achieving proficiency at a younger and younger age.

In my day we had the local bookstore to go look at covers done by established artists - and that was it! We would drool over the tiniest tidbit of "how to" information that might be gleaned from an interview with an artist, or passed on from a friend. It's a miracle anyone learned to draw at all given that, as the article does rightly point out, most art schools abandoned the grueling traditional drawing teaching methods (which are the only ones that work, btw, whether in school or on your own - practice, practice, practice).

Of course, all this sharing may be resulting in a certain homogeneity of style creeping in, since artists of certain genres tend to work digitally more than others, and therefore find it easier to share their methods, but that is a debate for another day...

Needless to say, this article is dead wrong - there are plenty of illustrators who are exceptional drafts-persons these days!!

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