May 2012

Blurring the Lines

There are many instances in which my illustration pursuits and my so called fine art activities overlap. I was reminded of that again this past weekend when we held a workshop at the Brigantine Gallery in Downers Grove. (Workshop wrap up here). The first portion of our session was involved with drawing a portrait. From there we proceeded to paint in acrylics. This was all being taught as fine art instruction, but the fact of the matter is, everything we did directly applied to the field of illustration as well. To some this is a surprise.

In my mind the line between fine art and illustration is blurry at best. I’m not aiming to debate the merits of fine vs commercial art here and you may disagree with my perspective. My point is that in order to be a good illustrator one should first concentrate on becoming a solid
artist. I think this is a fact that sometimes has a tendency to get lost, even more so with the proliferation of easy to use technological tools.

Media choices are more varied than ever. The artist’s toolbox is overflowing. But in order to use the tools one must first create a foundation based on media independent principals of art. And that is true for anyone, illustrator or not.