Aaah! I do hate these kind of questions. Is Illustration dead? I certainly hope not! Damn I just found a style and a passion for something and suddenly it’s validity is being questioned.
This question was recently featured on the forum of Illustration Mundo.
My problems with this question are these two things ; Firstly, won’t it become a self-fulfillling prophecy if we choose to answer in the affirmative? Secondly, should we question it at all? In my research over the last few months I have found 100’s if not 1000’s of successful illustrators from all over the world and, I might add, doing some incredibly amazing work in all kinds of mediums. I do agree that there seems to be alot more photography in use in advertising, especially here in Australia. As an example of this it has taken me almost 3 months to find a printer that can produce archival quality prints (giclee) on a variety of papers and not just a colour strip, as is used when producing digital prints of photographs, thankfully not only that but he has a brilliant eye for colour and gave me a very thoughtful critique of my work.
So, there is very little regular, well paid, interesting work for freelance illustrators out there wanting to be challenged and they have to work days doing a ‘real’ job…. eh! News flash! I may be fairly new to this gig but I’m not that naive! Was there ever copious amounts of interesting, well paid, challenging work out there?
I don’t see any illustrators names on the worlds rich list that’s for sure.
So if illustration is indeed surely dead then what does an illustrator do, sharpen his/her pencils, stare at the wall and wait for something else to come along or go down fighting and pimp yourself like mad on MySpace?
It might be my fashion background talking but maybe it’s just out of fashion for now, all that crazy work in the 70’s that was imprinted on my childhood brain had to end somewhere, but it does appear to be spewing out of the brains of creative 30 somethings now. I don’t think Illustration is dead, she’s just resting her eyes, meditating, calm before the storm style.
Stop asking questions and start drawing I say!