I started out by seeing what people I know consider it as an art form, but I think it’s also interesting to get an outsiders perspective, and so I think look at some literal definitions will help my search.

begun with the most basic of searches, Wikipedia:

“An illustration is a visualization or a depiction made by an artist, such as a drawing, sketch, painting, photograph, or other kind of image of things seen, remembered or imagined, using a graphical representation”

Even though Wikipedia is referred to a very basic way of researching something, the page on illustration, is actually very informative and really understands the depth of history behind it, where it came from, why it did and loosely references certain techniques.

What I was most interested in is how it talks about the two different types,  technical Illustration, and Illustration art. After all this project is mean to be about me finding out what I want to get from Illustration and how i want to develop, so as much as I want to look at the subject as whole I think it would interest and develop me a lot more by purely focusing on Art illustration, after all my favourite Illustrations are not necessarily technical drawings. i feel as though you can achieve so much more by doing liberal with Illustrations, and drawing to create a more interesting and dynamic work of art, that will generally interest myself and others more.

The illustrator who made me become interested in Illustration was Arthur Rackham, who is most definitely a very traditional illustrator and who in fact was working and producing right near the beginning of the ‘golden age of illustration’ (considered from 1880 to around then end of WWI,1918). All of his works are immensely popular and I particularly love the soft detail and very etherial use of colour and line work.

1933-9-116p-36 magic_cup rackham_fairy undine_lost_in_danube


illustration is always developing and changing and creates a lot of contemporary outlets, such as interactive illustration, but there are still people that clearly still take a huge influence from the golden age and people like Arthur Rackham, for me Caitlin Hackett, another favourite of mine definitely takes a clear influence and uses very similar techniques suing ink and watercolour, her work is pictured below.

Caitlin-Hackett-3 220 hackett03 hackett15

her work recipicates incredibly similar technbiques and continues a theme of darker fairytales, ther eis defiently less of a narrative but rackhams work was most of the time used for narrative purposes, whereas she sells her as indiviual artpieces, primarily admired for her skill, rather than to maek a point or continue a narrative.

personally y I have never made work like this myself , which is strange as I’ve always had a huge interest in this kind of work, so i think for me it’s about finding the balance between what interests me, as its clear, im greatly interested in he traditional, golden age, art style illustration, but my own work seldom reciprocates that. I’m starting to think about my mission statement and at the moment I’m considering, instead of trying to do work which is in my comfort zone and I know I’m capable of, like my work with photography, I need to push myself and start relying a bit harder on key, traditional influences and see what the outcome is, whether it’s a mixture of the two or I develop new skills from it.


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