Future dialogues for illustration: A Companion to Illustration

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    With the advent of globalisation, digital technology, the Internet, social media and economic forces, the meaning of what can be illustration is profoundly changing as the practice moves beyond being grounded in print. The instinct to produce authorial work alongside the commercial practice is well established these days for a sustainable career, and collaborative practices are rapidly becoming commonplace amongst Illustrators, if not an essential need, beyond the traditional sole practitioner model. The forms of illustration are evolving past print publishing and the commercial template to also include sculptural, experiential, and moving image work, reflecting the accelerated nature of the creative industry, and a possible paradigm shift in our understanding of what is illustration.
    In the preceding five years illustration has grown both in terms of recognition by the public and its popularity as a subject to study. In a world more dominated by image, the discipline is coming to terms with the migration of work from print to web based platforms, offering the opportunities of illustration within a timeline, encouraging the potential of motion, interactivity and participation within the work, challenging the roles of image and communication. This blurring of definition comes at a time when illustration is becoming more craft-like, and authentic through the handmade and the autographic, at the same time more digital as our interactions with everyday life become increasingly immaterial and mobile. Alongside this social networks have enabled illustrators to develop their own brands through the cultivation of audience across social networks.
    This chapter will seek to explore the new territorials that illustrators inhabit, suggesting future directions and new approaches for the discipline, including visual storytelling, reportage/journalistic roles, hybrid/multidisciplinary practices, Illustration as environment. Speculating on the future discussions around the discipline and noting some of the significant changes that have influenced illustrators and how possibly what the role of the illustrator is ahead.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationA Companion to Illustration
    EditorsAlan Male
    Place of PublicationUSA
    ISBN (Print)9781119185536
    Publication statusPublished - 28 Mar 2019

    Bibliographical note

    A contemporary synthesis of the philosophical, theoretical and practical methodologies of illustration and its future development

    Illustration is contextualized visual communication; its purpose is to serve society by influencing the many aspects of its cultural infrastructure; it dispenses knowledge and education, it commentates and delivers journalistic opinion, it persuades, advertises and promotes, it entertains and provides for all forms of narrative fiction. A Companion to Illustration explores the definition of illustration through cognition and research and its impact on culture. It explores illustration's boundaries and its archetypal distinction, the inflected forms of its parameters, its professional, contextual, educational and creative applications. This unique reference volume offers insights into the expanding global intellectual conversation on illustration through a compendium of readings by an international roster of scholars, academics and practitioners of illustration and visual communication.

    Encompassing a wide range of thematic dialogues, the Companion offers twenty-five chapters of original theses, examining the character and making of imagery, illustration education and research, and contemporary and post-contemporary context and practice. Topics including conceptual strategies for the contemporary illustrator, the epistemic potential of active imagination in science, developing creativity in a polymathic environment, and the presentation of new insights on the intellectual and practical methodologies of illustration.

    Evaluates innovative theoretical and contextual teaching and learning strategies Considers the influence of illustration through cognition, research and cultural hypotheses Discusses the illustrator as author, intellectual and multi-disciplinarian Explores state-of-the-art research and contemporary trends in illustration Examines the philosophical, theoretical and practical framework of the discipline

    A Companion to Illustration is a valuable resource for students, scholars and professionals in disciplines including illustration, graphic and visual arts, visual communications, cultural and media and advertising studies, and art history.


    • Illustration
    • Future


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