Does this mean I can call myself an Illustrator?
Last week a friend told me how pleased she was with a blog header I had created for her. She said that it “translated my vision into something so perfect.“
This last mention, however, was extremely significant. It means that I fulfilled my role as an illustrator.
As many invaluable lessons about being an illustrator were learned during this process, albeit without the pressure of a serious deadline, it should have been me doing all the thanking.
An illustrator needs to get over their own ego. Unlike a fine artist, an illustrator has to hand their creative control over to the client. Illustration is a service.
Illustrators undertake to communicate an idea within one potent image. The image needs to grab the viewer by the throat to entice them into reading the text. There needs to be sufficient information within that image to convey a message that would otherwise take hundreds of words. Illustration is a visual narrative. It must apply sound visual form to ideas. It has to sell a product.
The brief was (to be) “…done with toy houses or simple cartoonish line drawings. Across the panel there would be two house images, each next to a tree which remains the same for both. The left house is so big that you can only see a swath across the first story and the tree seems dwarfed. The house on the right is simple and shorter than the tree. The houses and trees are colored like with crayons.“ I believe I achieved that.
Parts of the image were drawn individually, as were these flowers, (barely visible in the finished image) in order to enable things to be moved around and re-sized using Adobe Fireworks. Molly, her dog, and the chair were photographs.
My friend tells me that I was able “to convey the (challenging) process of jettisoning stuff that makes possible the transition from big house to cottage” which means I’m totally tickled pink and unquestionably thankful to Joy for giving me the experience.
Update: Coincidentally, Leslie White has also written about letting go of artistic control in the name of good illustration.