Illustrator: Wikis


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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

For the vector-based drawing program by Adobe Systems, see Adobe Illustrator.
Peter Newell's 1890 illustration of the characters in Alice in Wonderland

An illustrator is a graphic artist who specializes in enhancing writing by providing a visual representation that corresponds to the content of the associated text. The illustration may be intended to clarify complicated concepts or objects that are difficult to describe textually.

Illustrations have been used in advertisements, greeting cards, posters, books, magazines and newspapers. A cartoon illustration can add additional humor to humorous essays; in this regard, Richard Thompson's past cartoon illustrations for articles in The Washington Post are notable.



Traditional illustration techniques include watercolor, pen and ink, airbrush art, oil painting, pastels, wood engraving and linoleum cuts. John Held, Jr. was an illustrator who worked in a variety of styles and media, including linoleum cuts, pen and ink drawings, magazine cover paintings, cartoons, comic strips and set design, while also creating fine art with his animal sculptures and watercolor landscapes. According to the illustrator Al Hirschfeld, Held's income by 1924 was well over $1 million a year.

There are no formal qualifications needed to become an illustrator. However, many established illustrators attended an art school or college of some sort and were trained in different painting and drawing techniques. Universities and art schools offer specific courses in illustration (for example in the UK, a BA (Hons) Degree) so this has become a new avenue into the profession. Many illustrators are freelance, commissioned by publishers (of newspapers, books or magazines) or advertising agencies. Most of the scientific illustrations and technical illustrations are also known as information graphics. Among the information graphics specialists are medical illustrators who illustrate human anatomy, often requiring many years of artistic and medical training.

A particularly popular medium with illustrators of the 1950s and 1960s was casein, as was egg tempera. The immediacy and durability of these media suited illustration's demands well. The artwork in both types of paint withstood the rigors of travel to clients and printers without damage. Prolific poster illustrators for films included Reynold Brown, Bob Peak and Jack Davis.

Digital art

Portrait of W. Watts Biggers and his characters by Jim McDermott is an example of contemporary digital illustration.

Computers dramatically changed the industry, and today many cartoonists and illustrators create digital illustrations using computers, graphics tablets, and scanners. Leading digital illustrators include Nancy Stahl, Zina Saunders and the cartoonist John Marshall (Blondie). The illustrator Jim McDermott has created digital illustrations that look identical to watercolor and oil paintings.

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Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

See also illustrator



Illustrator m. (genitive Illustrators, plural Illustratoren)

  1. illustrator

Related terms

Simple English

Simple English Wiktionary has the word meaning for:

's 1890 illustration of the characters in Alice in Wonderland]] An illustrator is an artist who draws either on books, Internet webpages or other types of entertainment. They can describe ideas or objects that are hard to describe with just words. A cartoon illustration can make humorous essays funnier. Illustrators also helped greatly in times when many people could not read.

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