According to the Dictionary of the French Academy, a illustrator is an artist charged with the Illustration of a work. The example is given of Gustave Doré which were the famous illustrator of Rabelais, Jean of the Fountain and of the “Don Quichotte”. The illustrators also excelled, especially in the field of the mode, the collaboration of Gruau with the house Christian Dior is an good example.
In a broader direction, an illustrator is a graphic artist who puts his talents at the service of a project in order to color it. This project can be a delivers, an illustration of mode for the Haute couture or a Magazine, a publicity campaign, a commercial product, a technical Notice, a Internet site, etc
It is probable that the trade of illustrator is very old. The legal texts of Hammourabi in the ancient Mésopotamie are illustrated of its portrait. The monks of the Moyen-âge illustrated (enluminèrent) the Manuscrit S. One can however consider the occupation of illustrator such as we know it as having appeared towards the Renaissance with the arrival of the Imprimerie and of modern technologies of Gravure. She knew her apogee in the fashion starting from the beginning of the 20th century with artists like Erté or Gruau and finds today a new outlet with the mediae high-tech like Internet.
Certain critical spirits, undoubtedly attracted by the romantic image of the dying painter of hunger because of its genius not recognized, reproached the illustrators for selling their Article. It should however be remembered that the Mécénat existed during centuries and that Michelange did not illustrate the Chapelle Sixtine only for the love of Article Van Gogh is a genius died in the need but it is probable that it would have appreciated to sell a little more its work of alive sound. The image of the free artist of financial constraints is thus a modern concept which should not dishonor a sizeable profession.
Others reproached the illustrators for working only on formats and with media nonnoble. It is to quickly forget the great names of the American illustration such Howard Pyle or N.C. Wyeth or Frenchwoman Erté, Hulled grain and much of others which produced true tables reduced then to the dimensions more adapted to the publication.
The artists who devoted totality or almost of their career to the illustration are rare. One can think of Alfons Mucha, Frank Frazetta. But it is encouraging to note that artists of various mediums came there at one time or another. That is among the great painters such Picasso, among the draftsmen of Cartoons such Hergé, Jacques Tardi or Yves Chaland or the current designers of mode like Julien Fournié or Christian Lacroix. Without of course forgetting the writers who illustrated their own books, such Rudyard Kipling, Beatrix Potter, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry or Jean de Brunhoff.
The invention of a trade
The activity of illustration started with professionaliser only during…
Recognition of the trade of illustrator
In France, the trade of illustrator is categorized by INSEE among the " Originators and technical assistants of graphic arts, the mode and the décoration."
Trainings of illustrator
Many illustrators are autodidacts. There exist however schools proposing of the trainings of illustrator, like the Institute of higher learning of the Applied arts.
A diversity of trades
The trade of illustrator is plural: illustration of press, novel, of band-drawn,…
Remunerations of the illustrators
The incomes of the illustrators rest primarily on the royalty, or the execution of work to the order. They are indeed seldom paid.
Tools of the illustrator
The occupation of illustrator, being related to the market needs, is in constant evolution. Novel methods appear continuously as well as new outlets. Software Aerographer with the S of drawing while passing by the Engraving, all the techniques of arts is used. Mixing traditional and numerical arts more and more.
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