Art & illustration

What is an Illustration – And How it differs from Art

Illustration is a visual representation of a text or an idea. An illustration can be in any form, from a drawing to a collage, a photograph or technical drawing. Illustration differs from Art in the same way design differs from art.

The most important distinction is that there is functionality to Illustration. Art is not required to have a functionality and can be as they say “Art For Art’s Sake” . Illustration falls under the very large umbrella of Art. The purpose of an illustration can be to visually represent a story, an article, a recipe, a thought or a design. Illustrations have been there for a very long time. It can be traced to the cave paintings in Lascaux , France as far back as 15,000BC

Beatrix Potter – Illustration

We are surrounded by illustrations, whether we realize it or not, it is there on package designs, it’s there in the surface patterns of the clothes we use, its there in the textbooks we read and of course in books.

Illustration comes in many different formats and honestly there is no limit on the style or form, or format an illustration can be made. The most important thing to keep in mind while creating an illustration is to make it have the maximum impact on the reader or viewer and convey the message in the most impactful way possible. Illustration is always created keeping in mind the end user or viewer unlike art, which is ideally an unencumbered expression of the self, emotion, thought or story. An illustration should always get the main context across, it can be abstract, narrative or detailed, it can even be simple line drawings. As long as it accomplishes its main purpose which is to convey it accompanied text, design, thought or idea.

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