What is Illustration?

Believe it or not, this is a question I get asked all the time. I've just finally accepted that the general public has absolutely no idea what illustration is or where it can be found. When asked, my general answer is that I want to do editorial illustration you might see in Runner's World Magazine or the New York Times, cause this seems like the easiest thing to explain. Even this gets the surprised response (from avid runners/readers) "Runner's World has illustration?" Yes, as a matter of fact, it does. Last month's issue had over 20!

Anyway, my interests stretch much further than that. I have interests in seeing my illustrations anywhere from the newspaper page, to billboards, subway stations, sneakers, bedsheets, and yes even to the children's book page. And as I think of it, my list will keep growing.

It's always nice to find illustration inspiring a new generation (Hopefully, one that will know what it is). A friend (Thanks Anna!) forwarded me this article "A Is for Artwork That Lures Bronx Schoolchildren to New Libraries" from the New York Times about illustration showing up in the classroom. One of the main dreams I could have for my work would be that it would inspire and stimulate. These illustrators including Maira Kalman, Christoph Niemann, and Yuko Shimizu can be assured their's will. The Robin Hood Foundation has been raising money and support to build new libraries for the public schools of New York City. Sadly, here they're a luxury for a school and not a staple. 

These illustrator were able to help out by contributing their hand by creating murals for each of these libraries. The murals are both beautiful and thought provoking. I would love to be a part of this. This is the kind of illustration I want to do. This is what illustration is.

Yay illustration!