What’s the difference between art and illustration?

Good question! Both can tell a story, both can make a point, both can be beautiful or not. The more we depend on pictures and graphics to sell things and motivate us, the line between art and illustration gets blurred.

Vintage illustration- movie posters, magazine ads even pin-up girl art graces the walls of homes, as often as a landscape painting or a still life, another trend these days is decorative signs with positive sayings. Are these art or illustration?

Google says an illustration is a visual aid to make a point, and art is an expression of emotion or beauty. In the examples above, this is not so clear anymore.

As an artist for over 30 years, I am confused! When I look at many of the paintings and drawings I have done over the years, I can now see that they have value as illustrations in various applications. The stippled drawings I am doing these days can be art you hang on your wall or they can be used as illustrations in books and advertising. And with the help of digital media applications like Adobe Illustrator they can be manipulated and painted or colored to create illustrative aids for even more expression. Art is versatile, imagery helps us tell our story. It guides the viewer in a direction we want them to go. Opening their mind to see things in a new way. This is the point of both art and illustration. It all goes back to the story you want to tell.

The image I am sharing today is a gardenia done in pen & ink and then manipulated in Adobe Illustrator to create a rainbow. Its purpose is for Illustration Friday’s weekly challenge. What else could it be used for? I know of several applications, what can you think of? Would love to hear your ideas.

Published by cherylmcdonald

Art is not just stuff you put on your walls. Art can solve problems. It has been created to make others aware of where to find good hunting or to watch out for certain conditions. It has been used to make people aware of causes and injustice. There is art everywhere you go. It is on walls, on screens, on packaging, on people even. As an artist for more years then I can count, I find this very exciting. I do my best to create art that is interesting, unique and informative. I am blessed to have the ability to work in multiple mediums, including watercolor, photography, digital illustration, graphic layout, and I have played in many more. I have experience building websites, vehicle wraps and so many other things. What I love the most is finding a way to solve a creative problem and that is why I have been hired by many companies to solve problems for them. To help them share their unique voice and their unique products. I love to help people tell their own story, coming out of their cocoon and emerging to fulfill their dream.