Jillian Tamaki: The difference between drawing and illustration

Jillian Tamaki

[quote]I actually think that most people don’t realize or think about the difference between Drawing and Illustration. They think they’re the same. They’re not. Drawing is an act, whereas Illustration (as I define it) is a profession. Illustration *can* involve drawing (it can expand beyond drawing too, obviously), but it’s actually the act of thinking and problem solving. [/quote]

Love this quote by Jillian Tamaki, and it’s what I’ve been trying to explain to my students.

Thank you Katie!

Image: Jillian Tamaki

4 Replies to “Jillian Tamaki: The difference between drawing and illustration”

  1. Emma says:

    That really nails it! Sometimes I find it so hard to describe the difference to family or friends… this is perfect.

  2. Katie G says:

    YES! Thanks for sharing this. I have thought often about the difference, but this puts it more succinctly than I ever would have managed.

  3. John S. says:

    I used to define illustration to my archaeological illustration students as: “using the visual arts to communicate information” – very much the “act of thinking and problem solving”.

  4. 1LTLos says:

    Illustration is a level of combined drawing and color media use skill that many students never acquire. Illustration requires and refers to extracting every bit of available visual information that a subject matter, object, still life possesses. Moreover, Illustration more often than not incorporated type and copy and is designed to convey information. Illustration like renderings exploit the tactile qualities of drawing supports, paint and other wet and drawing media. Illustration is also an act and your definition has taken an old modernist tenet referring to painting as being” An arena in which to act.” The entire expanse of art making whether drafting (drawing) illustrating or painting are acts or active forms of visual problem solving. Each are distinguishable one type from another and depending upon the intent, desire and level of skill of the artist, drawing (maybe) painting (often) and illustrating (almost always) in that order, will reflect the tactile qualities of the materials being represented. Draughting, otherwise known as drawing takes a lifetime to master and talk and computers will not get you there. Most renderings are best accomplished by professional illustrators who use old school on the board techniques and art materials.

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