An illustration is a drawing, painting or printed work of art which explains, clarifies, illuminates, visually represents, or merely decorates a written text, which may be of a literary or commercial nature.
An illustrator is an artist who creates commercial designs and images. Some Illustrators work with traditional media, utilising watercolours or oil paint to produce their designs. Others may use illustration and editing software to create digital images.
Illustrators are commissioned to produce still drawings for use in advertisements, books, magazines, packaging, greetings cards and newspapers. It is essential to prepare a strong portfolio of work that can be used to demonstrate abilities.
The short of it is they illustrate for a variety of clients. The same goes for book covers and interior illustrations. Graphic designers do the designing, but often Illustrators are called upon for drawings, paintings and more.
Some Illustrators are also graphic designers and can combine their talents for clients to benefit from both skill sets.
More often producers of imagery themselves and not necessarily working on the whole design of the “product”. The illustrations are often supportive to other mediums – for example, illustrations often accompany newspaper articles, books, magazines and they most often serve to support and better translate ideas, texts and/or further explain them. More often than not, illustrators try to keep the balance between visual and text and try not to steal all the focus on the illustration.
I’d love to talk to you about illustration and how it could help you with your project, or of course, please feel free to do directly to the illustrator yourself.