Monday, February 7, 2011

When I tell people that I go to Columbia I often get impressed looks, and have to remember to qualify that with “the art school,” and watch the look change to one of slight condescension as the person comes to the immediate conclusion that I’m one of the daydreaming, impractical sorts, who will have a shock when I get into the “real world.” When I tell them that I am not only an art student, but an Illustration student, it’s basically understood that I’m neither the interesting fine artist, nor the savvy graphic designer. This dismissal is due to a fundamental lack of understanding of the power of good illustration. Images are a near universal language and have the ability to speak to people in ways nothing else can. An illustration can create empathy, explain concepts and can even be a call to action.

I’ll admit, I have a political bent, I get into theory like other people get into sports or fashion, and the kinds of illustration I’m drawn to are those which are meant to make people think, question what they know, and stir things up. This poster, which uses graphic design and illustration, is a perfect example. The bold monochromatic print really jumps out at the viewer, and the illustration of a hole, a metaphor for the futility of the system described in the text, is powerful. The artist who made the print, Roger Peet, is part of Just Seeds, a radical artist cooperative that specializes in activist art.


  1. I am not entirely convinced I could think of this as an illustration. The images in this work look like clip art, flat and vectored. And while the text is engaging, it is text. Can text really be the main and most interesting part of an illustration and still have it be called it an illustration? This is all personal taste of course, but I really find this more an example of graphic design. But then that begs the question of what really makes something an cohesive illustration, versus a motivational saying surrounded by images? How do we decide? I think this is a great post because it really made me *think* more than any of the other posts on here, but if it's really illustration, I can't decide.

  2. I like it. Though the type is dominating its that Illustration of the guy in hole that tops the cake. When I look an image with type I imagine what the type is trying to show. But with an actual Illustration it creates a wide range of emotion especially if it is a serious or ironic matter. The close up of the hole and the smaller houses makes the hole, guy and text the most important. The message gets me, and the art is ok, but overall it's pretty cool

  3. i got out of a speeding ticket one time beause the cop asked me if i was in school, and i said yea i go to columbia... and he said "ohh really, good for you my friend went there it an amazing school. what do you go for?" i said illustration, but i think he thought i said administration hahah like business administration or something like that, and ive never been pulled over in my home town again haha

    in my opinion type is defiantly a part of illustration... the right type needs to fit the illustration, also type as the image. in this piece i think they work together pretty well.