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.