Modern Illustration vs. Traditional Illustration

Computers have influenced the present world so much that new age people cannot think of a time when there were no digital systems. They may even neglect the reality that man used to work with his hands or calculated additions and subtractions using mind. This is the situation in the illustrations arena too. While some old people stick on to ancient methods of illustrating, their arts are often neglected by new hi-tech generations, because it does not relate to modern trend. Therefore, it is necessary for the freelance illustrators to employ modern techniques- use of computer aids- for illustrating.

Majority of the illustrators are now forced to use novel techniques for their survival in the illustration arena. Before the use of desktops for illustrating and publishing, traditional tools like pens, colours and pigments were used for illustrating. As a matter of fact, though the mechanized versions of traditional tools like airbrushes were introduced to ease the job, it gave little impact because it does not contribute speed and easiness to job like present computer aided software. In addition, the modern tools provided high definition and precision for illustrations which were impossible with traditional widgets.

Nevertheless, traditional tools are always difficult to learn. It takes years for a person learns using the airbrushes and other tools. It also requires a lot investment in terms of machines, paints etc. During old days, using traditional painting methods were profitable. Illustrators were paid well for their creations at that time. But now, it came down incredibly. In addition, the number of illustrations required per day has become very high. It is not possible for a traditional illustrator to provide more than three illustrations a day using traditional methods. With the coming of modern illustrating methods, new people who are well learnt in computers started giving good illustrations quickly. Thus the days of traditional tools were numbered.

With the introduction of Personal Computer and Adobe, most of the illustrators turned to the new digital machines. “Illustrator 88” was the first version of Adobe launched in 1988. Until that time most of the illustration works were “out-house” work. Every designing firm in the US and the UK shifted their illustrations from outside the office to inside. Most of the companies were centered in cities at that time. However artists and illustrators started moving out of offices and started working from home because of the new technology. They accepted as many clients as they could and gave the work on time. These illustrators thus came to be called as freelance illustrators. Not much later, modern illustration software programmes pervaded the illustration industry.

Modern Generation requires illustrations that cater with novel trends. Therefore, it is necessary that illustrators use modern techniques to imbue in the modern illustration markets. It does not mean that traditional methods should not be used, but should be used optimally. When we compare the differences of modern illustration tools and traditional illustration tools, there are many things to say. In spite of all these differences, an illustrator should employ most favorable use of both modern and traditional illustration tools.