Graphic designers are very much similar to puzzle makers. We take pieces from different places and fit them together with perfect harmony or discordant depending on one’s choice. This is how a layout, poster, or a cover materialises. I also tried to make something similar though it was not so perfect. I did it simply to enjoy the act of creating something out of nothing. That was enough for me. But by performing this task over a period of time, I ran out of ideas and variations. This resulted in the steep reduction of the pleasure quotient. This might not happen to everyone but for me it did. I tried to apply many variations to my designs but still it didn’t work. Then I turned to illustrations to give new life to my designs and provide them with greater dimension.
Inspiration from Robert Weaver to become an Illustrator
Illustration is something I have always enjoyed be it the work of Robert Weaver in the late 1950s or today’s illustrations in children’s books. Seeing all those amazing works I have always wished to become a skilled illustrator. If you are sure that you can’t be one then work with one. So, working with an illustrator is the next big thing. It is a golden opportunity it works with people who are better equipped with solutions for conceptual problems.
I already have admitted that I have limitations as a designer. Now, let me voice my opinion about illustrators. As I see it, illustrators are much more than just picture makers or stylists. Take my case itself. The illustrators who work with me bring more strength and stability to my designs. It can be said that my art acts as a frame for their illustration. I clearly know that it is not that fashionable to say this at a time when graphic designers are trying to be more creative by combining design and illustration together. But still a good illustrator can provide more than a design framework. They can tell stories using illustrations.
Several times in my career I have rejuvenated myself as a designer or art director of newspapers and magazines. Thanks to all the phenomenal illustrators I have worked with and followed. They have contributed abundantly at every stage when I ran out of ideas. I do admire the work of designers who function as soloists. Some of the works produced by talented designers are masterpieces.
Along with other illustrators or art directors
Collaborating with an art director or illustrator brings more joy than you can imagine. You will be astonished to see how an illustrator renders excellent illustrations when he or she hits on the right note. The joy that a good typography brings is very different from what you feel when you see an eye-catching illustration. When you see an excellent typography, you will feel good. But when you see an illustration, it may trigger your intellectual and emotional responses. This cannot be done by typography. An illustration based on a very specific event or subject can redefine the relevance of timeliness and the issue. This can happen if the artist has used the right metaphors and symbols to illustrate the event.
Have you ever thought of the factor that makes illustration a constant renewable resource for designers? It is the huge variety of formal and stylistic perspectives established today. Some designers choose an illustrator based on the style of his or her work and how it fits the overall idea. But what I believe is that it would be beneficial and create magic if the aesthetic sense and conceptual preferences of the artist and the graphic designer are in sync. Then, all that the designer needs to do is provide the freedom the illustrator needs. The illustrators whom I work with on a weekly basis range from media and conceptual ability. But each of them reflects my concerns in some way or the other.
An illustrator works at his or her best when there is enough freedom to express their creativity and style. Making too many changes to an illustrator’s images would totally mess up the whole concept. The joy that we get by seeing a good illustration is like the joy of opening a Christmas present. Illustration may not be a solution to all the design problems but I have found that designing and illustration can go hand in hand.