Brian Froud: Art in Illustration


ImageWhen you think of Brian Froud you probably think of one of his many famous published books or highly detailed fantasy images.  However, few know that his inspiration and imagination gave way to some of the most interesting movies of the early 90’s.  His world was brought to life in The Dark Crystal and his characters were instrumental in The Labyrinth.  These cult classics encompassed the reach that Froud had attained by being an illustrator.  It is hard for me to understand the continuing stigma behind illustration when there are so many ground breaking artists in that field that almost nominal recognition in the art world.  Has the art society become so exclusive that being an illustrator is a dirty word? Why is it you never see illustrated works in galleries?  Could it be that these artists have found a way to make a living off of doing what they love instead of constantly struggling to reach their targeted market? Or is it the “right people” just think illustrating is beneath their ideal of “high art”? Illustration is just as demanding as other fine art and takes composition and detail to the highest levels.  When asked what avenue of art you wish to pursue as an undergrad are you ever encouraged to explore illustration? As someone who grew up with a lust for art in all its forms, I am surprised at how forms of mass media are snubbed for “traditional” art.  Those involved in digital media, print and illustration all seem to take a back seat to painters, sculptors and ceramicists   If art history has taught us nothing else, it has shown that art is at its’ best when it reaches the masses and breaks boundaries.  If that is truely the case, why set boundaries on what is or is not included in the fine art spectrum? When you think of illustration, what do comes to mind? Why is it so easy to overlook these amazing artists?


2 responses »

  1. And don’t you absolutely love how the art world attempts to slander fine artists they don’t like by calling them “Illustrators?” Andrew Wyeth, who never did any illustration work in his entire life, was constantly dismissed as being “only an illustrator” because his paintings actually looked like something real. Of course, his father, N.C. Wyeth, was a famous illustrator; I have often wondered if that is the underlying reason for snubbing Andrew Wyeth. It would seem that the reputational smirch of illustration can follow through to the next generation.

  2. This is exactly what I’m talking about! What is so wrong with getting your point across so others see what you intended? When did our art world become so pompous that we feel the only things we can count as “art” are things that 90% of the population doesn’t understand? I am a high functioning autistic. I find it incredibly sad that the one thing that connects all people is visual representation, and in the one place I feel I belong I am now told art is supposed to be unrecognizable. Why fight the joy that art can bring as a bridge between all worlds?

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