What is Illustration?

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What is Illustration?
An illustration is a piece of artwork or visualization in the form of paintings, drawings, or photographs. It is like a visual message conveyed by the artist to the viewer. Through illustrations, a better understanding of various forms of communications may result. It’s like when someone wants to convey an idea or point clearly, he/she may opt to do it in the form of an illustration art.

The Egyptians in 3200 BC up to 30 BC are credited to be among the first recorded illustrators or artists. Through “hieroglyphics”, they were able to tell the story of their lives. Many of their drawings involved depictions of their religious habits and daily activities. Over the years, the concept of art evolved from building construction to canvasses. By 1400s to 1600s, there were major advancements in various artworks in the form of paintings, architectural and technical illustration. During this Renaissance Period, drawings already had three-dimensional aspects. These three-dimensional quality created spatial perception for drawings and made images more “real”.

During the Victorian era, illustration was considered the same as fine art as all artwork were usually sourced from manual labor. It was also in this period that a commercial form of art was born. Illustrations back then were used with basic pen and ink, oil paints, water colors, and wood carvings.

Today, we see illustrations as part of daily communications. In the office setup, employees are able to use charts and graphs to illustrate a business point. In children’s books, various drawings are shown on each page to help kids have a visual counterpart of the written text. In various product packaging and magazines, pictures and images are shown to emphasize on the best features and to provide better understanding of a particular item. Illustrations have become necessary adjuncts to written communication as they help the reader better grasp the intended message.

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