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The Education of an Illustrator Paperback – 1 Dec 2000

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Amazon.com: 7 reviews
30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
Mixed feelings 11 Nov 2002
By Ben Weeks - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Heller and Arisman are two School of Visual Arts (NY) professors who have achieved much in their careers. The conversation/interview between them is the strongest, most educational and most inspiring part of the book.
Brad Holland writes a detailed (but dry) description of the history of stock houses, the direction they are moving in now and how that relates to working artists.
A very large portion of the book is a collection of art excercises useful to teachers creating curriculum or artists without the ability to direct themselves in the production of work. I found this area to be mildly interesting, but quite useless to me as an illustrator.
Teachers often tend to create excercises they would do very well themselves, but don't necessarily draw out the uniqueness of the individuals they are teaching. Success as an artist is following your own values of what a successful peice of art or illustration is.
I would have liked to read the perspectives of a more varied cross section of artists in addition to the New York city old guard. There is so much innovation happening in this field. To bemoan the fact that things aren't what they were, shows a lack of awareness of what the younger generation of artists do. Jump fences.
"I design my students to destroy me."
John Maeda of MIT Media Lab
"You are the next Picassos."
Sheridan College Faculty addressing the class in my foundation year 5 years ago.
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Interesting and thought provoking 23 July 2001
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
The entire book is made up of articles written by various established illustrators. I found the sections on art direction and education extremely interesting. Included are sample course syllabii which is helpful if you are teaching illustration courses.
The part that I had a problem (maybe that's too strong a word) with was the section on the state of the illustration market today. To me, it came off as old time illustrators whining and pining for the good old days, you know before the computer when one could make a decent living as an illustrator. It wasn't terribly encouraging to new comers which I think is too bad. I rather felt like they were telling me not to waste my time, that there was no room in the industry for me. In the end, it just made me more determined to succeed despite (or in spite) of their views. All in all, it is a thought provoking book, whether you agree with their view point or not, and it's guaranteed to start some interesting dialog with your illustrator friends.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Essential for any illustration major 22 Jun 2002
By Paige Hancock - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
My first thought when I really got into this book was "finally. An outlook on the career of an illustrator neither negative nor overly optimistic, but realistic and helpful." Being an illustration major I have several misconceptions about the field of illustration that were cleared up pretty quickly. I found the interview with Thomas Woodruff particularly insightful in the case of the illustration as low art issue, and I laughed my head off at Brad Holland's satirical lesson on art terminology. My advice is to buy this book not to decide whether or not illustration is the path for you, but to make sure you have a grasp on what you're getting into.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
It's 2011! This Book Is Now Ancient! 2 Jun 2011
By Aspiring Illustrator - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
They need to make a new edition. About half the book is made up of articles that talk about how illustration used to be, how illustration should be and how illustration is now dead (back in 2001). A lot of the articles are redundant I felt. And it wasn't constructive about how to become a successful illustrator in the new digital age. Mostly this book is too old, a little over ten years old, they mainly talk about how the computer and the web destroyed the illustration world, but the kinds of things they were saying were developments of the late 90s and early 2000s. Technology back then and now is vastly different and I'm sure the illustration industry has completely changed again.

Only reason this is 2 stars and not a 1 is because I liked looking through the sample syllabi. Gave me some homework examples to try and got a list of several texts/references to read as well.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Great book 26 Feb 2013
By Terri Rowley - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is an awesome book for a teacher or student in general. I preferred it as a help to get started on independent study of illustration. It is an excellent insight into what is needed to be learned or how one should go about doing so. This helps garner a solid and well rounded curriculum for any individual interested in the subject. It is brought together by the best who teach it and some of the best who work in the field. It is not an end all be all to the education because this is more of a teachers manual as there are no specifics just general ideas of projects and no one to correct them for you, but a great addition to that life long experience or initial trudging.
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