Research Task 3: Critical Reading

The article, “Is Illustration a Big Enough Profession” by Steven Heller featured on Heated Debate, a platform for the expression of thought-provoking views and a start-point for debates.

The article can be read here: http://www.hellerbooks.com/pdfs/varoom_04.pdf

My main method of critical reading was to discuss this article with a group of other Illustrators, all of us having similar or the same views on the article: it is mostly waffle, and only really gets to the point in the last paragraph. The choice of wording seems inappropriate as the large words used seem  unnecessary and excluding. The article, written from the point of view of someone who was an art director rather than an illustrator themselves gives the text less power as the author has no real experience in the profession besides dealing with people who are Illustrators themselves.

Some key points I picked out from the article include:

“illustration added visual dimension beyond the scope of the text”, here he is referencing art from the 1960’s – 1990’s, but I feel this is still true today and often a piece that may have been excluding becomes inclusive because the images alongside it help aid understanding.

“with the advent of graphic novels, internet animation, artists’ toys, and other entrepreneurial wares, illustrators are finding new reasons and outlets for personal expression”, this is proof, I feel, that though there are many arguments about new technology shrinking the world in many ways, I feel this is untrue of art as it has instead opened new opportunities.

In summary, I feel the article was poorly written and for the most part, irrelevant. There were, however, some points that I agreed with, as shown above, but in general it is clear this is an article about the opinion of the author, and therefore very biased and so unreliable as a source of information or fact.

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