Thursday, 24 November 2011

Illustration's Digital Future

Illustration’s digital future

I have always had a pc and I have always professed to be a Mac hater, but then something within me changed, in 2009 I started an illustration degree…

In February of this year (18 months after my start date) I required a new machine, my old HP sadly passed away and I proceeded to purchase a brand spanking new Sony Vaio to replace it, oh how I regret that decision. Please don’t misunderstand me it’s not that the Sony isn’t adorable and so pretty to look at and actually a very good machine in its own right, it’s just after working on a Mac day in day out at university I am falling in love with something that just makes my life so much easier. After eighteen months of working with them already, I’m still not sure what possessed me to buy another pc, either way the huge mistake is of my own making.

The editorial I found in September’s (2011) edition of Creative Review resonates so much with my situation, it talks about ‘following the advent of the Mac, almost every aspect of the production of visual communications was changed forever.’ Of course, during the 1990’s, my need for a Mac (or any machine for that matter) was none existent, I was probably still in nappies! It is difficult to imagine how life for an illustrator was before the Mac; the work must have been painstaking. People are talking about illustrations digital future, for the most part, as though it’s in crisis, where illustrators will not be able to feed their families because of the techno evolving society that no longer requires our work. Sure some technology does ignore our work, for example the Amazon Kindle and to some extent the iPad but our work is required in other fields then, such as the advertising and the marketing of such a product.

The issue then is that, sadly, Steve Jobs is no longer with us and he was that one guy who ‘understood the value of what we do. He got it. And he got us.’ Will the world of illustration be able to survive now he’s gone? Will the technology we so regularly use and abuse be able to keep up with us without the legend that made the transaction so smooth? There are many facilities available to us now that make our life so much easier and our work so much more accessible than ever before, take the iPad for example (another of his creations) to some extent our work will not be required with this invention, but it also makes it so much more accessible, and global. People can now view our work from any continent, without us having to mail it there! I know I may sound a hypocrite for my previous ill-judge of Mac, but now is the time to embrace this technology that has and still is changing our world; it is what enables us to be able to now ‘think different’.

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