In this digital, "always switched on" era, illustration is still very much alive and kicking, and new tools have given the art renewed vigour and the illustrator greater stamina.
You could say we're in the middle of a new golden age of illustration. And to celebrate this fact, two of the industry's leading figures have rounded up 100 of the most talented artists around the world to be featured in a new book.
For the last 10 years, co-chair of the School of Visual Arts, Steven Heller, and Julius Wiedemann, executive editor for design and pop culture at TASCHEN, have traced the latest developments in illustration – and for all those who thought digital heralded the end of the medium, they’re here to set the record straight.
"There were extraordinary eras before mass media changed our viewing habits, back in the day when illustration was the most primary means of illuminating the word on paper, to today when we get our words and images on screens as small as a watch face," reads the book's description. "And in this environment, today’s designers and artists are holding their own brilliantly. Illustration is more free and varied than ever, and it is ubiquitous in all kinds of media from paper to screen, books, packages, clothing, cars, and restaurants."
Entitled Illustration's Finest – A global compilation of 100 must-know artists, the book celebrates the sheer quality, diversity, intensity, comedy, vivacity, and exceptionality of the work being created by illustrators right now.
From veteran artists like Brad Holland, whose oblique and metaphorical paintings for the New York Times’ op-ed section revolutionized illustrative content in the 1970s, to up-and-coming stars like Robin Eisenberg, her pastel-skinned alien belles cruising in spaceships on indie-rock album covers, the 100 artists in this collection are just the tip of the proverbial iceberg, but they represent a compelling snapshot of the styles, techniques, and use of colour by artists across the world.