Meet the Illustrators - Renato Alarcão

As part of the research I'm doing for this project I thought it'd be positive to actually come in contact with some of the current leading minds in the world of illustration, so I sent an email to a couple of people I had previously researched for the project asking for their cooperation. Here is the first mini-interview of the series!

1. What is Illustration for you, in the general sense of the term?

I believe that illustrations are at their best essentially a narrative art form, a universal language in which we communicate our stories, ideas, moods, feelings.

Of course there are other venues, such as illustrative patterns, or this new trend of multilayered and highly ornamented images with overlapping spirals and excess of ornamentality. To me those are more ornamentation than illustration, a fashion trend which will look passé in a few years.

2. How/when did you start illustrating (personally and/or professionally)?

My graduation thesis was a series of illustration on brazilian street kids (there so many of these wandering the streets here in Rio...). I put my portfolio under my arm and went to see some art directors at a important newspaper in my city. They published my illustrations as a 4-page essay in their weekly magazine. I never stopped ever since.

3. People have always been quite cynical about where the illustrator stands in the creative world. Illustration has never really been classified as fine art nor as graphic design, although the borders seem to be fading little by little. What do you think the role of the illustrator is in the current creative world? Where does he stand?

A friend of mine once said: "there are star artists and starving artists. I chose to be a working artist". To me, most of the knowledge accumulated by thousands of years of image making has been inherited - and currently put into practice - by illustrators. On a daily basis we have to deal with composition, perspective, color theories, light and dark, narrative etc. We proudly carry that torch.

I believe nowadays the illustrator is not seen as the poor cousin in the visual arts any longer. But only a few years ago we used to be regarded that way. Maybe that happened because of the nature of our work: we have to create art under certain constraints such as deadlines, a client who needs to be satisfied, targets and some specific communication goals need to be addressed... Most of all, our work is meant to reach a great number of people through technical reproduction.

To some, these characteristics belittles our importance. To me, the "great" fine arts world has become to a great extend money laundry.

4. How do you see the future of Illustration?
The future is now!

1 comment:

  1. hope u dont mind me nicking the idea of doing interviews with illustrators its a gr8 one! paul.