Art Blog

First Friday Fine Art Gallery: Illustration Inspiration

Illustration is the art of visualization. Skilled illustrators have the ability to masterfully transform anything — ideas, concepts, stories, characters — into an image. Medium poses no limitation: pen and ink, mixed media, watercolor… the vision triumphs all. And, conveying and elucidating the complexity of text is no easy feat. It takes vision, skill and discipline.

Aspire greatness: Discover curated work from leading professional illustrators and Craftsy members alike. 

Children's book illustration in progress

An illustration in progress by instructor Shandra Strickland via the Craftsy class The Art of the Picture Book

In this July First Friday Fine Art Gallery, we will champion the illustrator, focusing on their unique ability to evoke and imagine the written word in a way that is unarguable art. Why? Whether painting for your own gallery or illustrating for children’s picture book, both creators rely on the same basic components: light, form, color composition…

Don’t take our word for it. Here’s what our in-house experts have to say:

Illustration uses techniques you find in fine art (such as drawing and painting) to create images that are in books, advertisements, and much more. The context in which they appear is different, but many illustrations stand alone as beautiful works of art, too!

Essentially, it comes down to intent – what has the artist made the work for? Did they intend it to carry the more ambiguous tangle of meaning that “fine art” incorporates? Or is it truly intended to be “illustration” – conveying a particular message and telling a particular story. The gray area between the two is huge, so I think there is a lot of illustration that could be called fine art, in the right context and with the right intent by the artist.

With this in mind, check out the collection of amazing illustrations. Be inspired by their creativity and technique. And remember, you too can achieve beautiful illustrations and drawings. All it takes is practice and a little expert instruction.

Craftsy’s First Friday Fine Art Gallery:

Illustration Inspiration


Thorn” via Craftsy member Samantha Zaleski

Winter Morning

Winter Morning” via Craftsy member Lena Erlandsson Shiffman

Polar Bear Illustration

Polar Bear letter press from Craftsy blogger David Huyck

Magic Fluts Illustration

Magic Fluts” via Craftsy member Ingrid van de Knaap

What do you see? Book media sample

What do you see?” via Craftsy member Florence Turnour

Lily vs. 2 Illustration

Lily vs. 2” via Craftsy member SallyAnnWalker

Nkulun Kulu Discovers Anonymity

Nkulun Kulu discovers Anonymity” via Craftsy member Arepo

My Illustrations Children's Book Style

My Illustrations” via Craftsy member Jodie Hazel

Sam & Goliath

Sam & Goliath” via Craftsy member joyfull132945783

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What’s your take: Is illustration fine art? Share your thoughts in the comments section!

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