There are 3 reasons why I love and highly respect illustrators. #1 they have to work in a timely manner or else they can’t make any money. They have to meet crazy deadlines, or if not, they don’t get paid. #2 there is always an end goal to illustration, a story that needs to be explained or a graphic to visually capture a story. When I started painting portraits, I found that it was so ingrained in me that I still treat a commission like a freelance project- what are the goals of a client? Who is the sitter and what do they stand for? Where do they want to hang the piece and what do they want? ( Notice my needs aren’t even thought about yet. ) A good portrait is about the person and their story. A painting to me is always an illustration, and to illustrate objectives is the goal. #3 Most illustrators play by their own rules. If they work in watercolor? There is no compunction about adding white gouache or taking an airbrush overtop of an image. They can paint on cardboard, they mix oil and acrylic, they even rip things up to make things work. There is no “right” or “wrong” like you typically find in “fine art”. No judging or ranking of each other as much as appreciation for good work. If the work is good. Illustrators tend to be brutally honest too. In my experience, illustrators have a sharp-wit, are fearless and the most creative people I have ever met. They are my peeps and among them is where I feel the most comfortable.

Here are some amazing illustrators that I admire….George Schill and John Blumen are Pittsburgh artists that I have known for over 20 years. They still knock my socks off!


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