Illustration 2010: Bodies, Beasts and Birds


In a conversation last year at Rhode Island School of Design, a newly-hired school administrator asked a few illustration professors how she could easily recognize the difference between illustration art and fine art.

Dragons,” I said, half kidding. “Illustrators draw dragons, but fine artists don’t.”
“And robots,” added another professor.

Which led me to wondering. What do illustrators draw the most? 

There are 319 Illustrations in the 2010 Communication Arts Illustration Annual.
85.5%  of the illustrations include a human figure or a body part. (273)
39.5% of the illustrations include an animal or animals. (126)
   10% of the illustrations include birds. (32)
     6%  of the illustrations have neither a figure nor an animal. (19)
     4%  of the illustrations include dogs. (12)
  3.5%  of the illustrations include cats. (11)
  2.5%  of the illustrations include skulls. (8)
     2%  of the illustrations include tigers. (7)
    .5%  of the illustrations include robots. (2)
  .25%  of the illustrations include dragons. (1)
Further Observation
  1.5%  of the illustrations (including above) are by Chris Buselli, RISD instructor.(5) 
   Artwork reproduced by permission of the artist.

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