Tuesday, September 30, 2008

William Blake fine artist or illustrator

I think William Blake was a fine artist and an illustrator. That he used fine art as illustrations in his manuscripts.
He used a technique of copper plating and sometimes he would go back in and paint the illustration or just leave it black and white. His illustrations are amazing. Almost creepy. The top illustration is showing the creator god holding out a tool of measurement to be used in the creation process. Symbolic to the idea that the world is created by an intelligent maker. There is even a poem about this concept. It states that all things have a maker. The chair, the pot by a potter, and so on. And argues that there must have been something to create the mind and soul. Yes, it is true that he was an illustrator among many other things that he was excellent at. But could illustration be counted as a fine art. Now it is true that honestly this may follow more in line with the theory of Graphic Design that I hold that 'something created by people for people.' But couldn't these illustrations be a mix. A lot of the publications with illustration that Blake produced were for himself. Poetry that we consider famous and extraordinary today that in his time would never have seen the light of day. It may be that the illustrations within cover to cover helped sale these ideas (his poetry). But can we argue that this is a fine art as well as graphic illustration? Can we argue that photography is a fine art or that the graphic novel is. These areas of design that are about getting personal ideas out there and making sure they are shared draws a line in the world we know as design today and the world we know as fine art. And I'm sure back in Blake's day that these copperplate engraved painted over works of art may not have been considered fine art. But looking at it now even though I have no concept of general thought in that time. I truly do consider these illustrations fine pieces of art.
I wish I could draw like Blake. His works are so haunting and timeless that a "computer geek" friend of mine put a Dante's Inferno illustration as his wallpaper. This person does not usual go for works of art, but apparently this piece was worthy enough for his attention.

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