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Britt Griswold <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
SciArt-L Discussion List-for Natural Science Illustration- <[log in to unmask]>
Thu, 5 Nov 1998 12:22:35 -0500
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>      I am doing a project for my computer class about listserv. We
>picked a topic to learn more about it by asking questions about the
>topic. It's a great way to learn about illustration and about computers.
>1.) People say that art is not a career to go into and that there is no
>money in it. Is this true?

Only if you define art very narrowly as self centered expression of your
inner emotions.  This sort of "fine art" has a very limited audiences,
though it may be very satisfying.

If you define art more broadly as the creation of images and communication
of ideas, then there is plenty of money to be had, if you have the talent
and the training.  Everything from greeting cards to Madison avenue
advertising needs people with artistic talent. And some of it pays very
well too.

I think Art get a bad rap from the way people narrowly define it.  Also,
almost anyone can draw something, so the worth of art in an open market
quickly moves down to zero if you do not have exceptional talent, or you
have not acquired some special skills for working in niche markets (like
Science and Medical art.)

>2.) What exactly is illustration and what makes it different from other
>forms of art?

Illustration is the communication of ideas through the creation of images;
usually to meet someone elses needs, but that is not part of the definition.

>3.) Are there many jobs out there for when I get out of college in the
>year 2003?

I expect visual media will still be a big field in 2003, maybe even more
so. We live in a visual age.

If you are talking about specialized markets like medical and science
illustration, you will find that having a wide variety of skills as well as
drawing will make you more employable, or allow you to run your own
freelance business.  And you may find that you need to broaden your idea of
what is an acceptable project to work on.  There are a limited number of
institutions that can hire full time artists, and other than
Pharmaceutical, the is a limited number of commercial areas for medical
illustration.  But the training is excellent for moving your skills into
other areas like computer animation, Multimedia CDs, textbooks, any area
that requires accurate representation.

>4.) Which colleges or universities are the best to go to for majoring in

New York is always big.  I would think most people would find areas where
there is a large art community, and lots of ideas being thrown around to be
the best environment.  This seems to be in big cities most of the time.
But if your special interests draw you to nature or science, this may not
be the answer.  On the other hand I would probably want the visual and
social vocabulary that you would pick up in a large community of interests
that you would find in a big city, then apply that to an area of interest
that may not be "mainstream".

>5.) Since I want to major in medical illustration someday, should I
>major in art and biology for my first four years?
You should check out the AMI web site at

Britt Griswold/MAP Project
RS Information Systems
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center
Code 685 Bldg. 21 Rm G63
Greenbelt, MD 20771
(301) 286-3381
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