That seems like a broad definition that is hard to disagree with.
Brisbane Botanic Gardens, Mt Coot-tha
Mt Coot-tha Road, Toowong Qld 4066, Australia
Email [log in to unmask]
From: SciArt-L Discussion List-for Natural Science Illustration- [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Taina Litwak
Sent: Thursday, 20 August 2015 1:32 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: [SCIART] Is it ART?
“Art”. The modern understanding of the term, I believe, includes the concept that the maker emotionally and intellectually is working on expressing him/herself in some manner on the worthy topic of the human condition and culture. Plays, novels, fine art painting, landscapes, still life, abstractions, conceptual stuff, sculpture, film, any image making…. One topic, 7 billion interpretations.
This is where illustration – the goal of which is inherently to tell a story or explain a specific something - falls a bit outside. Editorial illustration, which is often conceptual and if its any good IS evocative, frequently address aspects of the human condition (or situations) and gets so some slack. So it is sometimes reluctantly included as “art”.
Technical illustration – scientific and natural history included - does not deal with this and so we are not invited under the umbrella of “art”. Some good scientific illustration is emotionally evocative of course, but much is not. It is not the goal of the work. We make images that society has come to value as the way our culture sees Science changes. What we do with our images CAN put our output on a more meta level, and the resulting self-aware product can jump into the traditional sphere of “Art". But usually our clients have no interest in doing that. They just need us to explain the facts, in the vehicle of their choice. This is what I have made a living doing for the past 35 years. Image making - I love it. It has value, but it's not “art”.
Litwak Illustration Studio
13029 Chestnut Oak Drive
Darnestown, MD 20878
Need to leave or subscribe to the Sciart-L listserv? Follow the instructions at http://www.gnsi.org/resources/reviews/gnsi-sciart-l-listserv
This E-Mail is intended only for the addressee. Its use is limited to that intended by the author at the time and it is not to be distributed without the author's consent. Unless otherwise stated, the State of Queensland accepts no liability for the contents of this E-Mail except where subsequently confirmed in writing. The opinions expressed in this E-Mail are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the State of Queensland. This E-Mail is confidential and may be subject to a claim of legal privilege. If you have received this E-Mail in error, please notify the author and delete this message immediately.
Need to leave or subscribe to the Sciart-L listserv? Follow the instructions at