Culled from our Illustration Now! series is this selection of today’s most successful and important illustrators from around the globe. In his introduction, Steven Heller fleshes out the challenging process of narrowing down a field of 600 illustrators to a selection of the 100 most significant. The final cut, including artists such as Istvan Banyai, Gary Baseman, Seymour Chwast, Paul Davis, Brad Holland, Mirko Ilic, Anita Kunz, and Christoph Niemann, provides a snapshot of the highly dynamic and diverse world of contemporary illustration.
The Book Review:
TASCHEN is widely revered for their subject mater, high quality, and grand formats of their books. Their latest tome, 100 Illustrators, is no exception. A large textured slipcase encloses the two volumes. The covers themselves working as teaser for what’s inside. The pages are thoughtfully plotted, retaining emphasis on the gallery aspect of the book. Though there is plentiful information per illustrator (presented in English, French, and German no less), thanks to the large format of the book, both images and words sit without compromise on the page.
The variety of illustrators featured span numerous fields. However, I would say editorial illustration takes centre stage, with a spotlight on 2D illustration. There is a host of very famous features including eBoy, Gary Baseman, Jeremyville, and Gary Taxali. It is always great to see their work so magnanimously presented. I was also quite pleased to see some illustrators previously featured on The Lounge, such as Daniel Egnéus, Gez Fry, Kako, Tara McPherson and Autumn Whitehurst.
As you can imagine with a book this rich in content I was introduced to a superb list of illustrators. That list includes Peter Diamond, Minni Havas, Patrick Hruby, Roberto Parada, Yuko Shimizu, and Yuri Ustsinau. Which leads me on perfectly to what this book accomplishes best. It is a platform for expanding your own illustration sensibilities. 100 Illustrators exposes it’s readers to a host of styles and techniques for their consideration. When one is presented with a collection, this vast, of illustrators at the forefront of their field it becomes difficult not to draw inspiration and learn from their work.
One qualm I do have is the prominence of editorial illustration, it would be much more beneficial to see work crossing a multitude of illustration fields, such as animation, design, visual effects, video games, and street art. If a book is presented as an overview of illustration, and essentially focuses on a single field of illustration, it can limit a reader’s perception of the art form as a whole. However this does not take away from the fact that work in the book is first-rate and is exhibited at the highest standard. 100 Illustrators will be released this December, retailing at the fantastic price of £34.99. I would highly recommend it, especially for illustration students, it will make an excellent Christmas treat.