Monday, 26 January 2009

Gillian Blease

When Gillian Blease did a lecture last year one of the things that interested me was her fine art background and that she did a crash course in illustration. Fine art vs illustration is an issue in the industry and i was interested in her opinion on the matter. More so i was intrigued to know what her experience of fine art education was in relation to defining the meaning of it and how she sees herself.

I think the term still applies, but only within its traditional use, and mostly with regard to training. I can say I was trained in the Fine Art tradition (ie I studied the crafts of painting, architecture printmaking etc.) but if I continued to make art I would call myself a visual artist or a contemporary artist. So I think its possible to study fine art but, unless they were working in a very classical way, most artists would not use that term to describe their practice.

I used to produce lots of work for exhibitions when I was an artist. I think I struggled with the fact that the endpoint of a piece of art is generally an audience in a gallery space. I found it impossible to get away from the constant awareness of how it was going to be perceived, which always interfered with the process of making it – ie self-conciousness. What I love about illustration is that its main purpose is functional and it exists in tandem with something else usually – ie the host copy or product. It’s a real partnership of different media. It’s about making a difference in small ways as opposed to making a statement. I find it more ego-less than ‘art’ which is full of ego!

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