Illustration is an art form that has been around since the Middle Ages, when pictures started accompanying text in books. Woodcut illustrations, etchings and engravings have given way to modern works that employ the latest technologies. Given the history of illustration, its connection with the mechanical, and its earliest perception as a vocation rather than an art, few illustrators have risen to the same level of fame and appreciation as their “fine artist” peers. But today, illustration has become a respected idiom and its creators leave indelible images that can evoke just as many emotions as oil on canvas. Here are a handful of the incredible illustrators of our time:
Incredible Illustrators: Hayao Miyazaki
While the period between the 1880s and the end of World War I is understood to be the golden age of illustration in the United States, the term could also describe what is happening in present day Japan. Japanese artists in anime (film) and manga (comics) are considered some of the leading illustrators in the world. Of them, Hayao Miyazaki is one of the most celebrated of them all. His international acclaim as an anime feature filmmaker and manga illustrator have tempted some to call him the Japanese Walt Disney.
Miyazaki’s first feature film, Lupin III: The Castle of Cagliostro, was released in 1979. But he became better known in the West when Miramax Films released Princess Mononoke, the highest-grossing film in Japan until Titanic knocked it from the top spot. Miyazaki’s follow-up film, Spirited Away, won Picture of the Year at the Japanese Academy Awards and was the first anime film to win an American Academy Award.