Sunday, December 29, 2013


Reference books are a dime a dozen. Really. There are so many "How to" "Art Of" books that it's easy to lose track. For Christmas I received a copy of Lifestyle Illustrations Of The 50's. I decided, especially after looking at all the art books on my shelf ( including the follow-up to this book - the 1960's), that I wasn't going to just put it on the self and let it collect dust. So I divided the book into years and will devote one week of study to each year.

Artist Coby Whitmore from Women Magazine

As I poured over the year 1950, I found that upon first glance I was impressed with the art. On second glance I noticed the style. On third glance I studied the composition. It wasn't until I went through the book several times that I noticed- really noticed- the story that was being told with each illustration. From romantic to family to daily life scenes I found myself creating stories in my head based on whatever art I was looking at.

This was, of course, why these illustrations were done in the first place- to accompany any stories that might go along with them in the magazines in which they were printed. However, the images are so striking and engaging that it got me thinking. If they were part of sequential art, what would the other images look like?

Here's another question: If any panels from the comics I ( or anyone else for that matter) were pulled out of the sequence of a page, would they have the impact of any one of these illustrations? If not, should they? Is every picture drawn important or does there need to be bridges in between impactful images the same way there are bridges in between sentences? Does, and should every image count?

I don't know the answer to this, but I am going to find out...