I have no idea what the future wants from an illustrator, but if the future is like everybody else, he wants it yesterday and he wants it for free.;-)
HaHaHaHa! So sadly true Chuck...
Perhaps the question should be what does an illustrator want from the future. Like any profession, the desire is to make a decent living and that possiblity seems to ebb away a little each day. This is increasingly a world that sees little value in anything that takes skill.
The need for illustration will be the same in the future as it's always been...to communicate, to elicit emotion or enhance an opinion or to sell a product. We'll always need illustration to some degree.The question is will illustration be the solution to fill these needs in the same numbers as it has been in the past. Is the more effective way to reach the short attention span generation for images that move as opposed to static images?
I think the future of Illustration is in traditional media. We are at a pivotal moment in history, I think. Art is not exempt from this. In fact, it is intricately tied to that moment by fine threads of fateful silver that intertwine all things into a complicated tapestry of change.The world is so overwhelmed with "now," with all of the new CGI and corporate giants vying for our attentions that I think their will be an outcry for normalcy, if only subconsciously.There are many reasons why I do traditional artwork. Most I will not present here. I will say, however, that my reasons are heavily tied into spirituality. With the world changing so fast, it is inexorably racing toward a critical mass moment. People are amused by the craft of artists in general, but when people see that something has been made by the hand, it instantly gains some sort of mystical credibility. People look at it and are amazed. "You made that?" they'll say. Yes, I did. But the question is always asked without any intention of altering the attitudes of the individual. People are amazed but are blind to the reason "WHY" it's so amazing. It's almost counter-intuitive, I think. I believe there will be a pendulum swing to the opposite side of the Spectrum. That people will demand simplicity and the beauty of the natural world, if only in their hearts, which is why I think it is important that traditional artists persist in this computer-heavy world.There will come a day when people will want that which reminds them of their hearts. They will feel a pull for a lost time that wasn't so quick and thoughtless. There is virtue in silence. There is virtue in the mundane. There is a beauty in it that is so still and enduring that Man in all his greed cannot deny. And that is why I say it is counter-intuitive. It's good to be comfortable, sometimes, but it is also good to be uncomfortable sometimes. It reminds us of humility, that we are not invincible, either as individuals or as a group. All things must end. That reality, not taken to the extreme, can keep a man honest with himself and temper his heart.So that is my prediction. Though I think that when that day comes, when traditional art is in demand, there will be so few of us that it will once again be fresh. It will help return the world to a simpler time. Hopefully, at that point, people will be able to find moderation and not take the pendulum swing ALL the way back the other way, that would be just as detrimental.