The Department of Illustration

Bruce Mau’s incomplete manifesto

Posted in Ideas, Writing, Theory by The Department of Illustration on January 16, 2011

“Written in 1998, the Incomplete Manifesto is an articulation of statements exemplifying Bruce Mau’s beliefs, strategies and motivations. Collectively, they are how we approach every project.”

1. Allow events to change you.
You have to be willing to grow. Growth is different from something that happens to you. You produce it. You live it. The prerequisites for growth: the openness to experience events and the willingness to be changed by them.

2. Forget about good.
Good is a known quantity. Good is what we all agree on. Growth is not necessarily good. Growth is an exploration of unlit recesses that may or may not yield to our research. As long as you stick to good you’ll never have real growth.

3. Process is more important than outcome.
When the outcome drives the process we will only ever go to where we’ve already been. If process drives outcome we may not know where we’re going, but we will know we want to
be there.

4. Love your experiments (as you would an ugly child).
Joy is the engine of growth. Exploit the liberty in casting your work as beautiful experiments, iterations, attempts, trials, and errors. Take the long view and allow yourself the fun of failure every day.

plus 40 more here

Design is History

Posted in Historical, Ideas, Writing, Theory, Online resources and archives by The Department of Illustration on August 17, 2010

Animation the future of Illustration?

Posted in Animated, Ideas, Writing, Theory, Professional by The Department of Illustration on August 16, 2010

the turn to motion images discussed at Drawn

‘is animation the future of illustration’ Micahel Dooley at imprint collected comments  from the recent ICON6 illustrated conference such as this:-

Keith Robinson July 29, 2010 at 7:26 am

I’ve been working as an illustrator and animator for 18 years. The two disciplines have evolved together and informed each other, but like mastering any craft, it takes time and experience. I’m still a long way from being a master of either, but I do know animation requires learning a lot more than a new piece of software. It requires a different kind of mindset and sensitivity, as well as certain craft techniques, to impart the illusion of movement and life to a static image. My worry is, that because animation software is readily available, illustrators are expected to read a manual and suddenly become animators. Knowing how to use Flash no more makes you an animator, than knowing how to use Word makes you a novelist. Animation software just moves stuff around the screen. That’s not the same as animating it. The web is already awash with badly animated illustration, which demeans both art forms. The question that commissioners should ask, is not CAN we animate this, but SHOULD we animate this. The strength of illustration is it’s ability to convey meaning, or multiple meanings in a single powerful image. If a certain message can be conveyed more successfully with a moving image, fine – but please don’t assume the illustrator will be the best person to animate their artwork.


Read more: Imprint-The Online Community for Graphic Designers | ICON Reax, Part 1: Is Animation the Future of Illustration?


Posted in Ideas, Writing, Theory, Visual Language by The Department of Illustration on August 15, 2010


“WHY SPEND THAT last year on getting a portfolio together for a job, when you could spend that year getting you ready for 10 years from now?” asks Paul Sahre.

Art school is your chance to spend some time learning about what you believe as well as what you can do.

Scrimshaw for dead objects

Posted in Drawing, Handmade, Historical, Ideas, Writing, Theory by The Department of Illustration on August 8, 2010

Michael Dinges, interviewed recently in Hand Eye Magazine (‘Scratch the Surface’ Keith Recker, 2009) says:-

“In general, I’m interested in the technology and imagery of the mid 19th-century. When the industrial revolution was really rolling, people were migrating from the country to the city. This is the era Marx was reacting to and he was aware of the changing dynamic and resulting alienation between worker and task. This is the period where roles of labor and management were being set, and the environmental impact of industrialization began to be keenly felt. This was also the period in which Thoreau was writing, so these issues were in the air. This is when whaling was at its peak and with that efficiency of production came the eventual, near destruction, of the very resource that sustained us.
Alienation is a big issue for me in my work. I’m interested in asking both the viewer and myself about issues concerning our relationship with modernity. I want the viewer to ask himself or herself, when confronted with one of my altered computers, for example, “Is this what you wanted, is this the result you intended?” I intend this work to be a plea for mindfulness in the choices we make in our daily lives.”

The Ministry of Frogs

Posted in Collaborations, Decorative, Handmade, Historical, Ideas, Writing, Theory by The Department of Illustration on June 2, 2010

This is a new zine I am setting up to do with folk art and how it inspires contemporary practice. If you would like to submit work please check out the info on the fb page

I am already overwhelmed by the talent going into issue one…thank you everyone who has expressed an interest and/or sent in work already.

Please email submissions to by July 15th thank you x

Airside- ‘What is power’

Posted in Animated, Documentary, Ideas, Writing, Theory, Text/Image by The Department of Illustration on January 21, 2010


Posted in Animated, Documentary, Ideas, Writing, Theory by The Department of Illustration on November 4, 2009

interesting projects


Fun Theory

Posted in Digital, Events, Ideas, Writing, Theory by The Department of Illustration on October 27, 2009


Do you have an idea that uses fun to change behaviour? Enter now for the chance to win €2500.

Creative Review

Posted in General, Ideas, Writing, Theory, People, Professional by The Department of Illustration on October 21, 2009

novcvr2_0“The November issue of CR focuses on your workplaces – what they look like and what you do there, featuring CR readers from around the world”

see also Gutenberg’s Quartlerly and Studio Culture