Spotlight on the Accompanist

Lets take a moment to observe the objects around you...

That's a pretty cool cell phone case you have. Not only is that design captivating, but I'll bet if you ever lost track of it, your friends would be able to identify it because the artwork is so unique and reflects your personality.

What book is that you're reading? The cover really speaks to me. It makes me interested in what fantastic adventure or profound ideas are contained within its pages.

I really like that poster on your wall. Not only does it go well with the decor, but it strikes me on an emotional level. It makes me want to contribute to a good cause.

There is no doubt that visual art is everywhere. It's often called "design" in commercial applications, but has no less creative value than the paintings in a fine art gallery. The biggest difference between commercial illustration and fine art is that illustration functions as an accompaniment to a product. This gives the product the attention it needs, but consequently leaves some mystery as to who creates the artwork.

Contrary to popular belief, sophisticated software like Photoshop does not possess the power to "create" pictures at the touch of a button. In the hands of an illustrator, they are mediums that operate in the same way pencils and paintbrushes do. It takes a skilled human with years of study and practice to create the design on that lovely Starbucks mug you are thoughtfully sipping from.

Who are these invisible creatives in our midst? They are everywhere, but like the accompanists of the music realm, they make it their goal to help the soloist sound amazing. They know when to play softly and when, in those rare moments, to play loudly when signifying a change in mood or narrative landmark. Even then, they are setting the stage for the soloist.

So how do we give the accompanists a spotlight? Well, one option is to give them their own concert every now and then. Those "concerts" come in the form of things like gallery shows, expos, and art-focused publications. One such publication, the anthology, is unique in that it often features a collection of works from several different artists. And who doesn't like the idea of a collaborative picture book?

Artwork by Phivi Spyridonos.

This brings me to a specific anthology worth giving notice. The SCAD Illustration Anthology is a collection of work by students of the Savannah College of Art and Design that is in the process of being crowdfunded. I know several of the students who are involved and can tell you that you would have trouble finding a more passionate and capable group of artists. Don't let the title of "student" fool you--these are studious individuals whose work is at a professional level. But you don't have to take my word for it. Instead, have a look:

Pretty cool, eh? And that's just the tip of the iceberg.

What if you could give illustrators center-stage and prove to the world that the people who created artwork for the objects adorning your room exist? You. Can. By helping get this sweet piece of visual candy made, you will make the presence of the allusive creative known!

It gets better. Illustrators know that anthologies like this one help get their work seen by art directors. These art directors are directly responsible for hiring freelance illustrators. You could be part of getting these folks their first gig. That gig could, in turn, give them more visibility to other art directors. And before you know it, you are helping make a dream come true that takes commercial artists many, many years to achieve.

How about it? Here's your chance to put the spotlight on the accompanist: