Take a look at the typical magazine rack these days and you'll probably notice something missing: illustration.
Someone used to say you could gauge the condition of the illustration market by what was on the cover of Time magazine. If Time was using illustration then most other magazines would follow suit and thus illustration assignments in general would experience an up tick. If Time was on a photo cover jag, then the illustration market would experience a downturn. Well, I dunno what Time is doing these days, but if their cover was once some sort of illustration 'canary in a coal mine', then I'd have to say that bird is dead.
These days in magazine covers its "photo or bust" - and preferably a photo of some celebrity's bust! You have to wonder what the point is. How is your publication supposed to stand out on the stands if your cover shows the same thing everybody else is showing month after month after month? What kind of marketing strategy is that?
This week, let's take a look at the days when magazines actually considered illustration a viable (perhaps even superior) alternative to photography. If a few creatives with some clout in print media happen to be reading this week and wake up to what they've been missing, there might even be some Time left for the illustration business.
* This week's topic arose because Charlie Allen (who has already so generously shared a wealth of Bernie Fuchs images with us from his files in recent weeks) sent the three Fuchs SI covers you see here today. Many thanks, Charlie!
* And speaking of Charlie, his latest CAWS is up a day early this week. If you didn't visit last week to see Charlie's amazing marine paintings, be sure to drop by Charlie Allen's Blog right now for some more gorgeous, eye-popping artwork, presented extra-large so you can better appreciate the details.
* My Bernie Fuchs Flickr set.