Thesis Proposal…working progress

More of the same. At the same time as writing my Self Initiated Project Proposals, I have to also write a Thesis Proposal. This is basically 2,500 words proposing what you will write your 10,000 word thesis on next year. What you have chosen, how you will approach it, from what angle, how you will gather the research and what you will look at. Lets also not forget that this is art school so not only do you have to write the fucking thing, you also have to design it. Thus in my proposal I have to talk about what kind of design would be appropriate with the subject and question I have chosen, as well as how it will be printed and bound.

I have always been an avid drawer and in turn always been interested in Illustration. At one point I was stuck between doing a degree in Graphic design and doing one in Illusttration. I feel now is my time to really explore both and find out the big differences and similarities between the two. My initial research question was “What are the essential differences between Graphic design and Illustration?”

Now upon reflection and talking to others deciding  on their thesis questions, I know it needs to be more focused. I am interested in the history of the two but also how they have advanced on each other over the years. I am now considering such questions as:

“Has Illustration as an industry caught up to that of Graphic Design?”


“How does ‘Authorship’ take a place in the relationship between Illustrator and Graphic Designer?”

“What difference do they play in terms of a degree? What does each offer?”

“How could you differentiate the subjects in terms of history?”

“How does the role of communication play a part in both? is it different enough?”


“How has illustration changed?”

“Has the birth of digitalisation within illustration defined the end of traditional illustration?Or does it then become graphic design?”

“What are their rules what are their guidelines to stop the two merging?”


“Illustration has taken a beating but now after the digitalisation, could it be considered more effective, powerful and mouldable than graphic design?”


For me graphic design is constricted. There are rules, things to follow and things not to do. You are meant to push these rules, bend the rules and break these rules, but if you get it wrong then its a graphic design no no and how dare you break the rules?

Whereas illustration is a lot freer and as much as you still follow an idea of what the client wants.. there are no specific rules that say don’t make a mans head bigger than his body. It is for people who are a little chaotic and imaginative whereas graphic designers pour themselves over white spaces and the fear of using them. Graphic design is for the OCD and the neat freaks.


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