Illustration class, Thomas Matthaeus Müller

Illustration – meaning an image for a specific context – is the focus of the activity in this class. It includes questions such as: What can illustration be? What can it achieve? Does illustration come from art or is it influenced by the world at large? And where does it want to go? Does the thought precede the image or is the reverse true? Does it require rules? Does originality help it achieve maturity? Can it be done differently? How do I deal with the given content, the given form, with the limits? How do I accomplish it?

Its characteristic as a vehicle for communication is undisputed, therefore this requires an interest in questions regarding conditions, strategy, content, legibility, effectiveness, addressee etc. The lessons provide or recommend materials, formats, methods for analysis. Opportunities for this arise externally, as part of study projects or are initiated by the students themselves. The practice is an ongoing activity which is performed with conviction, working on your own capabilities, learning by putting things to the test, an articulation of the intention of action, clarification, thinking with a pen in your hand. This involves a variety of illustrative practices: being second – which means adding to what has been found or provided, to illustrate it, comment on it or contradict it. And being first – the reproduction of observation, expression, message, taking responsibility, in practised authorship. Numerous methods are involved in the creation of an image. The search for an adequate form is a creative, gradual process. The structure of the classes provides the ideal conditions to challenge reflection, verbalisation, discussion and the exchange of ideas.

The classes are composed of long-term semester projects and daily tasks, the “one-day wonders”, and are divided into seminars, individual instruction and other forms. Images are created for various genres and formats and appear as comic albums, videos, exhibitions, in magazines, printed or on screen, accompanying a literary text, as a visual poster for the city, as a signal or a story. They are seductive, illuminating, they involve flashes of inspiration, are vivid, funny, stimulating, dramatic, expansive or succinct, critical, entertaining, expressive, hymnic, powerful, insistent on their stubbornness, open to the world.

In the vocational practice of our profession our own interests and those of others often blend with each other. Self-initiative, the instinct for opportunities, the willingness to cooperate and critical analysis are required. The aim of this class is the development of a personal, individual world of imagery and the ability to deal adeptly with requirements, which requires originality and professionalism. Satisfying study involves overcoming the limits of your own capabilities.