Future Time by John Dyess

On my blog post for October 19,2012, I posted a photograph of my wife and grandson Dominic John. This photograph of Dominic was taken shortly after his birth. The assignment ,for my illustration students at Meramec Community College, was to write a few paragraphs about what they thought illustration and graphic design will be like when Dominic is twenty years old. I will be sharing my student’s papers on this assignment for the next few days.

Firstly, congratulations on the birth of your grandson! I think Dominic John is being born into an exciting time for not just art and design, but for technology in general. Through the internet, inspiration and information are easier to pass from artist to artist than ever before. As Dominic grows up, he will receive tremendous benefits from being reared in a completely digital age. If he aspires to be an artist, he and others like him will have to navigate through the subtle obstacles this creates as well. The flood of information and availability of opinion that the internet brings can be a blessing and a curse. The internet will expose them to exciting and inspiring possibilities, but they will have to learn to recognize it and filter out the rest. In the coming years, the way we receive and digest information and art will change, but I do not believe that our appreciation for traditional technique will become completely obsolete.

Art making is becoming more accessible and cost effective as technology develops. Many traditional techniques can be reproduced digitally in an increasingly convincing way, without a tremendous initial investment. With this in mind, many people believe that, maybe even by the time Dominic John is 20 years old, paper and traditional art will become obsolete. This is especially becoming apparent as the announcement that magazines, such as Newsweek, will be moving forward with a digital only format, abandoning their printed format all together. In many ways this makes sense. The number of people who get their magazines and news online has risen steadily, since devices such as smart phones and tablets made these things readily available at any given moment. 

I believe there is a distinction between publications such as Newsweek transitional to a purely digital format and the abolishment of all paper production, though. For many people, their first contact with art will not be digital. It will be at a very young age, making crayon marks on paper and walls. I believe this is a reaction to an almost instinctual drive humans have to just create. For these people, the love of creating art doesn’t just lie in the end result, but in the process. As mentioned before, there are digital means to emulate traditional technique. There are no digital means to manufacture the experience of creating in a traditional style. For this reason I believe, while digital art is on the rise for it’s ease and efficiency, the regular pencil on paper will never be completely.    Kayla Richards


Brooke Weaver 10/18/12

John Dyess Illustration 1

The Future of Illustration

I feel like this is a hard thing to write about with how quickly technology is advancing everything we know. Who really knows what the future could possibly bring the art community. I suppose all I can really hope for is a new technological breakthrough that causes a mass hiring for all types of artists and keeps me gainfully employed till retirement (I can dream!). I suppose a lot of it would have to go with how people are viewing advertising and entertainment; something will continually advance in the TV becoming more of a world to hop into. 

I think that the 3D world will be the continuing advancement. That when we want to play a game we will probably be able to put on a helmet or suit, that gives us full control over our character. Probably have to stand on a special plate or something that will move as to the shape of whatever terrain you are going through in the game. The artist’s job then will be to create that super life like and truly interactive world the gamer jumps into. Also to develop more ways than just seeing the enemy or task in the game, but to also have the other sciences be involved. I hope that’ll be the next step in the artwork. That could be a true accomplishment there! 

Also think that if that advancement was made in gaming or movies what then could be done for an artist having a galleria event. You could come to the art showing, put on the special gear and walk into the artists very world that they made to present their artwork. The art would then be more than canvas, but something you could walk through and interact with. I think that would be an amazing development!

I can’t say for certain that this would happen, or that it’s even possible in 20 years. But in saying that you also have to think that twenty years go there wasn’t a computer in any home, now they are everywhere! There weren’t cellphones available. Now you can call people from your car and even talk through a small blue tooth ear device without even needing to pull your phone from your pocket. Cars park themselves, which never happened before. They actually have TV’s now that can curve to fit a room! So I’m choosing to think big about what there will be in twenty years.

Illustration and Graphic Design are rapidly changing fields incorporating a multitude of styles, and techniques that advance every day. Twenty years from now I believe Graphic Design and Illustration will become closer hopefully and if I had any say in it more experimental. I believe when Dominick is twenty years old, the fields of Fine art, and Applied art may finally be considered the same thing because, you’re using the same techniques of composition and much of the isolation that is involved with most Fine art will be done away with because the internet will have opened most of those Fine artists up to let people see their work online and have more input which can have positive and negative affects.

Applied art to me shouldn’t be separated from Fine art. to me Applied art was started by fine artists wanting to make money in fields where they could use their aesthetics they built up themselves to create their own niche in Applied art. To me Illustration is part of a larger picture which is mainly broken up into Fine art and Applied art that can have effects on anyone and that’s not going change much in twenty years besides broadening up into a larger area that’s more diverse as the years go by and as technology advances.
Daniel Madrigal

I would enjoy reading the thoughts of the future of communications in twenty years by viewers of this blog.













  1. Anonymous says:

    Interesting takes from your students many of whom are probably already weaned on electronic wizardry. Yesterday I spoke with a friend and compatriot of mine that I worked closely with for the last 25 years at LifeWay in Nashville. He made the decision to retire early this coming January partly because of the rapidly changing technology that has been combining the roles that used to be accomplished by a team of individuals each really good at what they brought to the creative/production mix but now forced upon the designer to be all things in the chain burning him out (and others). Design and production decisions are now being made from above (no, not That above) further sucking life out of the creatives. Illustrations will now for the most part be stock photography and not art as it isn’t “real” enough. Considering the raft of un-photographible images I had to conjure up in the religious teaching genre over the past 4 or so decades . . . good luck on that one, folks. Interesting, huh? As Bernie Fuchs related at his retrospect showing at SWIC several years ago; ” I always knew my style of illustration would go out of vogue, but I never thought illustration would”. Obviously this is to be “continued” . . .

    • johndyess says:

      I haven’t created illustrations for Lifeway for about ten years and enjoyed working with two of the art directors but stopped doing work because Lifeway wanted a complete buy-out without paying more for the art, plus they wanted to kept the original art that I was doing traditionally at the time.Thanks for the comment.

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