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The nomadic illustration

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This article proposes the existence of nomadic illustrations – single images that are repeatedly repurposed and recontextualized. News photographs, stock illustration and photography have been used like this for some time; one stock photograph might illustrate the covers of two different novels; a news photograph may be used by different newspapers to support different arguments. Due to the ease with which images are appropriated online, however, this is no longer solely the province of professionally made images, and when illustrations do migrate they are being reused in a wider range of contexts. By giving examples of nomadic illustrations and tracing their movements between contexts, this article will consider the way in which certain images become associated with particular narratives and look at what might be causing some illustrations to move while others remain stationary.
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Keywords: Internet; digital; illustration; narrative; nomadic; text

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Falmouth University

Publication date: 01 December 2015

More about this publication?
  • Illustration is a rapidly evolving field with an excitingly broad scope. Despite its cultural significance and rich history, illustration has rarely been subject to deep academic scrutiny. The Journal of Illustration provides an international forum for scholarly research and investigation of a range of cultural, political, philosophical, historical, and contemporary issues, in relation to illustration. The journal encourages new critical writing on illustration, associated visual communication, and the role of the illustrator as visualizer, thinker, and facilitator, within a wide variety of disciplines and professional contexts.

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