successful, wealthy and famous Illustrators
Fawcett to be the “Illustrator's Illustrator.”
Robert Fawcett was the Illustrator's Illustrator
Adams was commercial art's Babe Ruth.
Norman Adams became
commercial art's Babe Ruth because he
Rule” that separated the business of Illustration from the
realm of “Art.”
He did this by painting
illustrations that looked far better
than they would appear in print.
illustrators Norman Adams was some sort of freak who put needless
into his illustrations, detail that would be lost when
its image was printed.
What Norman Adams
knew, and the professionals of commercial art,
like Charles E
Cooper and Robert Fawcett, took for granted:
the extra detail
Norman Adams put into his originals might be lost when in print
it would easily get him all sorts of jobs
that the other
illustrators would have to work hard to get.
had heard about Charles
E Cooper hiring a rookie
who was scoring all sorts of
home-runs with his illustrations.
To Robert Fawcett Norman Adams
had to be something special because
Cooper had hired him eagerly
when there were literally thousands of perfectly good artists
who were dying to get an interview let alone a
with the “preeminent” Charles E Cooper Inc.
As a rule Robert
Fawcett did not have to see the originals of Illustrators to judge
them. This was
because he took “Nonart's Rule” for
“In commercial art the published images always
looked better than their originals.”
But with Norman Adams
he had to see the originals
to understand why Cooper had hired
him so eagerly.
Robert Fawcett went to an exhibition put on by
the Society of
specifically to see the works of Norman Adams.
Fawcett was so impressed if not “stunned” with
Norman Adams' paintings that he had to go
himself to this rookie, Cooper's pride, Norman Adams.
untrained eye might need a magnifying glass to observe in Norman
what sometimes “stunned” the
trained eyes of the professionals of commercial art,
E Cooper and Robert Fawcett
and later Bill
It was Norman Adams' ability to exploit Magic
Realism and trompe
to make his paintings look good
with detail that obviously went way beyond the realm of photography
that got him jobs easily in commercial art ...
lucrative jobs that most other established Illustrators
have to work hard to get.
Nonart's Rule that Illustrators followed to make a living
created the much misunderstood word: “Nonart.”
since the dawn of printing Illustrators have followed Nonart's
the larger the original illustration
it looks reduced in size for publication, print.
as a rule, is created so it looks good hung
on a wall. –
Illustrators, as a rule, never painted illustrations to be hung on a
They painted images that would look good when reproduced
Nonart's Rule: when an original
image/painting has to be manipulated
photographically to look good
then it, the manipulated image, is
the “Art” that looks good
and the original it makes
looks bad is its “Nonart.”