Thursday, October 2, 2008 - Designing heroes

Often times today, I think that we make "heroes" out of too many people who shouldn't be heroes (mainly, celebrities in magazines and television). But I guess it comes down to what your own definition of hero is. Merriam-Webster lists one definition of hero as "an object of extreme admiration and devotion" and another as "an illustrious warrior, a man admired for his achievements and noble qualities, one that shows great courage" and one more "the central figure in an event, period, or movement."

After doing a bit of research on Hohlwein, I've come to think that Hohlwein himself is a hero in the world of illustration. This site says that his work is "sought after and can be found in museums and galleries throughout the world." The person who runs this blog is paying homage to Hohlwein, his favorite illustrator, and has many comments from people around the world praising his work. This site claims that "a Hohlwein poster almost guaranteed success for the business."

The Eye Magazine article says that "A hero is one who rises above the ordinary and must therefore appear to be extraordinary." I think that Hohlwein has done just this. He has taken his talents as an illustrator and has used them to turn the subjects in his posters into heroes themselves, while becoming a hero to the illustrators of the present and future. He has done exactly what the article says must occur for one to be a hero in print: "The primary method is to use an exaggerated representational style, a form of ‘realism’ that romanticises and even beatifies those depicted. After the warts and blemishes have been removed and the muscles have been fleshed out, what remains is a heroic shell."

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