Abstract illustrators use the language of color, line, pattern, and shape to convey experience, emotion or an idea. Departing from naturalistic representation of objects and people, abstract illustrations are compositions using geometric forms, figures, or “pure” abstraction as content. Familiar subjects or people can be “abstracted” to create an interpretation or parody of a person or event.
Exaggeration or distortion and, at times, intense or unrealistic colors, are used to provoke emotion or elicit a reaction from the viewer. While there are many styles within the genre of abstract illustration, all forms of abstraction exploit the expressive potential of color and form. An abstract illustrator knows that a vibrant red has a different effect than a pastel blue just as a straight line conveys a different meaning from a jagged line.
The abstract illustrator brings a unique style to their designs. Much like handwriting, many abstract illustrators have a singular, signature style. Like the abstract field painters of the 1950s, they exhibit a freedom of expression that inspires a viewer to extrapolate many layers of meaning from each design.
Pictorial elements of the composition are often simplified by an abstract illustrator for greater impact and to allow the image to remain open to interpretation.