Magazine Illustration by Francis Marshall


Magazine Illustration by Francis Marshall

In Francis Marshall’s book “Magazine Illustration” he talks about the illustration business from the perspective of an artist living in the United Kingdom in 1959. However, he worked for many clients in the United States and his viewpoint is similar to what was going on there at that time.

I know many illustrators did quite well financially during the mid-twentieth century and were able to do things like design their own homes or buy fancy cars.

The unfortunate thing is that illustration fees, overall, have leveled off or gone down since 1959. A spread in a magazine today might pay the same $1,500 that Andy Virgil got from McCall’s, but without the cost of inflation.

I don’t see that changing and I’m not sharing this because I pine for the past. The world is a different place today and magazines in 1959 had less competition for audience attention than they do now with television, movies, video games and the internet. The reason why I am sharing this, and delving into this book, is because I think it’s important to look at the past and learn from what came before us.



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