I was forced to take a year of Graphic Design in college and they were the most beneficial classes I took in my entire career. Color theory, typography, composition… all of…
I should just reblog this so I can actually write more than a few sentences on it. XD
But I also think a lot of GD principles apply directly to Illustration too, and aren’t just supplementary knowledge (though they’re good for that too, I’ve had to bust out many logos for work!) Turn graphic shapes into characters or scene elements and there is valuable composition knowledge! A lot of graphic design principles like Dominance, Eye Flow, Positive and Negative Space, Rule of Thirds… and so many more will appear in art and I believe that you are only a stronger illustrator if you can wield these in your images.
Illustration is many parts figure drawing - can you present this character in a believable and pleasing way, are you capturing this object with the right textures, etc - but also equal parts presentation, I feel. Establishing a strong focal point, which can be done with color contrast, or eye flow, or dominance, or a combination of many principles will strengthen and give focus to your illustration. Color choices can make something pop to the foreground or fade into the background, and negative space can carve out shapes and evoke emotion. Character placement in a scene is similar to arranging objects in design. If you’re illustrating a book cover, you will want to know how to grab the viewers attention and have them look where YOU want them to look. Even designing a costume for a character benefits from having a basic understanding in design.
SO I guess where I’m going with this is - Graphic Design to Illustrators can be so much more than a supplementary nice-to-know. It’s a backbone set of principles that breaks down why things are pleasing to our eyes to a science-like set of rules. Knowing these things is basically like expanding your art arsenal. And isn’t that what we all want?
I was lucky and fortunate enough to have some excellent GD instructors while in school, but even if you don’t go to school for this stuff there are plenty of equally wonderful resources to learn this stuff. Some links!
And many more I’m sure! I’m also available for any questions on the subject too. While I am far from an expert at the subject, it is something I like to geek out about and I always love to learn more. <3