Visual Development and Illustration is more than just drawing and painting. The term "visual development artist" comes from the pipeline behind animated films, in which these artists were tasked with conceptualizing, identifying, developing, and consistently maintaining the aesthetic, the visual tone and feel of every element in the subsequent film. This is a bigger task than most people consider, and requires the perfect mix of developed design sensibility and technical artistic expertise.
But nowadays visual development applies to far, far more than animated films. We live in a world that is expanding and changing at an unprecedented pace, as businesses all over the world scramble to find new ways to engage with their customers; as cyberspace balloons ever outward; as SaaS dominates sustainable and scalable business models; as mobile interaction becomes ubiquitous with daily life; and as artists and scientists and engineers and creators everywhere continue to push the limits of what is possible.
Design is a field which has become heavily segmented heading into the 21st century, during which new specializations seem to have emerged every year, and yet the need to marry back-end and front-end sensibilities has never been greater. UI/UX design has become as essential to modern businesses as cost management. Communications design is becoming a field all on its own. Web design can make or break consumer trust.
At the same time, longer-form narratives have been given new life by the democratizing power of the internet. Independent creators everywhere can get their work and their blood, sweat, and tears before thousands of eyes instantly. Comics are no longer the sole purview of superheroes and pulp, if in fact they ever were. Children's books as an industry are as vital as ever, and constantly engaging with more complex thematic subjects. Never before have we inhabited a time so surrounded by and imbibed with independent creator-led and creator-owned projects and collaborations as this. And it is nothing short of wonderful.
Visual development is the thread that ties them all together.