For this unit we we have been assigned to research a topic that we are interested in — obviously to do with media — that we would like to know more about. This could be anything ranging from a games company to a technique you’d like to discover more about. My first initial idea was to research in depth about the company Bioware and how they have followed social issues (sexuality, gender identity, racism…etc) and how other companies followed suit. However, even if Bioware is a company I respect, it is not the subject I want to spend five weeks researching. This lead me to my next idea: Illustration. Illustration is such a wide term that it took me a fairly long time to figure out what I want to research within Illustration. As I am a lover of history — along with Illustration — I decided to combine them both. I wanted to research the history of illustration and how key artists/technology change changed illustration for the better and how propaganda was used throughout the eras.
What I am going to research throughout these five weeks are when illustration was first used, artists that influenced the modern world, how illustration was used for propaganda purposes (WW1, Salem Witch Trails, Anti-American Propaganda, WW2 propaganda…etc), how technology has changed through the years and my opinions on illustration and how it has influenced me as a creative. The main focus for this research, however, is how illustration was used for propaganda purposes to send a group of people into fear. As I want to broaden my knowledge of illustration, this seemed like the perfect opportunity to do so, so I want to — alongside doing propaganda — research the artists that influenced the modern world and the technology changes that followed suit; that wont only make me some more liable for university it will show that I am willing to go in depth with a subject I enjoy.
Illustration has been around since the start of the Modern man – a cave in France, Chauvet has the most well preserved drawings throughout it caves: hand-prints decorating the walls and drawings of animals (Rhinos, Lions, Cows…etc). As the website says “when paleolithic artists used charcoal and ochre to illustrate what they saw around them” Even though these men didn’t have the technology that we have today, they still documented what they saw as a reminder as if the world was going to end – or maybe they documented this work to show the generations to come. This piece of research is probably the most important throughout the piece — even though I said primary research was the most important in my proposal — finding out where the first documented illustration is definitely the most key. Unfortunately, most art created in the dark ages was destroyed, but art was recovered from the Egyptians, their art depicting the person going to the afterlife (hieroglyphics). In East China they started to use the popular method — that was carried throughout until the 17th century — the woodblock method.
This website is definitely one of the best sources I have acquired for this unit. It goes into detail about the history of different eras and how they used illustration; for example it not only talks about the earliest illustration, but also when the Christian faith began to make its way into the Roman empire “In these early times, when Christians were still being persecuted, most Christian Roman art remained (literally) part of an underground culture” However, when the the Christian faith was finally accepted, the need for Christian art increased throughout the land in Rome – their Pagan faith being over-taken by a faith they thought was a sinful against their nation.
Though this website would be very helpful with explaining the history of illustration, it is simply too much so I took out the key sections that seemed eye-catching to me and will link more to my research project.
Though this website doesn’t have a large mass of information as the other website, but it does get across its point. It talks about how propaganda was used to “establish authority; create fear; use humour; appeal to patriotism; to be selective and create a ‘version’ of the truth” And that was exactly what propaganda was used for in WW1/WW2. An illustration on the website show a propaganda artist depicting the Kaiser (The Germans) as a demon, crushing Berlin with his hands, showing that Berlin will never be freed from Germany’s grip, which was an obvious tactic to fuel hate against the Germans – it worked. However, while Harry Furniss went for the more “create-fear” approach, some artists preferred to make satire propaganda to alleviate from the fear that was stirring up. Bruce Bairnsfather — instead of targeting the enemy and using propaganda against them — he used his own soldiers. This “was highly effective for morale and patriotism at home and in the trenches” and shown that humour still survives, even amidst the horrors of war.
Using satire for propaganda seems like the most effective use of propaganda – bringing in not only recruitment, but also taking away from the seriousness from war; both bad and good. If you make war a joke, people will be more inclined to also not take it seriously and some people will join the war effort, thinking it will be a simplistic experience. But Bairnsfather’s art — though satire — still got across real experiences of soliders; getting shot at any given moment and bombs getting dropped at any given moment. But propaganda wasn’t just used a recruitment technique, it was used for children also. Using a child-friendly cartoon style so catch the children’s attention and encourage the children to donate money to help the war-effort; the illustrations themselves hid the cruel reality of war so they do not scare the children. However, I think they should show children what is happening in war — maybe not in graphic detail — but show them that war is dangerous.
The piece of research is definitely key for my presentation and academic report as it talks about the different uses of propaganda within the war era and how it influenced people to join the war and effort, along with encouraging children to donate money for the war effort. This source is definitely one of the best sources that talk about how propaganda was used during the the great wars. Typically when you think of propaganda during the WW, you think of the anti-german propaganda or the recruiting propaganda, but it is more than that – as this article tells us.
Like the previous website , it does not go into a lot of detail as the first research link, but it definitely gets its point across. Some people still think propaganda was only used during the great wars – that is not the case. This journal excerpt by Ralph D. Casey talks about how propaganda is “The battle for men’s minds” and is as “old as human history”. This opinion I do agree with; a large majority of people seem to think that propaganda was not used before the great wars because no-one in the earlier eras didn’t really have a name for it, but it was very much before the World Wars. Casey talks about ancient Greece and how even”Though (The Greeks) lacking such tools as the newspaper, the radio, and the movies, could use other powerful engines of propaganda to mold attitudes and opinions. The Greeks had games, the theater, the assembly, the law courts, and religious festivals, and these gave opportunity for propagandising ideas and beliefs” This was a very popular method to influence a group of people: using plays to get across their opinions/social opinion/political opinion – it definitely worked. The Greeks were very good at influencing the minds of men, even without the technology we have today.
Each period of time has not been without propaganda, a point Casey made. When the Spanish Armada was prominent throughout the 1500’s, Sir Walter Raleigh talked about the propaganda they produced, stating they published “in sundry languages, in print, great victories in words, which they pleaded to have obtained against this realm; and spread the same in a most false sort over all parts of France, Italy, and elsewhere.” but in reality they suffered a large loss, however, they didn’t want to tell their country due to their pride.
Then WW1 came around and due to their advance machinery (for the 20th century that it) and “dramatized the power and triumphs of propaganda. And both fascism and communism in the postwar years were the centers of intense revolutionary propaganda. After capturing office, both fascists and communists sought to extend their power beyond their own national borders through the use of propaganda” But as Casey stated in the paragraph after next, the began to use”Propaganda as promotion”. Propaganda throughout the ages has been about influencing a crowd of people, using fear or religion, but when the World Wars’ came about — it still kept its name, as British and German’s were still creating propaganda to make the other side look weak — but it became more about promotion to recruit people for the war effort.
This journal will definitely help with my academic report, along with my presentation as it talks about key points where propaganda was used. I picked out the parts in the journal I deemed useful for my academic report – getting information which moves away from WW propaganda is very useful, so finding a source that talks about something other than WW will definitely be helpful (but it can be difficult finding sources that talk about propaganda as propaganda became more popularised in WW).
This website gave a very brief summary of how illustration has changed throughout history; the Ancient Greek’s made illustration to honour their Gods, humankind and their culture. They also used illustrations to show heroes and funerals – they used illustration for almost everything. As I stated in one of my previous paragraphs, they also used illustrations to promote their political/religious views. Then the Middle Ages arrived,using illustration for purely religious purposes, creating manuscripts. However, it is when the Renaissance hit did illustration change, a new mechanical printing process was invented, changing the course of illustration for the future; this is when the woodcut became popular. Woodcuts made illustration more wide set, not just to the upper-class but to the lower class; everyone could now experience art.
The Industry Revolution came about, more work being printed out and seen across the world. Thomas Bewick is one of the famous artists within this era still used the woodblock method, but his printing of commercial illustration that was used for many purposes, including works for children, educational materials for schools, natural history plates, and title-page art for books, which led to the creation of Newspapers.
Why I chose this website as one of my research sources is because of the simplicity of it: not many words, but still gets the point across (something I should learn). I took out the parts that will help me with my academic report and will help me solve the questions I have.
Propaganda has been used to evoke both positive and negative messages, which this link shows. This article shows the different pieces of propaganda work and how they were used to influence a certain motive. Most of the propaganda work that is featured on this website was from the World War as that was when it was most prominent and used excessively.
Why I chose this source specifically is because it shows the most hard hitting propaganda pieces – be it from a smoking ad replicating a game to show what smoking can do to you, to ads that play with the emotions of mother’s and state “If you don’t buy war bonds your children will be affected” and show a child wearing a Nazi hat. It will also let me give my opinion on how this propaganda was used in such a harsh way – or good way if it is an ad which helps people, not play with their emotions and almost essentially force them to give their money to a war effort.
The next source I collected was a video which talks about the history of illustration in depth, along with the artists that influenced the modern world and the technology that changed illustration for the future. There are two parts to this video – the other talking about the modern day use of illustration, which I did not want.
Why I chose this source was because the video contained everything I needed for this unit – apart from the use of propaganda throughout history. This video talks about the artists that influenced the modern world and the technology developments. Knowing about the artists that changed illustration for the future is very important as it lets me – as a creative – understand how illustration has changed. It is also important as for my FMP I would like to replicate an artists style for a book – though this is an idea only.
The journal by Phillip M. Taylor has a lot of information to do with propaganda, which is great, but also bad. Because there is so much information within this journal, it is proving quite difficult to pick just one excerpt from this journal. So I decided to narrow down to one section of the journal, which is the Middle Ages. This journals strays from the point fairly often, never talking about propaganda but other affairs, which is very stressful for me.
Propaganda was used mostly for religious purposes in the Middle Ages, the most popular propagandist being Alfred, The King Of Wessex who used propaganda against his enemies, The Vikings. “Despite the successes of Alfred, King of Wessex, against the Norse invaders, a Scandinavian monarchy was established in England in 1016. Alfred, however, had proved himself to be an able propagandist through his construction and consolidation of the idea of the English nation, as celebrated in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, and his organization of national defenses against the Viking invaders.” Taylor does not continue talking about how Alfred used propaganda, but I can get get a picture of how it was used. As the Vikings began to settle in England and build their Pagan church, Alfred decided to use religious propaganda against the Vikings, most likely stating that Christianity is the only religion to be allowed within English Isles. As England was a very Christian country, Alfred wanted to push his beliefs onto the Vikings, pretty much threatening them with “If you don’t convert to my religion, we will kill you”. Monks under the regime of Alfred re-wrote Old Norse books while also burning Old Norse books that talked about the Scandinavian Pagan Gods and not their God. Religion was very important to The Vikings, along with the Brits so both sides would most likely use propaganda to influence their political views.
This PDF document contains propaganda throughout Nazi Germany, using both fear and religion. The PDF file is split into 4 different parts: Making a leader, which shows propaganda illustration that influenced people to vote for Adolf Hitler; Rallying a Nation with prideful propaganda, almost giving Germany a false sense of security to fuel Adolf Hitler’s motive; Indoctrinating The Youth, convincing the nation’s children to join the war effort; Defining The Enemy, making fear-mongering art that shows the people of Germany that if they are Jewish they will be surely punished, making people go into hiding and finally Writing The News, making up false stories to brainwash the German people.
All the pieces of propaganda shown within this specific document are all very useful for this unit. Most of the art that is shown within this PDF are mostly anti-religious towards the Jews. It is quite obvious that Hitler wanted the nation to hate the Jewish faith, believing that the Jews were the reason that the World War One happened. The propaganda that was produced by Hitler and was showing that Jews were a bad group of people certainly worked, but it worked mostly out of fear. If people knew a Jewish person they would tell a German Officer the location of said person as they fear if they do not tell anyone, they themselves will get punished.
A book that I found in the library talked about the History of Art, so if I knew where to look I would find some information to do with Illustration/Propaganda. However, as the book was really lengthy it took a fair amount of time to find information to do with both Illustration and Propaganda. Though the source was only a page long, it contained enough information of how propaganda was used to influence the Mexican Revolution, as quoted in the book “Siquerios (whose most remarkable works were painted much later) drew up a formal ‘Declaration of Social, Political And Aesthetic Principles” In 1910 (when the Mexican Revolution started) 90% of Mexican peasants had been dispossessed of their land were forced to live under oppressive landlords; that is when Siquerios began to use art to influence the Mexican people to take their land back – it worked.
When I first picked up this source I did not think it would have enough information – or have any information to do with my project…I was proven wrong. Not only did this source learn me something new about how propaganda was used throughout history, it also talked in depth about how it was used (unlike the other source by Taylor) It is great to find other information that move away from WW1/WW2 propaganda as people still think propaganda was used within those times only. It is nice to prove those people wrong.