What, you might ask, do these famous and infamous people have in common? All of them either wanted to be, studied to be, worked as, or simply acted as illustrators. Gary Cooper came to New York to find fame and fortune in the art business–he failed. Katherine Harris, former Florida Secretary of State who skewed the 2000 election toward George W. Bush, studied one summer at the illustrator’s program at Ringling School. Enrico Caruso made caricatures of famous artists and musicians. George Lincoln Rockwell (at center of the image below), the leader of the American Nazi Party in the 1950s, was an accomplished illustrator and cartoonist, and even won an award from the Society of Illustrators. Pablo Picasso (painted here by Juan Gris) published cartoons in satiric newspapers in France and Spain. (Juan Gris contributed his own cartoons to the satiric L’Assiette au Beurre.) And Tom Hanks, in his first cross-dressing role, played a “graphic artist” (a.k.a. illustrator) on Bosom Buddies.
Can you think of others who gave up the illustrative arts for fame or infamy, fortune or penury?