Friends and I have been having a discussion on Facebook about what constitutes fine art verses illustration. An artist was told by a gallery owner that some of her work was not Fine Art but Illustration and accepted what he felt was fine art and sent her out the door with her hand painted ink and water color originals. She was hurt and confused as to how that could be true of her original works of art, long story short it was, of course, not true.
“Illustration is a unique art form that is defined not by its medium, but by its context. Illustration finds its home in the public sphere of popular media. With a rich history and a modern, contemporary outlook, illustration brings life to concepts and stories through image-making. Whether created digitally or by hand, an illustration can be both a masterful work of art and a practical business application.” http://www.uarts.edu/…/camd-cross-college…/illustration for a definition of Fine Art http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fine_art In a nutshell from the dictionary “fine art noun
: a type of art (such as painting, sculpture, or music) that is done to create beautiful things
: an activity that requires skill and care”
Only the artist can decide such things. It is fine art if created for the purpose of beauty and expression and that fine art, if the artist so choses to lend the work to illustration, then it becomes a fine art illustration.
A gallery owner should be more like a gardener. A gardener does not worry about their mature plants, they focus on the young tender plants to see they take root and make it to maturity for all to enjoy. As an artist keep in mind it is the fruits of your labor that puts food on their table.