In the school I went to we had two streams, Design and Art (illustration was in the design stream I believe BTW). The attitudes regarding monetization couldn't be more pronounced. Design stream students were raised there with the expectation of landing a professional job with a company after graduation, the art stream students generally expected to find a different job in order to pay for their art. You can't tell me that year after year of artist nurtured thus are at fault for not being able to monetize themselves effectively after leaving school, against a culture that abhors actually having to pay for the work such art entails. The skills don't differ all that much between those art and design streams, the cultural attitudes associated with each do though.
I understand what you mean but again for me this is the difference between a professional artist who earn his life with his work and who's aware of his rights and his work's value and amateur artist. Monetarizing is part of the job of a professional artist, I don't see any contradiction here.
Which is why I added the modifier "to an extent", since I don't think you are wrong. At the same time I don't think the statement contains enough information to define the difference between professional and amateur. As you say it is part of the job, but it doesn't really define the job. Replace the word artist with plumber and you'll see what I mean.
I think this map looks marvelous. Great colors and texture. The little texture in the waters surrounding the ice/snow covered lands is a very nice touch to - might actually be my favorite part of this map.
Working digital doesn't change knowing how to make a good picture/illustration/map or whatever. The knowledge of composition, choice, color and such, really cant be recreated (yet) with a computer. Computers can't make intuitive choices.
The heart of creativity, (and I'm not trying to be poetic) is in that ability to make intuitive choices. It's what sets the masters apart from everyone else making art. Their choices.
The impact of digital does open the industry to people that in the past, would never try to be an artist for a variety of reasons. They don't want to master a medium, like oil, water color, or whatever. They don't have any access to a people that can teach them these things, and learning from books.
Traditionally, if you couldn't master the materials, you wouldn't make it as an artists. Nor would you if you didn't want to move to some place like New York/LA or other art center local where you could network and get work. Now you don't have to do that.
So, more people can be artists. but that doesn't mean more good art.
The more people who are making art, drives down the price for the art. Because it's not as rare, and the technical aspects of making art, are much easier and faster to master when working digitally.
And sometimes, a client just needs art, not great art. And in this day and age, of quick digestion and media over saturation, the amount of time someone spends looking at art, goes way down. The rise of graphic designed based imagery is an example of that. you can create some great art in a program like Illustrator, without being able to draw. Illustrator is more like building an image, than drawing. That is NOT a insult to anyone that uses illustrator. There can be just as much thought about composition and color and balance in using illustrator. But that's the not the main purpose of it, and often not the end results.
Also the traditional areas for illustration, the business are down. 8% of the American population account for most of the book sales in America.
Pricing illustration work has always worked on the idea of you should be paid in accordance to the projected success of the project. If you are doing a map for a book that is going to have 3,000 copies printed compared to a book that is going to have 30,000 copies printed, should you be paid the same? While the first answer is generally yes, because it's going to take the same amount of work to make that map for either book, it also means that when 300,000 copies are printed, you probably want more money.
But if you work off the principal that you should be paid the same amount when they are only doing a small print run, that means they should pay the same regardless of doing a large print run. You can't have it both ways. Trust me, you aren't going to be happy getting paid a fixed rate, when something takes off.
The illustrator for the Harry Potter books was able to get a whole lot more money as the series progressed because her work contributed to the over all success of the series in America (I am not interested in views if you liked the work or not, that's an opinion, not a fact, and for a different discussion).
So, traditional illustration/art purchasers have gone down in number, and doing less business. THAT is a large factor in why illustration doesn't get as much today as it used to. There is some factor of people not really understanding the value of illustration or knowing what it's worth or the work needed to create it.
But the best places to work for, are run by people that know all that. So the lower prices are more a reflection of the state of business than ignorance.
I think some people just don't want to look to closely to the fact they decided to work in an industry that isn't the same as it was even 20 years ago.