Clip art is a thing of modern times more or less. In dragon clip art you may find silly cartoon child’s depictions. But when did the legendary beast combine into small decorative artist’s creations?
It evolved from other depictions of dragons mainly in medieval timeline of Europe. Dragons were portrayed on shields and banners. The mighty beast was seen as a symbol of power. But the myth of the dragon has exited since the beginning of time notably in ancient Rome and Greece. But around that time, China had their own version of the dragon. It was of course the snake-like elongated pictures mainly depicted in fine Chinese art.
Returning to how clip art ties into the legendary dragon, we look at the time when mass production of dragon clip art started a rage. It really took off in the mid-nineteen-nineties about a decade before the introduction of the PC and the Apple Macintosh.
During this time was the start of pop culture. With the innovative advancement of computer software, mass production of clip at was possible. Microsoft Word was the medium that mainly produced clip art. Unfortunately a report was released at the end of 2014 that Microsoft was doing away with them. Nevertheless, you can still find them in Word 2019.
There is a relatively big demand for dragon clip art even today. Basic dragon art still exists in other forms: cartoons, tattoos, video games and especially in fantasy related things. But how has this very ancient beast survived so long even to the point of affecting child’s toys and picture books?
In pop-culture, they are described as “cool” or “rad.” It’s odd how such a symbol of ruthless evil and power has been adopted into modern times to be admired so much and made to be appealing.
Clip art historically has been used for businesses for logos and on a totally different spectrum, for stickers you would find in a kindergarten’s class.
Mass production and distribution of clip art began with companies like T/maker. Unlike Microsoft, T/maker used an alternative method with a system called WriteNow. It was drawn up by the modern business mogul Steve Jobs, the founder of Macintosh.
There are two kinds of clip art formats that are used to make dragon art. The first one called bitmap was used by Apple. This method, however, became block-like and checkered when the image was expanded.
The succeeding format is called vector-graphics. It came into play in 1983 when the the original one-sided floppy disks were used. This technology was soon outmoded with the creation of the integration of the vector art system with what is called a Graphical User Interface which is simply making use of imagery to interact with things like Windows for instance.
But dragons that were popular thrived in other realms. In the 1990’s dragons were making a comeback in a wide range of forms. In the world of literature, dragon were making a mark specifically in the 1980’s and the 1990’s.
The dragon phase fizzled out somewhat in 2000. That being said, fantasy has declined in fascination except for examples like Harry Potter and Game of Thrones. Which is a shame because I like that genre the most.
Before working on this post, I had no idea that dragon clip art and clip art alone, had such a rich and in depth history. As I said, most dragon art is geared for children. We’ve all seen those smiling, laughing cartoon clip art images. Now that’s all nice and fine. But what about us adults? I’m sure there could be more serious classic-looking depictions to choose from.
Technology and lore has combined to make dragon clip art famous. Today most clip art is for commercial purposes such as logos, insignia, banners and magazine caricatures.Very few clip art pieces are for recreational reasons. The only other narrow exception would be skin tattoos.
So there you have it. A brief rundown of the history and examples of clip art as well as an explanation of how dragons and clip art relates.
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