Cloth 2, Mezzotint.
Right now I am working towards an MA (Printmaking) degree as well as being a freelance illustrator. Before I started the MA course I saw very little distinction between Illustration and Fine art, maybe because a lot of my personal influences fall under the 'Fine Art' category. Of course, I understood the commercial nature of illustration, and that an illustration is destined for reproduction through various forms: books, internet, posters, etc. However, I also felt that a lot of 'art' was extremely commercial; hyped up into a media frenzy, with its success or failure based on how much media attention it gained, and although with most artwork there is only one original (prints being the exception!) many pieces of fine art are also reproduced in the forms previously listed.
Now I am approximately half way through my MA and although I have learned a few more differences, (and I'm still learning!) in my mind the two practices go hand in hand and influence each other. I've noticed there is sometimes a certain stigma amongst some fine artists attached to work that is deemed 'commercial'. However, I am greatly encouraged by the amount of cross over I see between Book Arts, Illustration, Graphic Design, and Fine Art. I'm very happy to have one foot in College and one foot in the industry, I hope that the two parts of my life meet harmoniously in time for my degree show! :D