You've seen Michael Deas' work. You probably didn't recognize it at the time, because who thinks about the illustrator, right? His work has been on the cover of TIME and countless other publications. He's done postage stamps. He did this very iconic image to the left.
One of my college professors once said it was like having a classical painter living in modern times, which is pretty accurate. Deas' work is the modern standard of a very old aesthetic, an aesthetic which I hope to master some day.
This concept of an illustrator whose work is so pervasive in our society yet whose identity is unknown to the general public is not hard for me to understand. Every so often, someone will poke their head into my studio while I'm working (which I encourage; it's a open invitation) and ask about my work. Usually, they like what they see, but can't quite seem to understand it; how my work is used, why the pieces are so large. "Do you sell your work?" I pull out a Magic Card and show how my work is published. Then they start to understand, but often say something like, "You know, I never really thought about where those pictures came from."
Most people don't. But just think about all the images you see during the day. Probably thousands. Someone had to create those images: a photographer, a designer, hopefully an illustrator. The images didn't just appear. There are still artists out there.