Iconographers translate revealed scripture and divine truths into visual images, writing--not painting the icon with consecrated brushes, paints, and materials. Ideally, they should be pious individuals trained by holy fathers. Monks and nuns, therefore, have traditionally been the primary source of icons. Most iconographers utside of monasteries today have commercialized the sacred art of iconography.
Iconographers should pray, fast, and avoid worldly excitement during their work. Individual interpretation should be kept to a minimum as their task is to pass on tradition by replicating previous icons within prescribed limits. Works should remain anonymous, but if signed, be inscribed with the words, "By the hand of [name]."