22/7/2016 - 12:44 pm

Why The Profession Of Fashion Illustrator Is So Popular? Interview With 6 Young Illustrators

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Why is the profession of fashion Illustrator so popular these days? Where can you study this profession? What is the future for a fashion Illustrator? We interviewed six young fashion illustrators from around the world - Gizem Kazancıgil, Sunny Gu, Anna Halarewicz, Stephanie Surtida, Roberto Sánchez, and Juliane Hennes and asked them about six important issues!

Gizem Kazancıgil

 

 

Tell us about your background. When did you become interested in fashion? Have you studied illustration, or are you self-taught? If so where, and what did you study?
I have drawn fashion illustrations and I have wanted to become a fashion designer since my childhood, but I chose instead to study urban and regional planning at Yıldız Technical University. While I was at university, I worked as an intern with a successful designer (Gamze Saracoglu), and I got a chance to observe the design process up close. Unfortunately, I realized this wasn’t for me because I always wanted to draw, and I didn't have the right education for design. The Internet is a great opportunity for everyone, however, so I used it to develop my skills further. I have observed the changes in fashion illustration and am still fascinated by everything connected to

Is your drawing exclusively on paper, or do you use digital tools, too? What is your creative process?
I use the both of them. First I draw it on paper, then I make  a digital painting using photoshop. Adobe photoshop is my supplementary program. I like to follow innovations. Sometimes I use only traditional methods. I think this is helping me to improve.

 

 

How important was it for you, as a fashion illustrator, to understand fashion, with everything it involves (materials, seams, styles, history, etc.)? Did you study this, was this a passion you followed, what was the learning process?
Everything about fashion is important to me. I try to learn new things every day such as fashion trends, timeless designs, the evolution of clothes, the iconic figures who have dominated the fashion industry, and so on. Fashion is always changing, for this reason there are lots of things to learn, and it is so exciting.

Who are your muses or your subjects?
Women who are self-confident and funny are my muses. Audrey Hepburn is at the top of the list. Also, historic cities which are also lovely places inspire me (Positano, Provence, and our very own Cunda).

Who are your favorite designers in terms of personal inspiration?
First of all Coco Chanel, such an amazing woman. Frida Giannini, Erdem, Isabel Marant, Christian Louboutin, and Tom Ford.

Which publications/brands have you been working with?
For now, I'm working on small projects. I am at the beginning of my journey, and I try to improve myself every day. My biggest dream is working with big brands. I have received offers from some brands to work as a fashion illustrator for specific events, but I couldn't go for a one day assignment because I live in Istanbul. The brands which share my drawing in social media are Ralph & Russo, Marchesa, Roberto Cavalli, Zuhair Murad, Liz Martinez, Berta Bridal, For Love & Lemons. 

 

Sunny Gu

 

 

Tell us about your background. When did you first become interested in fashion? Have you studied illustration, or are you self-taught? If so where, and what did you study?
I fell in love with doodling when I was two, and drawing and painting have always been my favorite things to do. But I never thought about being a professional artist when I was little. I grew up in a very conservative Chinese family, pursuing a career in art was not on the family’s agenda. My family and I immigrated to the U.S. when I was 13. During elementary school and high school, I had a few teachers who tried to persuade me to take my hobby seriously. Upon graduating from high school, my photography teacher pushed me to submit a portfolio to an Art College. With no formal training, I lacked self-confidence. But, to my surprise, I got in! And my dream of becoming a professional illustrator started. I learned about the general illustration field during my years at the Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles. One day I was in the school library and randomly flipped through a fashion illustration book. I was immediately inspired and knew that was exactly what I wanted to do!

Do you draw exclusively on paper, or do you use digital tools, too? What is your creative process?
For most of my illustrations, I paint them in watercolor. I love the vibrancy and unpredictable nature of watercolor. Occasionally I use graphite or acrylic paint to render some special textures. I also create digital art for surface design and textiles.

 

 

How important was it, for you, as a fashion illustrator, to understand fashion, with everything it involves (materials, seams, styles, history, etc.)? Did you study this, was it a passion that you followed, what was the learning process?
I think it's necessary to know about this field if you decide to work in it. I'm passionate about art and fashion, so when it comes to learning, I’m always driven by curiosity and interest. This learning process is a habit, a part of my daily routine.

Who are your muses or your subjects?
My work is always about women, their femininity, beauty, and elegance.

Who are your favorite designers, the ones who inspire you?
Wow, I have too many! Every fashion season, I'm inspired by designs from different designers. Some of my favorites are Dolce & Gabbana, Chanel, Dior, Marchesa, Valentino.

Which publications/brands have you been working with?
I have been commissioned by the likes of Condé Nast, Vogue Magazine, Teen Vogue, ELLE Magazine , InStyle, Bloomingdales, Macy's, Nordstrom, Versace, and Dolce & Gabbana's Swide Ma.

 

Anna Halarewicz

 

 

Tell us about your background. When did you become interested in fashion? Have you studied illustration, or are you self-taught? If so where, and what did you study?
Fashion was not in the circle of my interests, I was more into the people that I was painting. But everything changed when I saw Alexander McQueen's Horn of Plenty show, in 2009, for the first time. It was an incredible revelation for me, a spectacle ... real art and not just a fashion show. I haven't studied illustration, I graduated in Graphic Arts at the Art Academy in Wrocław.

Do you draw exclusively on paper, or do you use digital tools, too? What is your creative process?
I mostly paint on paper, sometimes I use my tablet to compose a picture from a few illustrations ... But I just can't resist the pleasure of physical contact with the texture of paper and the smell of paint. My work day starts with coffee, and when I sit down and start to paint, it suddenly turns out that it is already 2:00 am. It is a very immersive process.

How important is it, for you, as a fashion illustrator, to understand fashion, with everything it involves (materials, seams, styles, history, etc.)? Did you study this, was it a passion you followed, what was the learning process?
I have a lot of knowledge about the history of fashion. If you are interested in something, then it is a natural process that you want to know more about it. But I haven't studied the history of fashion. For a short period of time I studied fashion design, but it wasn't for me. Speaking personally, my perception of fashion is different, I am not looking at it as something built on a "frame", but as something far more sensual.

 

 

Who are your muses or your subjects?
For many years my great muse was Monica Bellucci. Later - as I have written - I fell in love with everything that was created by McQueen. I also love Paolo Roeversi's photography, and I am inspired by the beauty of Guinevre van Seemus. But these fascinations keep changing, something new comes up constantly ... fortunately :)


Who are your favourite designers, the ones who inspire you?
I published a catalogue of my drawings this year. They have been created since 2009 and are dedicated to Alexander McQueen's Horn of Plenty show that year. That show is no longer just an inspiration, it is an obsession, I go back to it every year, and each time I perceive something new. Also adorable are the latest collections by Gucci, they are very picturesque, the colours and textures. Also the atmosphere of Valentino’s haute couture creations suit me perfectly.

Which publications/brands have you been working with?
I collaborate mainly with Polish and French brands. The magazines include: Twój Styl, Harpers Bazaar, Elle, Glamour, Newsweek, and OOB Magazine. And the brands are: Dr. Irena Eris, Tatuum, Bizuu, Kinnarps.

 

Stephanie Surtida

 

 

Tell us about your background. When did you become interested in fashion? Have you studied illustration, or are you self-taught? If so where, and what did you study?
I first became interested in fashion right before I graduated from high school. When the time came for me to choose what college I wanted to go to, I decided to go to FIDM and study fashion design. I found that my favorite course throughout my education was fashion illustration. I also enjoyed sewing, draping, and a little bit of designing, but drawing was what resonated most with me. I wish I had taken more fashion illustration courses, because even after graduating from FIDM I wasn't all that good. All I had focused on was proportion and the 9-head rule to drawing a figure, so I didn't have a style that I really liked. I wanted to learn how to draw fluidly, so I literally had to re-teach myself how to draw with the help of YouTube videos and other fashion illustration books that I purchased.

Do you draw exclusively on paper, or do you use digital tools, too? What is your creative process?
It depends. I really can't stick to one medium, because I get bored easily. Most of my work these days is done on paper. But sometimes I like to draw straight from my Wacom tablet if I have an idea that only would look best if done digitally. My creative process is a little unpredictable; I can get inspired out of nowhere by a color, or people watching, or from body movements, texture, or clothing. As soon as I'm hooked on something, all the elements start flowing together naturally. All I need is a piece of paper to get started.
How important is it, for you, as a fashion illustrator, to understand fashion, with everything it involves (materials, seams, styles, history, etc.)? Did you study this, was it a passion you followed, what was the learning process?
Well I guess learning the fundamentals of fashion like fabric, garment construction, how clothes correctly sit on the body are essential. These were all things I learned in college. But I didn't fully understand how important they all were until I started getting experience in the fashion industry, because they are all easily overlooked. Knowing this and learning more in depth about it all as I continue to work in this industry definitely helps me to be more conscious of the fashion illustrations I create.
Who are your muses or your subjects?
I've always loved drawing Rumi Neely of Fashion Toast. Her style and awkward poses are just so unique and dramatic. She must think I'm a creeper since I'm always tagging her on Instagram on the posts I draw of her. (Lol!) I also love Lily Rose Depp's look, and slouchy poses. I tend to gravitate towards moody and sensual girls.

 

 

Who are your favorite designers, the ones who inspire you?
To name a few: Chanel, Balmain, Alexis Mabille, Zuhair Murad, Gucci, and Alice and Olivia.

Which publications/brands have you been working with?
I'm currently working on my own projects for the summer which include my own solo exhibitions at interesting locations other than at art galleries. I just had one at the beginning of the year, held at a laundromat in downtown Los Angeles. To my surprise, it was a success. I was noticed by LA Weeky and WGSN, which for me was a big accomplishment.

 

Roberto Sánchez

 

 

Tell us about your background. When did you become interested in fashion? Have you studied illustration, or are you self- taught? If so where, and what did you study?
I started to have an interest in fashion around 2011, after I watched an Alexander McQueen show. It definitely changed my perception of the fashion industry, and all the work involved. I'm self-taught, I've learned a lot from observation and a lot of practice. I think experience is the best way to learn.

Do you draw exclusively on paper, or do you use digital tools, too? What is your creative process?
I always start with paper, that's the best way I can develop my ideas. Later on I go with digital processes. For me it's important to find a balance between the two of them.

 

 

How important was it, for you, as a fashion illustrator, to understand fashion, with everything it involves (materials, seams, styles, history, etc.)? Did you study this, was it a passion you followed, what was the learning process?
Well, it's very important because I think any professional needs to know about the background of the the field he’s working in - epecially in fashion, where there are so many changes all the time. The history of fashion illustration has always fascinated me, the way it has been a fundamental tool for the fashion industry and the way it has shaped a whole generation. I usually read books about fashion illustrators and their experience to learn more. About what they wanted to express and the context they lived and grew in. Everything I've learned has come from an avid curiosity and passion.

Who are your muses or your subjects?
I don't particularly have any muses. I do get inspired by certain collections, or fashion moments. I could say that I admire the work of creative people such as René Gruaú, David Downton, and Tim Walker, to mention a few.

Who are your favorite designers, the ones who inspire you?
Raf Simons, Nicolas Ghesquiere, Rei Kawakubo, Martin Margiela...

Which publications/brands have you been working with?
I've worked with GLAMOUR México, and I've collaborated with publications like Lutefisk Magazine, Reflex Homme, NOTION Magazine. I've done special commissions for Les Hommes, Moisés Nieto, and ODD NY.

 

Juliane Hennes

 

 

Tell us about your background. When did you become interested in fashion? Have you studied illustration, or are you self- taught? If so where, and what did you study?
Fashion has always been my obsession, from a very early age. When I was small I once stole an issue of Vogue from a doctor’s waiting room because the cover mesmerized me. Even though my mother was furious, I refused to take it back. So, yes, fashion has always been a very strong factor in my life. I gave up illegal activities after this incident though!
After school I studied Fashion Design in Düsseldorf and South Africa and finished with a Master’s in Fashion Design at Istituto Marangoni in Milan, where I started to work as a fashion designer. To work as a fashion illustrator is something that I never anticipated, it mostly just happened along the way. I have never actually studied illustration. Ever since I could hold a pencil I’ve been drawing, on paper, on tablecloths in restaurants (again to my mother’s frustration not only on paper ones), walls, my clothes, my body … you name it, I drew on everything.

Do you draw exclusively on paper, or do you use digital tools, too? What is your creative process?
I do fashion and beauty drawings exclusively by hand on paper. I start with pencil and then color with Polychromos and watercolor. Sometimes I alternate these steps and draw over an already printed work again. I like the effect of different layers in a drawing. Depending on the picture (and my mood) I even draw with perfume and makeup. But I use very few fancy tools. Over the years I have eliminated more and more pencils because I actually didn’t use them. I'd say that right now the majority of my work is realized with only a handful of pencils. For the Anita drawings – my figurine - I start on paper as well, but I accessorize her digitally afterwards. That’s as digital as I get. I have a great admiration for digital artists but no knowledge in this field. I’m pretty old-school when it comes to drawing, and I guess it’ll stay that way. Pencil, paper - sounds like a party to me!

How important was it, for you, as a fashion illustrator, to understand fashion, with everything it involves (materials, seams, styles, history, etc.)? Have you studied this, was it a passion you followed, what was the learning process?
During my fashion studies I learned how to sew and how to make a pattern. To be honest I cannot say if the knowledge of how to construct a dress impacted my drawings. If you work more in the technical field it is of crucial importance of course. If you have to communicate a design to a seamstress for example you have to know all these things. Fashion illustration on the other hand is more of an art form. You communicate an atmosphere and a spirit, not necessarily a pattern.

 

 

Who are your muses or subjects?
I do have an unhealthy passion for old movies. Especially looking at the styles of the ‘60s and ‘70s I feel that there is an additional aspect to the outfits apart from color and shape. Like an additional magic dimension. That’s the difference between retro and vintage. I am enormously inspired by that. Whenever I have a bit of a down day one of these movies gives me fuel again. And for the muses, I am always inspired by cool women, from Iris Apfel to Nicki Minaj. I love proud girls with opinions. So when I talk about inspiration it is more about a mood set right, instead of seeing a pretty picture to copy.

Who are your favorite designers, the ones who inspire you?
I have a strong retro tendency, I love geometric shapes and bold patterns. Drawing-wise my inspiration is not so much designers or brands but are rather outfit- or collection-related. Recently I have been obsessed with Alessandro Michele for Gucci.

Which publications/brands have you been working with?
I’m pretty new to the game, but my experiences have been amazing so far. Clients who contact me naturally do so because they like my work, meaning that there is very little need for negotiation or adjustments during the process. Basically I am on the same page with my clients before they even call me. After all it is art, so either you like a particular style or you don’t. Every collaboration so far has been a very smooth, harmonious, and positive experience. That’s a luxury especially in today’s working environment, and I appreciate that every day. Apart from private inquiries most of my clients are cosmetic companies and cosmetic production companies. I think you realize during the process what your style works for best … advertising, editorial, packaging, etc. A really nice moment for me was to find a drawing of mine at Sephora in NYC; I drew an eyeliner set on the box for the makeup brand Ardency Inn. That was the first time I felt the connection between me drawing in my room and a product seen by the real world.

 

Read 1977 times Last modified on 1/2/2018 - 3:00 pm
Kseniya Segina

Journalist, photographer, traveller, member of the Union of artists of Russia. I live in Russia, but work in Milan, Paris and Barcelona also, as fashion and streetstyle photographer. I have huge experience in interviewing people, writing articles about art, fashion, movies, music and events, because in the past I was an editor in a magazine for teens.

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