Fashion Illustration

Fashion Illustration – Where to start

walking giril motif

Good morning, I am back again on Wednesday. We are talking a lot of Fashion Illustration and draw a lot of it. But before we get down to the details of skills, styles and techniques. We need to figure out one important thing: Where to start, and why I am doing this?

I think it is a good point to start with. Why are you drawing Fashion Illustration. Is it a hobby? Are you gonna be serious about it? Is it your childhood dream to ever be able to draw fashion? I am not sure what other people have in their mind, but for me it takes some turns before I really serious sit down and want to make it work. According to my own experience, I have some thoughts to share with you.

Start a vision
When we do everything, if you have a vision in your mind, it is a kind of direction to guild you. It is a compass when you get lost in the future, you can always look back at your vision, and get back to the track again. It will be lead you to your future success. What is your vision for your Fashion Illustration? Think about it once a week, twice a week, three times a week. Think it over and over again, what I meant to say is first try to figure out your vision before you do anything else for the illustration. Because believe, I wasted my valuable 10 years not be able to figure that out in time. Now I look back and regret about it. Because I took a long time and energy to turn around to get back to where I want to achieve.

Sometime it will take us sometimes to evolve our vision. Maybe you are young, maybe you have too many tasks in your basket. (you wear many hats like doing many things on your own), and maybe your life’s concentration is somewhere else. But if you decide to work on Fashion Illustration, then we need to make our vision visible. You need to write down your vision, speak it out to yourself and outside world what YOUR VISION is. It is a bit scary, isn’t it? No, when you dare to dream, dream will come to you.

Suspend your ideas
You know what just happened? In order to get the word “suspend”, I ran into my study room to get my three dictionaries. A New English-Chinese Dictionary, Pocket-woordenboek Nederlands, and Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Thesaurus, Sounds a bit ridiculous, doesn’t it? You know that we have different background. Accept it as it is, work on what you have and make the best out of it. Back to the suspend your ideas, sometimes we get stuck with the ideas, we can not get anywhere further, it is the dead end. Like the way you did previously with Fashion Illustration, you just had enough with the way how it progressed, or you are not happy what it turned out, or you had a long time drawing dogs or cats, and now suddenly you want to switch to Fashion Illustrations, and it does not get easier for you to switch. Just take a little break for a few days and get some other fresh thoughts and inspirations by doing something totally different.

Make a business model out of your vision
What do you mean business model? You may ask, I am an artist, talk about business and money makes me feel uncomfortable. I am a pure artist, just concentrate on my own artwork or illustration in this sense. Let other people do the business side job for me. If you think like this way, you think you are so good that there are many agencies lined up at your door to sell your art already, it is pretty much great. But not many of us are at these stage yet. So we are now know what our vision is, (it can be revised according to the progress along the way). And we will make sure to make it work. Make a list of things which can help you.

You can do it a SWOT analysis, it seems my RSM school of Management study helps me thinking now. You need to find out your strength, your weakness, opportunity and threats. Make a list include these four items, and turn more threats and weakness to more opportunities and strength.

You can also start as make a mindset brainstorming note like this: Plus, Minus, Grow (make it bigger), and Discard (get rid of). I learned it from my Creativity lesson during my InHolland University, What I mean by plus. From my lesson, you need make more ideas similar to your original ideas. You say Fashion Illustration, what is the similar ideas to this, observe, draw, sketch, colour, inspirational board, get ideas on the paper with drawings etc etc.

How about Minus, let’s get back to Fashion Illustration, let’s break down to pieces, minus each time. It is about body (gesture drawing), face, hands, feet, eyes, hair, legs, garment, top, trench, boots, t-shirt, dress, textile rendering, lines, colour block etc etc.

What about Grow for Fashion Illustration, it is bigger than itself. It is visual communication, it is artwork, it is a concept for designer to show to the world what they have in mind. You can also think Grow can be grow anything related to Fashion Illustration. Grow your network, grow your creativity, grow your own interest in fashion.

Last but not least Discard, everyone knows what it means, but get back to the Fashion Illustration. What shall we do? Get rid of something means really get rid of it if you want your vision come true. First of all, get rid of the bad habit. Why someone what to do something like me 10 years ago, now just get re-started, because of the bad habit. You always think the day will come when you feel like it. No, it must happen now. The day will never come when you don’t put everything on the agenda. Take it or leave it. If you decide to take this chance to make it work on your Fashion Illustration and you made a vision, then stick with it and make it work. It is worth to get rid of the bad habit to postpone to another decade. Get rid of fearful thoughts. You may think I can not draw blind. I can not draw from my memory, And people said that I draw not as professional as the magazine. I had that 10 years ago when I just started to draw, I was just getting started. But put off because I was so afraid that I am not good enough. Now you know what LOOK AT YOUR OWN WORK, you know where you stand. You can compare what you want, but you need to be firmly look for constructive suggestions and do not wash off your thoughts by criticism. Even the famous artist they got criticism all the time. Like one of my favourite Chinese ink artist WU GUAN ZHONG, people just could not stand that he has something unique, he draw Chinese ink painting with colours, many people said it is not Chinese painting. Who cares, it is just art. If you are unique, one of a kind. That’s the way the world needs it. Just go for it.

Hope you enjoyed reading this long article. I wrote this with my three dictionaries next to me, standing on the kitchen floor with bare feet, I need to get my Chinese medicine ready before my breakfast, It needs to turn around evenly. So I did both. I finished what I want to share with you and my medicine is ready after 60 minutes. How nice, good time management and I am happy that I can share with you and I will be healthy again.

I will tell you my vision. I want to publish my own Fashion Illustration book in 2016. And I am starting to work very hard on it. How about yours?



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One Comment

  1. Jacquelien says:

    Mooie column weer!

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