Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Fashion illustrators to follow

Freehand artists, particularly those who use ink or pencil as their preferred tools, will always command my undying respect and adulation. The process of taking a blank page from a clean slate to an immeasurably well-rendered portrait/scene/picture leaves me in awe. I'm that person that has no problem watching an artist complete a piece from start to finish (I mean, the artist probably doesn't like it...) but such is my curiosity for the craft of these talented folk.
This is not to say that I haven't tried my hand at this creative outlet. As a matter of fact, I was the undisputed horse and people sketch artist at my school from kindergarten to third grade. Seriously. If my friends or classmates wanted an equine drawn, they stood in line to request one of my sketches (and I even partook in the more fantastical horsey realms with Pegasus' and unicorn renderings). I even won a district-wide poster drawing competition for third graders. It wasn't until sixth grade that I got a wake-up from a fellow classmate who not so nicely pointed out my shortcomings in drawing realistic things.

"Uh, what's that supposed to be?" the classmate asked me with a sneer prominent on his face as he looked at the circus drawing I was finishing.

"It's a clown. See the face makeup and balloons?" I replied.

"His arm is squiggly...it has no shape. Humans have bones that make our arms not look like jelly. Get lessons." He replied with a smirk.

And I huffed and puffed, nostrils flared, in a fury that someone would speak a harsh word about my abilities. But that art bully was, in fact, a very good artist, and I slowly weaned myself from sketching.

Back to present day. Despite that tragic day, I can still appreciate lovely sketches when I see them, particularly if they are fashion or beauty-centered. So here are some of my favorite illustrators and their art.

Jordi Labanda - This Spanish-born artist has mastered the cartoonish, whimsical sketches that enthrall both girls and women. His pieces show glamorous men and women with perfect features having fun and living a dream life. What's not to love? His designs have been plastered on backpacks, office supplies and clothing. In fact, I used to have a trash bin and pen set with his artwork featured prominently on them, and I recently bought one of his notebooks at Target on a whim.

Amy Smilovic - As founder and head designer of the clothing brand Tibi, Smilovic is used to sketching outfit ideas. The telltale features of Smilovic's sketches include leggy models with featureless faces that have been painted in semi-sheer watercolor tints. And the designer has been known to send custom sketches to a few well-dressed editors and bloggers, capturing them in various outfits. (See: Catherine at Red Carpet Fashion Awards and Style.com editor Nicole Phelps).

David Downton - This English artist - whose work is eponymous with fashion illustration - has seen his designs grace art book covers as well as editorials for magazines, various ads and custom portraits of famous women such as Linda Evangelista, Cate Blanchett, and Paloma Picasso.

Jessica Durant - Durant's work has been featured in various magazines such as Glamour and Country Living, and she also sells many of her prints via her etsy shop so that everyone can have a pretty piece of the action.

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