With all eyes on the royal wedding today, and in particular Kate Middleton's wedding dress, I thought I would turn my gaze to the other members of the family. Here's a couple of illustrations of Carole Middleton (mum), wearing a blue Catherine Walker dress. I hope I haven't made her look frumpy....
I've picked up most of the books I had on order from my visit to the libraries a few weeks back and I'm now busy ploughing my way through them. Libraries are wonderful things; how else would I be able to access hundreds of dollars/pounds/euros (delete as appropriate) worth of books without such institutions continuing to be funded by the tax payer? Anyways, here is my current reading list:
AUTHOR: Barnes, Colin
TITLE: Fashion illustration
AUTHOR: Blackman, Cally
TITLE: 100 years of fashion illustration
AUTHOR: Borrelli, Laird
TITLE: Fashion illustration by fashion designers
AUTHOR: Borrelli, Laird
TITLE: Fashion illustration now
AUTHOR: Dawber, Martin
TITLE: Big book of fashion illustration
AUTHOR: Dawber, Martin
TITLE: New fashion illustration
AUTHOR: Nunnelly, Carol A.
TITLE: Fashion illustration school: a complete handbook
Dipping my toes into the social media marketing waters, I posted a copy of my home page image onto the illustration news portal known at the Little Chimp Society on the 20th April. As a result, traffic to my blog has whooshed up from 1 visitor a day (me), to 20 unique visitors. It's hardly going to cause a bottleneck on the information superhighway but it feels like a quick win! All I've got to do now is build upward momentum and increase my loyal audience, or dare I say, fan base in the hope they will regularly return to eagerly read my wonderful prose. I think it's called being 'sticky' or something like that. However since this blog is suppose to showcase my illustration talents, and therefore help me to win commissions, maybe I need to stop writing and start drawing more.
I've now put up my first image which can be found on the home page (and below). It's there to look pretty and reassure myself that I'm not hallucinating about my ability to draw.
The voices in my head tell me I drew it, so it must be true.
In my continuing educational quest into the world of fashion illustration, what book do you think I bought to advance my knowledge? The clue is in the title of the posting dummy. Adam Hughes is not exactly renowned as a fashion illustrator, that's because he isn't one, but he is a big cheese in the comic book world. This book documents his revered cover run on comic titles such as Wonderwoman and Catwoman, where he drew women in only a way a red-blooded hetero would - flat chested women don't exist in his universe. In a fashion world littered with androgyny and a sublimation of the female form in order for clothes to hang 'right' on models, this book celebrates femininity, dynamism and strength, albeit in a slightly wet dream kind of way. The line work, rendering and technical knowhow are supremely precise and the compositions have real impact only artists working in the comic book genre know how to deliver. David Downton's work who I adore (doesn't everybody?), did a fantastic and award winning job on Australian Vogue in depicting Cate Blanchett, and I could see Adam Hughes excelling at something similar if he was ever commissioned to produce a cover on a glossy.
Just so you know, Adam Hughes and David Downton are the guys I want to emulate artistically. No point in aiming low. I will, er, start sharpening my pencil shortly. I mean that metaphorically since I draw with one of those clickerty pencils with replacement leads. That's the technical name for them.
From the local library, the next logical step was to visit the central library with it's vast amount of publications. Unfortunately it was closed due to a big refurbishment job and I contended with a smaller, but no less lovely building where a temporary catalogue had been installed so I could look through its publications.
In the periodicals section, I found a copy of Vogue and Marie Claire, although surprisingly not my favourite Truckers World. Flicking through the erstwhile glossies I was saddened to find copious amounts of photography and very little by way of fashion illustration. In fact on the few occasions I came across some, it was in the background of an advert. In Vogue, there was an article on the history of royal wedding fashion which was populated by fashion illustrations of their time before everything got overtaken by the stills camera. In an age of increasingly costly fashion shoots, I wonder why there has not been a return to illustration to take the place of some photographic spreads. Apart from that, I was also surprised by the number of photographs per square inch of products littering each page. Where in fashion does the maxim 'less is more' exist? I feel sorry for the picture editors who are having to fill up the pages with so much shit - I wished I'd invented Shutterstock!
Actually to be more accurate it is day two - I don't want to start with a factual inaccuracy, otherwise how will I build up trust with the vast untapped readership out there who will become my loyal audience? I began my venture yesterday on a beautiful sunny Wednesday. With my trusty library card of truth (see what I did there? conservative MP? Jonathan Aitken? Forget it), I ventured down to the local municipal building of architectural delight to carry out my in depth research. I perused the electronic library and ordered all the books I could find with fashion illustrator/illustration in the title and now eagerly anticipate their arrival in the coming days and weeks. I also checked out the limited selection of magazines the library archive has to offer. Unfortunately I could not find a copy of Vogue or Elle, but absorbing a copy of Truckers World proved invaluable to my education.
Today, day two, I ate a banana and had an enema.
So what is this blog all about? Well, as an impoverished comic book illustrator I have decided with my limited knowledge of fashion (Burtons, Fosters...), to embark on a full scale onslaught of the fashion industry where my latent talent as a fashion illustrator will hopefully be recognised. This blog will attempt to chronicle my rise to success, or possibly, my descent into abject poverty. So without further ado onwards!