Hey fashion lovers,
As the world continues to be infatuated with the fashion industry in hopes to claim a piece in the ever changing industry, it seems to be a box of sorts that encase specific careers in the industry. You know, the “fashion designer”, “the model”, “the creative director”, “the fashion editor” etc. etc…but there are other fab professions in the fashion industry. I see and hear a lot that people have a hard time “breaking into the industry”, but I wonder if they ever consider going a different direction? Not to say that you have to change your passion just to get in, but just be open to various opportunities and resources that may also spark your interest. Since I’m an artist and have found much joy in drawing since I was a kid, I particularly love this one….. “Fashion Illustrator”. I’m pretty sure you’ve all heard the title here and there, but ever really look into their role in the fashion industry?
Fashion illustration has been around for nearly 500 years and once served as the primary visual component of editorials in most magazines, but has gradually become less popular as these magazines began to use real images of models. As this is true, fashion illustrations have not gone extinct and are still seen as a unique form of art that the fashion industry still rely on. Fashion illustrators can work in a variety of settings such as design studios, fashion houses, and of course as freelancers. Usually fashion illustrators that work alongside designers bring their visions to life for the first time, interpreting their ideas into a visible piece of art. Fashion illustrators also work for companies that produce sewing patterns, where they develop the patterns that will be used to construct garments and illustrate images of what it should look like when complete. These artists can also work for large ad campaigns where their illustrations are used for campaigns that give the companies a unique competitive edge. basically, fashion illustrators wear many hats because they also serve as forecasters as they predict upcoming season trends and even give designers inspiration of what people may be attracted to.
I was happy to be able to ask the phenomenal fashion illustrator, Jacqueline Bissett, for tips and advice for those who may be looking to start a career in fashion illustration. She was very candid and gave great advice and an overall view of what her job is all about. Jacqueline Bissett has over 20 years of experience in her field and has created images for clients such as Givenchy, Elle, Glamour, and many others. Here’s what she dished about being a fashion illustrator and what it takes!
“I think that the most important thing with fashion illustration is passion in what you do. Be passionate about fashion and the new looks that are ever changing and have a natural talent for drawing, figures especially. Draw from life models as much as possible. Combined with an utter devotion for drawing beautiful things in different ways. I LOVE art materials and ‘playing around’ with them to discover new techniques, I’m not so mad on computers but they certainly do have a place for being another ‘tool’.
Don’t worry about being the next ‘big thing’, your style will go out of fashion too quick! Although it’s important to have a recognizable ‘style’, be prepared to move with the times/ fashions – fashion illustration styles, like fashion itself, are forever changing, you have to adapt to keep ahead! The great thing about that is that your interest is kept ‘up’ and you’re always challenged to try new things. If you’re adaptable you’ll get work in many different areas from websites, advertising, magazines, book covers, in house presentations, store promotions, advertising storyboards.
Finally and most importantly is commitment to your work- be prepared to work ALL hours- a deadline is a deadline and sometimes you are given a ridiculously short amount of time to complete a huge amount of work! Stay calm, focused and try your best to keep standards high, even if you’re extremely tired! Oh and when you’ve worked a little and got some commercial jobs ‘under your belt’, get a good agent- mine’s the best!!!”
I hope this helps and inspires anyone who may be considering a career in fashion illustration! Remember, keep your options open! To see some of Jacqueline Bissett’s work, visit HERE
Would you like to know about more careers in fashion? Comments? Questions? Let me know!
|My little “fashion/beauty illustration”…sort of. Portrait I drew of Sam Fine painting Iman.