Knight Time Creations Steampunk Cat

Fantastic Customer Feedback

Feedback

I love doing what I do, I’d be mad not to. It’d be a waste of time if my illustrations didn’t make my customers happy though. I love getting good feedback, the “testimonials” page is all about some of the great comments I’ve had from customers over the years. It never ceases to thrill me, the satisfaction of a job well done.

One of my recent clients, the very charming Mark Keating from a company called Shadowcat Systems, has been writing about me on his blog on the company web page. His latest entry actually showcased an illustration that I sent over to him as a freebie Christmas present. I was really touched that he’d made a big thing out of it! Aww.

I think I should definitely put the link to that page up here, partly so I can go “Hurrah!” but also because it’s nice to share links with good people.

http://shadow.cat/news/archive/2012/december/cat-xmas/

Knight Time Creations Steampunk Cat

Steampunk Cat

Hints & Tips For Budding Fashion Illustrators

Advice and Tips

If you’ve got your mind set on becoming a fashion illustrator then you’re going to need a lot of confidence and perseverance because you’re not alone. Fashion illustration is a very, very popular area of illustration with people drawing pretty costumes on everything from exercise books to expensive velum paper. Your work will need to have an edge, it’ll need to stand out as a cut above the rest.

A good way to get started of course, like with any aspect of illustration, is to build up a portfolio of work. In this case, fashion illustration work. Have a look at the latest fashion collections of some of the big designers, Vogue is a good place to check – they seem to know what’s what. http://www.vogue.co.uk/fashion/autumn-winter-2012

There’s plenty of great photos of fashion for you to base your work on. Choose a stylish outfit and get to drawing. Now, you’re going to need the right kind of equipment obviously, you don’t want your work to stand out for all the wrong reasons, so invest in some good quality pens and pencils, (http://www.cultpens.com/index.html) paper and colours – acrylics, watercolour, pen and ink – that sort of thing. Sketch the figure of the model first, the basic area of space that he or she fills, where there arms and legs are. Make sure the proportions are correct before you add any clothing at all.

Typically, fashion illustration models are very skinny with small heads, long elongated arms, legs and body and oversized feet. This is because, rightly or wrongly, fashion is usually designed with a very skinny person in mind, and for the illustrations they also want to focus on the footwear (hence the oversized feet).

Once you’ve got the body drafted out, you can start adding the clothes on. Don’t forget the creases and folds in the fabric, that’s important for creating a realistic look. Ideally you’re going to want to be able to tell just by looking at the image what the clothing is made of, is it thick and rough, velvety soft or gossamer thin?

After the clothes are outlined you then need to colour and shade the artwork. The body is usually very plain, either black and white, left as pencil, loosely sketched in fineliner or kept to neutral skin tones. The focus with these pieces is always on the clothes, models are never supposed to be the centre of attention. (Maybe someone needs to tell them that sometime…?)

Eventually if you keep at it, you’ll have a decent portfolio of work in front of you. If you’re really aiming for the best of the best, then say you’ve made ten pieces for your portfolio right? Well, once you finish the tenth one, go back and redo the first one. Put them into a nice portfolio case, here, let me Google that for you: Artist Portfolio Cases In Ascending Order Of Price

I’ve put the search in order of price, low to high. Obviously you don’t want to spend too much money, but be careful of buying something that looks like you still go to high school.

I’ll go into detail about porfolios another day, it’s a big topic. Bottom line is, make it look nice. Once that’s done, do a little research potential employers. Have a look for fashion houses in big cities, model agencies, art galleries and budding fashion designers. The internet is packed with people looking for creative talent, you need to use your imagination, where are people going to need fashion illustrations? If you’ve looked and you’re struggling, try pitching to agencies instead. With any luck you’ll get picked up by one of them and they’ll do all the leg work for you. The Writer’s and Artist’s guide book comes out every year and is full of the contact details of publishers and agencies. You can get the latest copy from here at Amazon if you like the sound of it: The Writer’s And Artist’s Yearbook 2013

Why not post your portfolio online too, places like Deviant Art and Red Bubble are free. Or if you’re a person of independent means, you might fancy buying some space on Directory Of Illustration which gives you a twenty image portfolio for the jaw droppingly astonishing price of $2,695. Is it just me, or is that really expensive? I suppose they are well known and they produce a catalogue of portfolios which important movers and shakers will check in when they’re looking for new talent, but for nearly three thousand dollars, they’re a bit of an investment on your part.

Anyway, that’s the best I can do for you for now. I hope it’s not been a total waste of time, every little helps right? Drop me a line if I can assist further.

Always On The Go…

Ponderings

I’ve been really busy recently, working part time in a job which is fun, plus I’m doing a lot of illustrations in my free time. No surprises there. Working on a new series of images at the moment, it’s all very hush hush but I’m planning on putting a whole heck of a lot of effort into this, the plan is to seriously market these images on calenders, notepads, coasters that kind of thing and see what happens. Fingers definitely crossed.

I’ve also been given a commission to do which has me head over heels with happy if everything goes ahead without a hitch. Although I have learned by now not to count my chickens before they hatch, the best laid plans have an alarming tendency to go horribly wrong at every turn so, I’m not holding my breath on the commission until money has changed hands and I’m definitely hired. Everything up to that point is just idle promises really isn’t it, no matter how friendly they sound. I’m really hoping I’m not going to be let down, really hoping.

If you’ve got any tips, tricks, feedback or leads I can follow for illustration opportunities then please let me know, I’m trying out every angle I can attempt. I’ve got the dream and I believe I’ve got the drive, so hopefully the combination will mean that my ultimate goal of working five or six days a week designing illustrations for people will be achieved in the not too distant future.

Watch this space, as they say.