art · c ov er stor y
My mission Today people often question my choice to pursue fashion as my subject as it’s quite niche and therefore not perceived as a great business plan by many. I have worked on other commissions featuring flora, fauna and architecture, but fashion is my passion and it feels right to go back to my roots. For as long as I can remember I have loved drawing people and faces and have admired fashion illustrators and photographers who capture beautifully the essence of an existence. Perhaps in the same way that artists have painted Venice! I think it’s the attraction of capturing something that won’t be the same forever. Strong and yet fragile. Something about that appeals to me. What drives me is the ability to create a whole character from nothing. It’s more about style and the personality of the subject – how she wears the dress, rather than the dress itself. The woman could be twenty or seventy. She isn’t necessarily beautiful but is irresistibly sophisticated, relaxed and comfortable with herself. One thing I hope they all have in common is that their gaze draws in the viewer and makes them feel intrigued and empowered in some way. I love the work of many fashion artists who chose to capture movement or illustrate extreme poses but I like to also create a stillness in my work: a feeling of cool relaxation and calm. So whilst I’ll always welcome commissions I am also spending more time just aiming to create beautiful images to enhance a space. I never thought that I’d be asked by an art gallery to sell my work but that has happened recently and I’m excited at the prospect of sharing my work as art in itself. My process As a result of slowly peeling back the digital deadline layers, I am now working more and more with traditional techniques, producing hand-drawn sketches in combinations of charcoal, ink and watercolour. When not working on commissions, a typical day starts with some warm-up sketches before I embark upon the idea that I’ve had bubbling away. Sometimes I just want to paint what I’ve seen in the shows or I may be inspired by an old photo or magazine image from my archives. I love to sketch and test new techniques but my finished pieces are often rounded off with digital manipulation, layering or jigsaws of various successful bits of my more traditional explorations to create a digital collage. I like the freedom of drawing loosely. When I plan an illustration intensively I can tighten up, worrying too much about perfection but collage gives me the freedom to explore with more texture and the ability to focus on the character at the centre.