Monday, December 19, 2011


I named this design Devan for a very nice journalist I met at an art exhibition opening here in NYC. I'd never heard the name before but somehow it just suited the design I was working on. I love the way the green chrysanthemums and ferns convey movement and the color palette is very 'me'.

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Black is the Ultimate Neutral

I love black! I go beyond the little black dress! I have black accents in my home that I think give it a contemporary feel but also make it cosy. An interior decorator advised not to be afraid of black. It is the ultimate neutral. She was right. So extending my own passion for the neutral into my work, here are a few product ideas from my design called Alexa. Apple blossom and lavender give a soft edge to this contemporary design.

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Presentation Mood Boards

For each design I create mood boards. These help me stick to my chosen theme which is usually centered around color trends and icons seen first in the fashion industry. I keep in touch with fashion and interior magazines and blogs to stay up to date with the trends. With these in mind, I like to infuse my work with my own design style that will have a longer shelf life in a more classic sense....not just be in fashion for a brief period of time. The Anya design below shows a typical mood board with some of the images that inspired me, yet keeping the design very much in my own style.

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Decorative Designs for Paper Products

Eloisa was named for my new baby Goddaughter who lives with her family in London. I'm blessed with three Godchildren and two nephews so I have plenty of children to spoil! This design lends itself to companies looking for a more traditional floral look to suit their customer base. Borders and matching patterns make it suitable for scrapbooks, gift boxes, journals, writing paper, notecards etc. I can create coordinating pieces for any of my designs.

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Saturday, July 16, 2011

These Heels are Killing Me!

Another sketch night at the Society of Illustrators found the models dressed up to celebrate Bastille Day. For one 10 minute pose, the model got tired of her high heels and slung them over her shoulder. I loved her  attidude! 

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Friday, July 1, 2011

Another Night - Another Sketch

Yet another terrific night at the Society of Illustrators sketch night. I rather like this one. It is a 10 minute pose that I decided to draw as a fashion illustration. Blue and black ink on watercolor paper.

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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Back to Sketch Night - Society of Illustrators

I had to take a break from Sketch Night because my class at FIT fell on the same evenings each week. It was good to be back. Plenty of familiar faces and new ones too. I was quite surprised there was such a turn out on such a gorgeous balmy evening here in NYC. The models were fantastic as always and the jazz band exceptionally good.

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Thursday, June 23, 2011

New Territory

My illustrative style is constantly evolving. In this piece which I named 'Laila', I created a hand drawn figure using black ink on paper, a separate ink wash for the 'feathers' and a watercolor on paper background. The illustration is finished digitally. It was a challenge but great fun using my illustrative, life drawing, fashion illustration and digital skills all rolled into one. More to follow!

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Less is More

My illustrative style has always been very detailed and technically highly finished. That was always my instinct from the days as a teenager when I was drawing very detailed graphite drawings of celebrities. Sketching was never my strong point. I could never leave anything 'unfinished'. Now I am leaning towards 'less is more'. I love a loose, free style, expressive in emotion and spirit. Oh I still like the highly detailed work but why not attempt both? On my fashion illustration course we had to draw a portrait for our homework. I chose to do mine in a very loose, simple style. I really am pleased with the result as it is so different from how I usually work. Unfortunately, the brown kraft paper I was using really crumpled up with the ink so I edited it in Photoshop and slipped in a flat background. Apart from a little tonal eyeshadow and lipstick, I have left everything the same as in the original.

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Fast and Furious!

Here are some of my 3, 5 and 7 minutes sketches from the fashion illustration course at FIT.

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Fashion Illustration at the Fashion Institute of Technology

I had to take a break from sketch nights at the Society of Illustrators as the course I wanted to do at the Fashion Institute of Technology was on exactly the same week nights. Happily, the FIT course helped me with sketching more than I could possibly have imagined so now I can't wait to go back to sketch nights! It's funny how things all turn out right in the end. It was great going to FIT and being amongst fashion design degree students, professional fashion designers and others with a passion for fashion illustration like myself. The longest pose was 20 minutes but these were rare. Mostly, the models posed for 3, 5 and 7 minutes. I was never a great one for sketching but I was forced to face my fears and JUST DO IT. Needless to say, I had a great time. It was an honor to have a tutor so talented who worked for Women's Wear Daily back in the late 60's early 70's alongside Paul Kenneth Block. He continued his career at a NY newspaper where he had to work really fast on a variety of illustrations each day. Sadly, those jobs - with benefits - don't exist anymore. I also learnt a lot from the incredibly talented and friendly students on the course.

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Sketch Nights at the Society of Illustrators

The Society of Illustrators is housed in a lovely old townhouse on 63rd Street here in Manhattan. Founded in 1901 it was established to 'promote generally the art of illustration and to hold exhibitions from time to time'. Dinners were attended by artists such as Maxfield Parish, N.C. Whyeth, Charles Dana Gibson and guests such as Mark Twain and Andrew Carnegie visited on occasion. The walls are graced with original artworks from great Hall of Fame illustrators from throughout the 20th Century. My eyes nearly popped out the first time I saw some originals by fashion illustrators I had written about in my college thesis, not to mention other illustrators whose work I had only seen in reference books. I am in awe and yet feel 'at home' every time I visit. The society hosts sketch nights twice a week where anyone can join in, have a glass of wine, listen to live jazz and sketch the models in poses from 2 to 20 minutes, sometimes nude, sometimes in costume, all of them professional and creative with their poses.

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Fashion Illustration

I LOVE fashion illustration! I wrote my thesis at college on the topic. At that time I did not foresee a career in that profession as photography had taken over most editorial and advertising pages. I lamented the lack of fantastic illustrations like those from artists such as Erte, Rene Grau, Rene Bouche, Kenneth Paul Block and Eric, amongst others. However, the last few years have seen a resurgence of fashion illustrations appearing in advertising and on products, from greeting cards to tote bags. Artists like Bil Donovan and David Downton are carrying on the spirit of the 1950's with a contemporary cutting edge to their wonderful illustrations. So it is time for me to explore and see what I can do myself.
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