It is such a honor to have Diary Sketches included in Vanity Fair's list of " 5 Must - Follow Fashion Illustrators on Instagram" Vanity Fair's editor first contacted me a couple months back to do a feature, It started out as a full interview, however I was told they were switching it up to go with the upcoming NYFW.
I did not see the finished piece until last night when I went on to VanityFair.Com I was so overwhelmed to see I was included in a article titled "5 Must-Follow Fashion Illustrators on Instagram' alongside some of my long term fashion illustration Idols Paper Fashion , Travel Write Draw... This moment is so special to me and I just wanted to thank you all for supporting me along the way and making my lifelong passion a possible reality!
Here is the full never before published interview given by Lucy Feldman of Vanity Fair, hope you enjoy!
How do you describe your aesthetic?
Light, easy, fun and fashionable
Have you done any commissioned work? If so, what kind of work and for whom? How did you get started?
Most of my work is commissioned art. I create custom fashion illustrations and portraits for individuals and businesses alike. I’ve worked with Lord & Taylor , Chico’s, CBS Studios and Uniqlo USA to name a few. I don’t recall the first commission I’ve ever received, but it all started when I put up my first custom portrait listing in my Etsy shop. From there it all snowballed quickly into what I do full time today.
What is your artistic educational background? Are you self-taught, or did you study visual art and/or fashion?
I am mostly self taught, having art run deep in my genes. I never believed I could become a full time fashion illustrator (my dream job) So I went to collage to major in graphic and multimedia design. I took many design classes there, but only two in art and drawing. I actually missed the day we focused on fashion illustration ;) The professor was super sweet, and the next class she gave me a mini crash
course on the lesson I missed. Until today I still use many of the
amazing techniques she gave me in those few moments. At the same time I was enrolled in an Art correspondence school to add credits to my art minor.
How many years have you been doing this?
I’ve been drawing since I was old enough to pick up a crayon...so that would be the past 20 years :) However, I’ve been doing this full time under my brand Diary Sketches, for the past 2.5 - 3 years
Please tell me about your interest in fashion.
To put it mildly, I’m in love with fashion :) I believe fashion is wearable art. An illustrator uses pencils, paints and markers to expresses their art and a designer uses fabrics. I am constantly inspired by the latest fashion shows, street style, award show red carpets and the like. I also believe that fashion is inspired by art, so the two are very interconnected.
Please describe your artistic process, from what inspires you and gets you started, to where you do your work (a home studio? Elsewhere?), to when you do your work (what time of day, and how often?), and with what materials (do you have favorites, or do you like to vary?).
Much of my work is commissioned, the client presents me with the exact image, or runway look they would like me to draw. In those instances I generally have to ‘color in the lines‘ so I don't get to glean outside inspiration in the art sense. However, I listen to many motivational podcasts while I’m working that inspire me personally. For my personal work, I am constantly inspired by fashion. I love checking out the latest runway shows on style.com , I follow fashion bloggers on Instagram, I collect many fashion and art books and lastly I love flipping through a good old fashion magazine.
I work out of my home studio. I try to wake up really early while my kids are still sleeping and get a head start to my day. I then send them out and work all mornings until my littles ones get home and then I work again at night.
I like to say watercolors were my ‘first love’. My mom presented with my first Windsor and Newton watercolor set when in high school and there’s been no looking back since. On most work I use color pencils and ink with the watercolor paints. I dabble as well with oil paint, pastels, art markers and acrylics, but I’m happiest with watercolors.
How has Instagram changed things? Before Instagram, how did you create a following and gain exposure for your work?
Instagram has changed things dramatically for me from when I started. I now have a large audience of followers who instantly see my work by simply scrolling
through their feed. More than half of my clients and customers have found me via Instagram. Before I had Instagram I had a facebook page which I used to promote my work. I also spent hours reading up on the ‘art’ of Etsy and perfected my Etsy posting skills. I was then often featured in their newsletters, treasuries... and that gave me a lot of exposure to new clients.
Where else do you showcase your work, besides Instagram? Do you sell your work?
Aside from Instagram, I’m on Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter. My art has also been featured on fashion websites and blogs such as Glamour.com, People.com, WhoWhatWear.com and the Urban Outfitters blog. I sell my art, custom portraits, art prints and phone cases on my website diarysketches.com in addition to my Etsy shop, diarysketches.etsy.com
Who do you follow? Whose careers do you admire? Whom do you consider the masters in this field?
I’m a big fan of Rachel Zoe, I’m so inspired by her balance of being a super mom , amazing entrepreneur and fashion icon to boot! I also love her books, fashion collection and style!
I also love Leandra Medine of the Man Repeller, her blog and Instragram feed both inspire and crack me up. I love her fresh, out of the box take on fashion.
My favorite designers to follow (and draw) at the moment are Zac Posen, Giambattista Valli and of course Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel.
In the art field I really admire the fashion art of sisters, Megan and Kerrie Hess, I think their work is super! I also love the work of Ruben Toledo and David Downton.
Do you have other artistic pursuits, besides your fashion illustration?
I draw custom portraits for clients, custom logos, wedding invitations...but it all comes back to the fashion illustration style,
Do you have another occupation outside of your fashion illustration?
Nope, I’m a full time fashion illustrator.
What is your favorite piece (or pieces), and why?
I love the freedom of drawing long glamour dresses so most fashion show illustrations, red carpet pieces and wedding portraits with gowns are favorites.
How do you think fashion illustration has evolved over the years, and what’s your take on the future of fashion illustration?
I think the style of fashion illustration has become a lot looser, less detailed and more about the movement and strokes. Fashion illustration is thankfully really having it’s come back. There are fashion illustrations appearing in fashion campaigns, on designer websites and fashion magazines. I don’t know what the future holds, but truly hope this trend will stay for the long haul.
If you had to describe it in a sentence or two: Why do you do this work?
It’s hard to consider it work when I so greatly love what I do. Art is part of my make up. I need to draw, it’s like breathing for most people. Art also brings me joy and It’s the way I express myself best, hence the name for my brand Diary Sketches.
What a great way to kick off NYFW!!
Thank you Vanity Fair!
Now off to start illustrating the latest runway looks!!