My Visual Packing List

What you may ask is a visual packing list? Well, I'm going away for 3 weeks and need to travel with a wardrobe suitable for the wide variety of activities I'll be participating in and places I'll be visiting. Our itinerary consists of everything from hiking and biking -in 100 degree heat- to visiting sites where we need to follow "modesty laws," (your legs, shoulders and chest should be covered.) We need to have cute going out outfits for fun summer nights on the town and comfy casual cloths for sight seeing. So where to start?

Being such a visual person, having a image to reference is invaluable when trying to get ready in an instant. When stylists pick outfits for their clients, or style fashion shows, every look is captured in a Polaroid. Well Polaroid film is super expensive, and now super hard to find as they've stopped making it (boohoo), so I've come up with an alternative.  Instead of riffling through my suitcase trying to figure out what I brought and what matches what, I can just look at my "visual packing list" of quick doodles of all that I've packed and pick something. In the past it's been really helpful (although friends think I'm nuts!!!), so I've done it again. The photo above is page one of two...yes I'm an over-packer. 

So I am off for a few weeks, "packing list" in tow. (Actually it's stored on my camera, much easier than pulling out a big piece of paper. I can just zoom in to see each look close up) Promise to post as soon as I get back!

My final Zaji Girl sketches

A few weeks ago I completed a freelance project for Zaji Girl Magazine, an online magazine for the traveling girl on the go. My sketches are not only up on their website, but they've been animated to Lily Allen's song 'Mister Blue Sky.' Something weird is going on with the "London" illustration (not shown here... the bus and flowers are kind of floating, not sure why but I'm hoping it will be fixed soon) other that I think they came out cute.

I think my favorite is the girl in Paris, I'm just a sucker for shopping. Especially at those stores! Ahh a girl can dream.

Summer Suits

Summer has officially arrived, although here in NY it's been raining just about everyday for what seems like forever. I've been getting ready for a big trip abroad and with that comes the dreaded bathing suit shopping. It started off rough, but thanks to Gap, JCrew, and Target, I have 3 cute new tankini's making the idea of laying on a beach with five of my friends (male and female) not so daunting.

Here is a page from my college portfolio. The theme of my collection was "The Concrete Jungle; the jungle invades the upper east side." (shhh, don't tell but I'm really a upper west girl!) Although it's not recent work I thought the bathing suit page would be a nice image to kick off my summer posts. Enjoy!

My winning design...

106 Artists entered, 12 judges chose 20 finalists, and over 8,000 people voted! Vaute Couture has produced the coat inspired by my winning design! I'm really happy with how it came out, I think it's super cute and girly and love the color options offered. You can see my original sketch here at the top of this post, and below are photo's of the produced coat from the fall/winter 2009 lookbook (which you can download here).

Leanne Mai-ly Hilgart is the visionary behind Vaute Couture. Her mission is to create fabulous vegan/eco conscious coats with the help of emerging artists. (We thank you Leanne!) The coat is made of performance based fabrics, that are water/wind resistant, heat retaining, and have a windproof lining! I suppose Leanne, being a Chicago girl, knows how to pick fabrics to withstand those rough winters.

Since it's a tiny label just starting out, they will be producing 25 of each coat in each color for a limited launch collection. Pre-order special offer here: If you pre-order now through June 30th they will match your deposit amount, as cash off your balance!

It's about Time-x!

Last October Timex commissioned me to draw six fashion illustrations coordinating with watches from their spring trends. I completed the job so long ago, that I forgot that besides being in brochures (which they sent me copies of) and available for print, they were due be on their website. I don't know what made me look, but tonight I decided to check their site, and there they were!

Because Timex "takes fashion from the runway to your wrist" the assignment was to draw women wearing Timex watches, each one fitting into one of the season's trend groups: The Romantics, White-Out, Roaring 20's, Jet-Setter, Pedal to the Metal, and Black & White.

After countless emails and phone calls with the Timex group debating things such as design details, garment silhouettes and hair color, and some of the sketches being thickened up in photoshop (because I naturally tend to draw very skinny ladies), they got completed and are up for viewing. You can also download a pdf version of their Spring 2009 Style Brochure with all six of my drawings from their website here: Timex Style. (<-This link is old and longer links to the work I did)

Pretty Presentation

It's such a nice feeling to open up a package or gift and know that someone took the time to wrap it or put in that extra special touch just for you. I'm pretty crafty, if I do say so myself (fun fact: the queen of crafting, Ms. Martha Stewart, and I share the same birthday. I met her once when I was in high school and I told her that!) I wanted my clients to feel that crafters touch when they open up my work. This is a photo of how my orders are shipped. The envelopes change, as I try to recycle when possible, but this is what the order looks like inside. 

The print(s) are placed against a piece of foam core, so that the art work will not get bent. A wide piece of pink tulle is wrapped around the corners, to make sure the print doesn't move, then its tied into a pretty bow. It's completed with a little thank you card, this cute doily one is from etsy (sorry, I can't find the link for exact seller), I also sometimes use personalized wood grain ones from Paloma's Nest. I add a business card and it's ready to ship out.  

Client Photo

It's so exciting to see my work up in a clients home! A while back Heather from College Station, TX, sent me this picture of her bedroom. She ordered Lily, Global Girl, and Audrey from my etsy shop. They coordinate so nicely with her bedding. Thank you Heather! I love seeing the different ways people display my girls! 

Amazing Talent {Part 2}

When interviewing for a Designer job, prospective employers often ask that the candidate to do a project for them. Below is a "project" that my talented friend Renaldo Barnette recently did. They're so "downtown chic", I just love it! Especially the fantastic shoes, matte sequin fabric, and long necks!

Renaldo once worked for a company that has since folded, called Garfield Marks. Below is a mini collection that he designed for them. The girls are much more classic and conservative but still so chic! I could drool over his drawings all day, don't you just love them! I learned from the best.

Amazing Talent {Part 1}

Tonight I had dinner with Renaldo Barnette, a great friend of mine who happens to be an incredible Fashion Designer and Illustrator. Renaldo has designed for Tuleh, Anne Klein, Kai Milla, Ralph Lauren, and Badgley Mischka in addition to creating his own collection that won rave reviews in WWD.

Renaldo was my very first fashion professor at FIT, ten years ago (omg time fly's!) We became fast friends when fifteen minute class breaks turned into hour long dinners because we'd run out to grab a bite and end up getting lost in conversation. Needless to say being teachers pet did not make me popular among my classmates in that class.

Renaldo always has a sketchbook on hand and tonight was no exception. I love seeing what he's working on, and I'm sure you will too. He let me take photo's of his sketchbook to share here with you!

Stay tuned, I'll share more of his beautiful work tomorrow.

Bookmark it

I've been trying to come up with new products for my shop. This weekend while brunching with friends we were comparing book-club horror stories. (Surprisingly enough we had many!) It got me thinking about book related products like book plates and bookmarks. I love cute little paper goods, especially nice bookmarks. They're like the perfect accessory to a good book, and you look at it every time you pick up the book. I never understood people who used post-its or paper scraps, and don't even get me started on people who fold the corners of the pages to hold their spot! I decided to make some tonight and am selling them in sets of three. The last time I was in a book-club I gave a personalized bookmark to each member of the club. That was my thinking here, that they would be great to give as gifts, so I'm selling them in sets. One set is shown above and there is another one you can view in my shop

Book Time

Every now and then I receive emails through my etsy shop from aspiring illustrators and students asking for advice on fashion illustration. I've been asked everything from what my favorite marker brand is to what kind of classes I'd suggest taking to what books I'd recommend. Here are some great books from my collection:

The first book here was written by Steven Stipelman, Fashion Design Professor at the Fashion Institute of Technology. I was lucky enough to be taught by this amazing talent for four consecutive semesters. (It took a lot of schedule rearranging!) His book is an invaluable reference. The cover shown here is from the first edition, but more have been published since and each one with additional drawings. (A little birdie told me he's currently working on sketches for the next edition!)

20,000 Years of Fashion The History of Fashion and Personal Adornment is a great overview of the history of fashion from prehistoric costume to modern day fashion. It has hundreds of full color images of primary and secondary sources; photographs, paintings, sculptures and artifacts. It served as a text book for a Costume History course I took in college but I've continued to reference it through the years.

For unique examples of fashion illustrations of men, women and children created using a wide variety of media, The Big Book of Fashion Illustration is great. I bit the bullet and bought this book after sitting on the floor of the book store analyzing it page by page for over an hour!

Fashion Illustration Next is another book featuring really creative and artsy fashion illustrations in a multitude of mediums by 40 international illustrators.

My other books shown in the top photo of this post are:

Busy bee

I've had such a productive day, it's such a great feeling. I was able to cross things off my "to do list", which I have to admit gives me such a natural high! Is that normal? I finished my freelance project (part of which is above, but more to come soon) and made new cards for my etsy shopCards and gift tags aren't really big sellers for me but I love making them. And if they don't sell they'll get used eventually because I'm big on sending cards. 

This is my favorite card of the day.  Here's how it came about, a few months ago on a trip home to see my dad I was walking up the street and an old neighbor stopped me saying she had something in her house for me. She gave me this adorable vintage stationary set with dress patterns on it. I absolutely loved it. It was one of those rare times when someone gives you something that's just so you. You know what I mean? This is one of the envelopes from that package. I made the illustration 2 years ago for the etsy love challenge. I came up with this little story behind the drawing; it's supposed to be Marie Antoinette. She's holding a needle, thread and pinking sheers because she just finished sewing her dress and is thinking about what she could create next. She coordinates so nicely with the clothing pattern printed envelope. 

And here's my most popular print, my "Vogue" girl, on a thank you card. She was my first etsy listing actually.  This fact, and that I happen to be a curly haired girl myself, make her one of my favorites.