Featured by Moo: Inspiring Fashion Illustrator

I'm excited to share an interview and photoshoot I did with Moo, the company I have used to print my business cards and paper products for years! Moo sent a photographer from the UK to New York to photograph and interview me in my studio for their "Moosletter" and blog a few months ago. The feature has finally come out and the feedback from readers has truly been overwhelming filling my Instagram dms and email inbox with the loveliest notes from aspiring fashion illustrators and artists who've found my story to be inspiring. I have to admit it was nerve racking having someone photograph me in my studio but the feedback had been so heart warming and I hope to start sharing more of my studio and work life with you.
Being able to print a variety of my illustrations within one order of business cards and always have a "mini portfolio" on hand has been invaluable to me as a freelance artist. If you've yet to try Moo you can receive 20% off your first order with my friend referral link. In all honestly I couldn't recommend their products more. The luxe business cards are my personal favorite but I print my illustrations on their note cards, postcards, mini cards, and stickers.
Thank you for reading and encouraging me on this journey as a freelance fashion illustrator, and thank you Moo for the fabulous feature! I'm in seventh heaven to be highlighted by a brand I truly admire and have been a client of for years.

Related posts to check out:

Royal-ish Wedding | Pippa Middleton Bridal Sketch

Todays breaking news of the engagement of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle has me so excited that I took a look back at my past royal wedding inspired sketches and realized I've yet to share the sketch I did of royal-ish bride Pippa Middleton here on Fabulous Doodles. I drew this custom illustration back on her wedding day in May of this year. Sketched on the iPad with an Apple Pencil, which is not traditionally the medium I use for bridal sketches but I wanted to try something different. I used a pink base and drew her with predominantly white tools for a more stylized custom illustration look. I shared it on social and it was immediately picked up by other outlets, regramming and even published by Hello Magazine in an article titles Pippa Middleston and Kate Inspire Stunning Wedding Sketches!
This gown was quite the departure from the formfitting gown she wore as Maid of Honor for Will and Kate's wedding but of corse it suited her beautifully. Giles Deacon designed Pippa's sophisticated lace dress and I enjoyed putting my spin on the look. I can't wait to see and sketch what Meghan Markle wears to walk down the aisle to her prince!

Similar posts you may have missed:

Chanel Custom Fashion Illustrations

Recently I had the pleasure of collaborating with Chanel, a brand that has been at the top of my fashion illustration client-wish-list for years. The Chanel team reached out to to me as they were planning something special for their Fine Jewelry VIP clients for Mother's Day. They invited top clients, along with their mothers and daughters, to view the new collection and choose favorite pieces. I then live-sketched custom fashion illustrations of them wearing their chosen Chanel pieces. 

It was an invigorating day of back to back appointments meeting and drawing some lovely ladies. The highlight, and what made this day truly memorable, was one adorable little girl, Catherine (atop this post,) who was all dressed up especially for the occasion and was nothing short of mesmerized by my sketching. Long after her custom illustration was complete she stood by my side intensely watching me draw until her parents told her it was to time to go and she gave me a big parting hug. Later that night her father emailed me saying "she's had her pencils out all day, and I'm an inspiration." All in all live-sketching for custom mother-daughter fashion illustrations for Chanel was truly a pinch-me project. 

Similar posts to check out: 

Bridal Fashion Illustration Gifts

Time to share a new batch of custom bridal fashion illustrations! Featured in this post one bridal sketch was commissioned by the bride herself, another was given as a wedding gift and the third was a one year anniversary gift from the groom to his bride. (FYI: the traditional one year gift is "paper," so a custom illustration fits the bill perfectly!) 

Ballgowns have always topped my list of favorite silhouettes to render and I especially loved Sara's vintage gown (shown above.) Photographs showed her lifting her skirt and tossing her long bouncing hair, which really reminded me of Belle and made the sketch have an overall Disney princess feel, in the best possible way! With Sean's illustration (shown below) it was all about showing off the favorite feature of her dress, the dramatic low cut lace back. To highlight this feature I went with a flirty pose, drawing her glancing over one shoulder which was a fun change from the traditional bridal illustration.
And last but certainly not least is Caity (shown above) who wore an intricate lace bodice with a sweetheart neckline, dainty embellished belt and full skirt of soft etherial layers of chiffon. All three of these bridal illustrations were a pleasant change and so enjoyable to work on. I'm currently accepting bridal commissions through my two Etsy shops Brooklit and Brooklit Bride as well as IfOnly

For more of my custom bridal illustrations check out these previous posts: 

Met Gala 2017 Inspired Fashion Illustrations

For this years Met Gala red carpet inspired fashion illustrations I chose to illustrate three best dressed picks. The theme of this years gala and costume exhibit is the avant-garde and daring Rei Kawakubo and Comme des Garcons. The best dressed of the night without a doubt was Gigi Hadid in Tommy Hilfiger (shown above.) The dress was one hundred percent on-theme, which clearly was a tough one for many this year, white still being beautiful, seductive and edgy. Her hair and make up was also flawless and perfectly complimented the asymmetrical design of her dress.
The next illustration is Hailey Baldwin in a Carolina Herrera ballerina ensemble with-a-twist. I loved the subtle color change within the tiers of the tulle skirt, and the delicate architectural seams of her crop top. Keeping the hair pulled up and back with a birdcage veil was lovely finishing touch. And last but not least is Kate Hudson in Stella McCartney. This look was the not the most on theme but it wasn't completely off, with a dramatic one-sleeve and modern top knot hair that was a nod to Asian costume. In all honestly this asymmetrical silk gown was a fun one to draw, as I love to render highlights and shadows of silk. It also fit in well with the two other illustrations which were bigger and more dramatic silhouettes.

I wasn't feeling great the night of this years gala, so decided to go with a more simplified and stylized effect, drawing with an Apple Pencil on the iPad pro in leu of my traditional illustration tools, all while watching in bed! I kept the sketches cohesive all on a pink background and illustrated in only graphite gray, pink and white. Its nice to switch it up sometimes and try new things!

Similar posts to check out:

92Y Fashion Illustration Class

This summer I'm heading to the Upper East Side to teach fashion illustration to 11-14 year olds at the acclaimed 92nd Street Y and registration is now open! I'm excited, and to be honest a little nervous. Although I've taught before, at Joe Zee's fashion camp in the Hamptons as well as private tutored high schooler seniors prepping for fashion college applications and art tests, this will be the most I've taught and need to prepare at one time. But I'm really excited to work with this particular age group and teach them fashion illustration basics, figure drawing from a live-model, fabric rendering and fashion design while encouraging them to be fearlessly creative.

92Y Fashion Illustration for 11-14 yrs 
1395 Lexington Ave, 3rd Fl.
July 24th - 28th 2017
Price: $595.00

Check out the 92Y website for more details on my summer class and to register. Space is limited.

(Shown above: Illustration for Chloe by Design, the young adult book series I illustrated and a snapshot of my 92Y classroom!)

Similar past posts to check out:

Last Two Stops | Vogue x Clinique Sketch Tour 2017

My 2017 Vogue x Clinique live-sketching tour has only two stops left! Next week I'll be in Times Square, New York then off to Charlotte, North Carolina. This tour has been quite different from previous years, as this time around I was asked to incorporate Crayola crayons into the mix to celebrate Clinique's limited edition Crayola lipsticks. Its fun to switch it up sometimes and take on a challenge, and believe me drawing fashion illustrations with crayons is a challenge! This is also the first time on these sketching tours that they've partnered me with a fashion blogger cohost who was local to each city. I've had such a good time meeting these social media style stars and the friends and family that turn out to see them.
As usual, the custom illustrations are a gift with purchase and on a first come basis, so I suggest arriving early to ensure you get one! You'll also receive a Vogue coloring book (which I'm kind of obsessed with) and Clinique makeup consultation. In New York I'll be joined by Linsi Lane of So Lindsi (shown above, middle) and in Charlotte Lauren Cobb Steele of LC Steele. I hope you'll join us and I look forward to meeting and sketching more of you at these the last two sketching-tour stops:

New York City
Sephora Times Sq. 
Friday, March 24th
5:00 PM - 7:00 PM
1500 Broadway

Charlotte, NC
Belk Southpark
Saturday, March 25th 
10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Recent post you may have missed:

Gotham: Custom Sketch Shopping Event | Press

The spring issue of Gotham magazine hit newsstands and features a recent event where I live-sketched custom fashion illustrations of party guests! The event was for Gotham x Lands' Ends at Lands' End latest Soho pop-up shop, with proceeds from the evening benefiting the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. I've live-sketched countless magazine events but my photo, in addition to my fashion illustrations, landing in the magazine is a first!
In addition to the Lands' End team guests included Gotham Editor-In-Chief Samantha Yanks (shown above, bottom right) who's daughter you may remember I previously sketched and Publisher Lynn Scotti Kassar (bottom left.) It was a wonderful event with quite a chic crowd that resulted in fun fashion illustrations the guests adored. Its always exciting to see my work in print but as a born and bred New Yorker, to have it appear in Gotham is truly a proud pinch-me moment!

(Photography by Mark Sagliocco for Getty, in magazine page and photo bottom left.)

Previous posts to check out:

Vogue x Clinique | Live-Sketching Invitation NYC

Attention New Yorkers: next stop of my Vogue x Clinique 2017 live-sketching tour is tomorrow! I'll be at Lord and Taylor's New York City flagship store along with my cohost Christie Ferrari, and a Market Editor from Vogue. Once again I'll be live-sketching custom fashion illustrations as gifts with purchase and I'll be doing so incorporating Crayola crayons! This years sketching tour is celebrating Clinique's new limited edition Crayola lipstick collaboration, which in addition to being adorably designed and available in a flip-top crayon style box, all have actual Crayola crayon names like razzmatazz, mauvelous, and tickle me pink! How cute, right?!?! I hope to meet some of you there tomorrow:

Lord & Taylor
Thursday, Feb. 23rd. 
5:00 - 7:00 pm
424 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10018

If you can't make it tomorrow there will be one more NYC tour date coming up in late March! I'll share the invite and details as soon as I have them. Also on the calendar is Charlotte, North Carolina!

Similar posts to check out:

Vogue x Clinique Live-Sketching Event | Saks

The next stop on my Vogue x Clinique sketching tour is my home, New York, NY! This Thursday I'll be live-sketching custom fashion illustrations at Saks Fifth Avenue with Vogue and Clinique. Joining me at this event is my friend and fellow blogger Lisa of Mind Body Swag! We're celebrating the Clinique Crayola limited edition lipsticks so I of course, I'm incorporating crayons into my sketches! To my surprise the crayons have lent themselves well to fashion illustrations over the past few weeks events and actually really work nicely in shading elements like fur and short hair, both shown above in this weeks invite. The look I drew here is inspired by DVF's latest collection, shown two days ago at NYFW.

Saks Fifth Avenue Flagship
611 Fifth Ave.
Thursday, Feb. 16th
5:00 - 7:00

Hope to see some of you there, but don't fret if you can't make it as more dates are coming soon! Check out similar events I've featured on Fabulous Doodles:

Vogue x Clinique Fashion Illustration Tour 2017

I'm so excited to share the first 3 cities of my 2017 sketching tour with Vogue and Clinique! This tour I'll be using a new drawing medium, visiting a bunch of new cities, and giving new Vogue coloring books out in addition to my custom illustrations. We're celebrating the launch of Clinique Crayola limited-edition lipsticks, so I've been asked to use, what else but Crayola crayons to create my custom sketches! I have to admit its been a while since my days of coloring with crayons but if you follow me on Insta stories or any of my social media, you know I've been busy experimenting with them all week. In the beginning I was solely using the crayons but I've found mixing them together with some traditional fashion illustration tools produces the best results, as I did on the sketch shown here.
Today I'm off to Texas because the tour kicks off this Saturday down in Dallas. And next week I'll be live-sketching in Houston, Michigan, and Los Angeles. It will be 8 stops in all this time around, but in the past they've been known to add a stop or two, so you never know! As of now, I have details for the first 4:

Dallas, TX
Saturday, January 28
12:00 - 2:00 PM
Dillard's Northpark
8687 N. Central Expressway
214-373-7000 ext. 5023

Houston, TX
Thursday, February 2nd
12:00 - 2:00 PM
Macy's Memorial
900 Memorial City Mall

Troy, MI
Friday, February 3
1:00 - 3:00 PM
Macy's Somerset
2750 W Big Beaver Road

Torrance, CA
Saturday, February 4
1:00 - 3:00 PM
Macy's Del Amo
21600 Hawthorne Blvd

Four more events will be announced in the coming weeks, so stay tuned! If you're not familiar with my Vogue x Clinique sketching tours you can see a bunch of sketches and photos from previous years in these links:

Women's March Illustration

This weekend I proudly attended the Women's March in NYC. It was a surreal experience and I'm excited to keep the momentum going starting with sharing my march inspired illustrations! It was incredible to come together with millions of like-minded people around the globe (current estimate is 5 million marchers spanning all continents!) to peacefully march and voice our outrage over the new administration and their hateful rhetoric towards women, survivors of sexual assault, LGBTQ, Jews, Muslims, Mexicans, and people with disabilities. For weeks leading up to the march I thought about sketch ideas I could post to my Instagram on the big day, and even in the early morning hours the day of the march I was experimenting with new concepts. I chose to post a sketch-in-progress video of female silhouettes all marching in a variety of skin tones (see video below.) Throughout the weekend people not only "liked" it but private messaged me, commented and tweeted asking if a print of the illustration would be available, and I'm happy to share today that it is! 
The official Women's March organizers have arranged a call to action titled 10 Actions for the First 100 Days and the first two actions are to send a postcard and reach out to your local representatives in the senate and congress to "pour your heart out on any issue that you care about, whether it's ending gender based violence, reproductive rights and women's health, civil right's, immigrant rights, religious freedom, environmental rights or anything else." They've made it easy by including a search bar on the site for your zipcode, and with one simple click you can view your representatives mailing addresses. So I turned my Women's March illustration into 5"x7" postcards for you to do just that! I also added it to the Etsy shop as an art print, available in all sizes (see below.) I intend to donate proceeds from the sale of these cards and prints to Planned Parenthood.
And last but not least, since this was requested as well, I turned the illustration into a Women's March patterned phone case! The background of the pattern is clear so the color of your actual phone will show through varying the appearance of the multicultural marching women. It could be a fun daily reminder of this historic march, that we're stronger together and the future is female! You know I could go on and on with these motivational phrases, but I'm sure you get the gist. ;)
Clearly the Women's March invigorated me and it feels good to feel good for a change. And to feel that change is possible if we band together. I'm also so excited for these new items and what they represent and to donate proceeds to such an important organization for women thats come under attack makes it all the better! Did you march? If so where? Are you too feeling as pumped as I am?!?

Past posts you may enjoy:

New Year, New Goals!

Happy [belated] New Year everyone! Last year was a rough one all around but I'm going to try and turn it around in 2017 and thought I'd share my work related goals with you, since sharing something can be motivation to stick to it, plus they may help some of you as well.

1- Blog! I've been blogging here on Fabulous Doodles nearly 8 years now! Its unbelievable how time flies. When I started it was only meant to be a marketing tool for my then "new" side business selling prints of my fashion illustrations on Etsy when not working my corporate 9-to-5 as a designer for Hearst Magazines. Well, the recession happened, one custom illustration turned to many, as did one live-illustrating gig and now I'm a full-time fashion illustrator with a blog going on 8 years. A few days ago I was looking for an old post and couldn't believe what I saw on the blog sidebar archive. All my posts are listed there by year and for 2016 I only posted 19 times compared to the early years of posting 80+! So that being said, my first goal is to blog more! Blogging is tough, and time consuming but I need to make it more of a priority. My issue has been its permanence and my perfectionist tendencies. Due to this, posts often take hours of photo editing, photoshopping the layout, and writing and rewriting. Often times I work on posts for hours only to never hit the daunting publish button! (In full disclosure here this post is one of them! I originally wrote it just after New Years and only now finishing and publishing it 2 weeks later.) I have to stop getting in my own way and just do it already! The problem is in recent years social media has become so prevalent and easy that posting to Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook and Twitter have almost replaced the blog. But I have so many client projects and events I've worked on over the past few years that I wish I shared and were here to reference. Blog posts also serve as a powerful marketing tool and expose my work to readers and potential clients who possibly wouldn't have found me otherwise. For example the last post I wrote was about live sketching a bat-mitzvah and I've had countless inquiries since posting it and even booked two new ones for coming weeks. My blogging laziness has to stop and in 2017 I'm going to turn it around and just do it!

2- Take more classes and workshops. I recently took a calligraphy workshop and it was wonderful. (Check out the fancy new calligraphy pen I learned to use above on the left!) I love learning new creative things and improving upon my skills. This year I want to delve into learning by taking workshops and classes in more areas that interest and possibly scare me. I often receive emails asking how to become a fashion illustrator or how to improve their sketches and I always tell people that taking a class, even if only related, like figure drawing or portraits, will only help you and improve your work! Speaking of, I want to take a portrait class to better my ability to capture peoples faces when I'm live-sketching parties and brand events. I also want to improve my digital drawing abilities, take a cooking class or two and maybe even a business or communication course. A few weeks ago I decorated a cookie monster themed cake for a friends 2 year old son's birthday and shared it on social media. I was reminded that back in high school my best friend and I enrolled in a series of cake decorating workshops and loved them! We used to make ourselves cakes that simply said Happy Tuesday to practice our icing techniques. I miss that. Being creative in other areas than what is now my job.

3- Hire experts to help me in areas I don't excel. Being a freelance artist is hard and building my business is challenging. As a freelancer your income is not set and you never really know what your income will be form month to month that it makes it hard to invest and spend on something that could seem like a luxury. There are so many areas I've wanted to improve upon though, and I although I try and figure things out on my own and try to do everything myself its time I took steps and hired people who actually do these things for a living. It's an investment in my business and well worth the cost. Its time! A few examples I've been considering and need to hop on in 2017: hiring a graphic designer and web developer to build a website because although the blog has been wonderful I need to expand and have needed to for some time now. Also a financial manager to help me organize my finances, and possibly a public relations person to try and get me onto some of those "best illustrator" lists I see often but sadly have yet to appear on even though I continually work with top publications.

4- Go after the gigs! Thus far in my freelance fashion illustration career nearly all the work I've had found me, not visa versa. Clients, collaborations, licensing deals, etc, almost all have come about because they approached me. I need to focus on where I want to be and who I want to work with more moving forward. I know many other bloggers who pitch potential clients and press and I need to not be afraid and start doing the same. I need to compile a client list and start reaching out to previous clients to check in, see if they have any potential collaboration opportunities on the horizon and even pitch concepts on how we can work together. I also want to start a newsletter with monthly, or at least seasonal updates to all my clients and customers.
5- Grow my social following. This is an eye roller, I know. Everyone who blogs and uses Instagram for business purposes wants to grow their numbers. I'm currently at 21k Instagram followers which may seem huge, but when compared to fellow fashion illustrators, some of whom started blogging the same time as I, it's seriously small potatoes. I haven't been "featured" by Instagram which is the main problem and since they changed their algorithm and everyones views and engagement has dropped I fear its too late now. That being said I look at my Instagram feed and my top posts of last year (shown above) and I'm proud of my work and photos. I'm also proud that I have never bought followers, sold out, or gained likes because of nearly naked photos of myself. All 21k+ followers are real people who follow me for my talent and not a paid for illusion, as I've learned over and over again many others have done. All I can do here is continue to try my best and post what I'm proud of. Last year one of my posts went semi-viral (image on top left) with over 142k views, so maybe this year instead of one post, my whole following will blow up! (Fingers crossed;)

These are just a few of my goals and of couse if I were to get personal the list would be at least double in size, but it's a start and I'm proud of myself for not only writing it down but posting it! (Check mark next to number 1!) The world seems to be going a little nuts these days and who knows whats ahead in the coming year but at least I have control over where I want to focus my attention and business. How about you, what are you business goals? And anyone in the NY area have any amazing classes or workshops to recommend because I would love to hear about them!