One of my favorite things to do when I’m out and about in Philadelphia is to see how people and companies are using illustration. I’m a total geek about it, obviously, but I can’t help but notice the little (and sometimes big!) ways illustration is used to brighten our world and make it a little bit more joyful.
Fashion Illustration at H&M in Center City Philadelphia
For example, I was shopping in H&M on Chestnut Street when I noticed this large illustrated mural in the corner of the store. The artist seems to have used brush and ink, a new favorite medium of mine, and it definitely has a sketchy, high fashion vibe found in a lot of runway drawings. It caught my eye as soon as I walked into the store — I wish I knew who the illustrator was!
Illustrated print pouches by Cath Kidston
Then there are these adorable pouches my friend Erin brought back for me from London. They’re by designer Cath Kidston and they are the absolute cutest. I love the graphic double-decker buses and the bright red and sky blue color scheme. The smaller pouch will likely be the new home for my pencils, while the larger one is going to make for an awesome makeup case.
My bags for T.J. Maxx, hanging out on the corkboard in my office.
And of course there’s the work I’ve done for T.J. Maxx — most recently, the all-occasion gift bags that debuted this past spring. There were a fun way to make gift-giving a little more stylish, and they’re hanging out, for the time being, on the main corkboard in my studio. (My favorite is the “Happy Birthday” girl with the very on-trend striped crop top!)
The next time you’re out and about, take a closer look at the fun, bright things around you. You might see illustration in more places than you expect. When you do, tweet or Instagram me! I’ll be sharing my illustration finds with the hashtag #illustrationiseverywhere.
It’s Friday! And you know what that means — packing up your car, your picnic basket or your beach bag to enjoy the weekend.
Norma Kamali Mio Swimsuit via Net-A-Porter
Don’t you love this ruched, wrap-around pistachio green swimsuit? It’s a Norma Kamali suit I spotted on Net-A-Porter, and I found it perfect for a laid-back, basking-by-the-pool sketch. The ruching and the soft color give it a sweet, retro vibe, but the wrap-around design and the exposed midriff ramp up the sexiness. The perfect balance between sweet and sultry.
Here’s the fun part about being a fashion illustrator: you get to be a stylist too. Part of my job is “shopping” for the perfect looks for my illustrations. Being an illustrator also means being a hair stylist, lighting director, set designer, art director, all rolled into one. There’s no limit to what you can create when you put pencil to paper.
I don’t know about you, but I need music to get through my workday. As much as I love drawing and painting, and as lucky as I am to be working from home, none of it seems complete unless I have some tunes on.
When I sat down this morning and started sketching the dancing diva above, I knew I had to put on some music to make her really come to life. The obvious choice: “Dance Apocalyptic” by Janelle Monáe. I LOVE Janelle Monae, and I love “Dance Apocalyptic” – it’s three-and-a-half minutes of hair-swinging, hip-shaking fun, and the perfect inspiration for a sketch full of movement and energy.
Check out the music clip below, and go listen to the rest of Monae’s album, “The Electric Lady,” while you’re at it.
Tell me about your favorite music for the workday? What do you listen to while you’re creating?
Happy Birthday to me!
I celebrated my birthday over the weekend with tons of fun, food and of course, color. I’ve been inspired by the fun and festivities of birthdays lately (the colorful balloons, the confetti cupcakes!) and poured all of that excitement into this new sketch. She will become a birthday card very, very soon.