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Red Carpet Sketches – 2014 Emmys

Did you catch the Emmys earlier this week? While I did tune into the awards ceremony, I was WAY more interested in the looks on the red carpet.

This year there was tons of color. Vibrant hues in citrus tones were every where, as was white and yummy, pumped up pastels. The red carpet always has tons of inspiration for illustration, so I took a break from my regularly scheduled programming to sketch a few of my favorite looks.

I loved Danielle Brooks (“Tastee,” from Orange is the New Black) in her white floor-length gown. My favorite parts are the open-work bodice and neckline, and the thigh-high split. Wish I knew who designed this dress, I haven’t seen any details on the web! Anyone have any intel? ;-)

Danielle Brooks at the 2014 Emmys. Illustration by Veronica Marché.

 

Then there was Samira Wiley (who plays “Poussey,” my faaaaave character on OITNB) in this sunshine yellow dress from Christian Siriano. So simple, so elegant, and still so happy.

Samira Wiley in Christian Siriano at the 2014 Emmys. Illustration by Veronica Marché.

 

Did you SEE Halle Berry? Omigoodness, she looked like a goddess in that mauve gown. And she served that thigh-high split as well. Halle can never go wrong when she’s in Elie Saab.

Halle Berry in Elie Saab at the 2014 Emmys. Illustration by Veronica Marché.

 

And my favorite look of the night was Teyonah Parris, who plays “Dawn” in Mad Men. She was also wearing Christian Siriano (who seemed to take over the red carpet this year!), in a vibrant, color-blocked gown with a voluminous train. I simply ADORE the citrus color on this dress. It’s just so fresh and happy and lively!

Teyonah Parris in Christian Siriano at the 2014 Emmys. Illustration by Veronica Marché.

Did you catch the Emmys Red Carpet? What were your favorite looks?

How To Use Illustration for Business

A fellow illustrator, Danielle Meder of Final Fashion, was featured in a great interview last week about how fashion retailers can use illustration to enhance their branding online. Fashion illustration evolved being a tool to communicate between designers to being a feature in advertising and marketing to excite the consumer, and it’s seen quite the resurgence in recent years.

While I consider myself a fashion illustrator, a majority of my clients right now are businesswomen and entrepreneurs whose work falls outside of fashion. But the characteristics that make fashion illustration exciting — attitude, style, and personality — are often the very characteristics that businesses in other industries are looking to infuse into their brand.

The right kind of image can make a brand appear more personable, more approachable, more confident or more stylish, and all around more exciting to potential customers. Fashion is leading the charge, and companies outside the industry are taking note.

So how can a business owner use fashion-inspired illustration? Here are a few ideas, with examples from my portfolio:

Websites and Social Media

The avatar I created for Chelle of Everyday Polish.

The avatar I created for Chelle of Everyday Polish.

Online — especially in social media – is the place to be if you want to interact with your customer in real time. But sometimes it can be difficult if your business doesn’t have a “face.” One of the more fun projects I’ve done recently was develop a social media avatar for lifestyle blog, Every Day Polish. I worked with the lead writer to get a sense of the blog’s personality and direction (bookish, but still stylish!) and created the image she now uses on Twitter and other social media.

Special event invitations and programs

FASHION VICTIM for Contradiction Dance by Veronica Marché

Illustrated program and event poster for Contradiction Dance’s “FASHION VICTIM.”

Part of the fun of throwing an exclusive event for your business is setting the stage for your guests to have a fun and sophisticated experience. Think about setting the stage for that with an invitation specially designed for your event or program. The best part? It doubles as a super cool keepsake for your guests. The example above is work I did for not just any event, but for a production by Contradiction Dance in D.C.

Retail and promotional products (a.k.a “Swag”)

My swaggy "How To Be Curly" tote bag, available on RedBubble.

My swaggy “How To Be Curly” tote bag, available on RedBubble.

Who doesn’t love swag? You can use illustration to take your promotional swag up a notch, and really give your folks a slice of your brand’s personality. The best part — companies like RedBubble, VistaPrint and others make it super easy to put custom artwork on everything from mugs to t-shirts to iPhone cases.

Good ol’ Logo and Branding Identity

Banner and business cards for stylist Karima Renee

Website banner and business cards for stylist Karima Renee.

This is the meat and potatoes of what I do: developing the custom “face” of a business to be used everywhere — as a logo, on business cards, as a banner for trade shows or displays for retail spaces, events, and more. The fun part is customizing the image to a specific industry and personality — obviously an entrepreneur in financial services wouldn’t use the same kind of image as a dance instructor, but they both could amplify their brands with illustration.

The possibilities are endless — which is the true beauty of illustration.

Interested in illustration for your business? Contact me here.

 

Sketching Faces – Pages from the Sketchbook

I’ve been going a million miles per hour for the past few months — getting the business up and running, planning, strategizing, writing, emailing, selling products and holding phone conferences like crazy. With so much going on, I almost forgot the most important part of being an illustrator: ILLUSTRATING!

Sure, I’ve been working on client projects and commissions (all of which I’m super excited about), but I haven’t taken much time to do what’s most important — practice. I always say if you’re not learning, developing or practicing your craft, then you’re not growing. And it was high time I took my own advice. So over the weekend I stayed up late, with nothing but my pencils and my sketchbook.

I decided to practice sketching faces. So much of my work right now is based on the head-to-toe figure, and I haven’t really had the opportunity to really refine my face. A little practice was way overdue.

sketchbook_faces
I wanted to nail two things: defining the face with shading, and practicing the face in profile. I went back to basics, referencing my stacks of illustration books to review proportion, spacing and light and shadow. Those sketchy horizontal and vertical lines you see in some of the faces are the traditional guidelines for drawing facial features.

Sketching faces - Veronica Marche
I also tried a change in medium. Almost all of my work is in marker (and I LOVE my markers), but I wondered what happened if I depended solely on colored pencils for a few drawings. Plus, I’m always looking for different ways to render brown skin so that it’s dimensional and radiant, not ashy and flat. I actually really enjoyed the result — it’s softer, a bit more delicate than my usual style, but still vibrant. It feels much more suited for beauty or hair illustration. (And I couldn’t resist putting a few violet and indigo highlights in the hair.)

Even when you’ve been doing something for a while, it’s always good to take yourself back to school and re-learn the basics. Cuddling up with my books and pencils reminded me of when I was kid, when would stay up waaaaaaay past my bedtime reading art books and sketching along with the lessons inside.

And if nothing else, it’s a fantastic way to escape the hubbub of the daily grind – taking a moment to relax, grab a cup of tea, and just draw for drawing’s sake.

Instagram Love – Tracee Ellis Ross & Fatima Robinson

So I’m mad late posting this (oops!), but I’m no less excited about it. :)

A couple of weeks ago, for my daily “Morning Draw,” I sketched a photo posted by Tracee Ellis Ross on Instagram. Just so you know, black girls STAN for Tracee Ellis Ross. She’s everything. So when I saw a throwback photo of her and choreographer Fatima Robinson posing for a magazine editorial — hashtag: werk – I did what I usually do: sketch, scan, share to social media. Then I went on about the rest of my day.

The next morning, however, my phone kept lighting up like crazy. I thought it was on the fritz. Nope. Actually, someone had tagged me on IG. TER had posted my sketch.

WHHHHATTTT? OMG!

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By the end of the day, my sketch, on Tracee’s Instagram, had damn near 4,000 likes. And I had at least 100-something new followers. Social media mayhem, for me at least. The funniest part was getting texts and emails from my girlfriends saying, “OMG, Tracee posted your sketch, girl!” (We all, collectively, stan for her. How could you not?) The photo also made its way to Fatima’s Instagram too, which… omg, I die. In my dancing days, Fatima was a huuuuge inspiration. Huge. And still is.

So thank you ladies, for shouting out my little bit of artwork, and for just being amazing stars in general. It’s crazy to see your work shared by people you’ve long admired — but totally awesome too. Now my mom has something to brag about. :)

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