As promised I have two episodes to catch up to this week for my semi-weekly review of Project Runway Canada. I watched episode 7 with Adrienne and episode 8 with Anita, much thanks as always to my gracious hostesses. My thoughts on the shows may be seen after the break…
Today’s Toronto Fashion Bloggers Brunch was small. Small brunches have a few things going for them, it sure is nice to be able to include everyone in one conversation instead of always wondering what I am missing at the other end of the table. Lots of our regulars are in the middle of exams and final projects right now so we’ll catch up with them all again next year. Today’s blogroll –
Patricia from laidbacklux
Henna from Canadian Beauty
Natalie from blogTO
Anita from I want – I got
Melissa from Just Cuz I’m a Girl
It is hard to believe it has been over a year of brunches. I have met so many terrific new people, made some wonderful friends, and enjoyed indulging in talking about fashion to my hearts content at least once a month. TFBB has brought me a lot of joy and I look forward to more brunches next year. If you came, I hope you enjoyed it too.
Thank you to everyone who has made the first 13 Toronto Fashion Blogger Brunches so marvelous!
If you are curious you can find out more about me by clicking on the right sidebar, especially the pages section and my Flickr account.
It is marvelous have my fashion figure idea included amongst the Post’s gift suggestions. The Post mentioned the price includes a full-colour “frameable original” – I colour the fashion figures in Photoshop so no full colour original exists, and therefore I regret to admit that I can not make good on the Post’s offer.
Still, I would love to offer some frame-able artwork to clients who found me via the Post’s gift guide. If you collaborate with me on a custom fashion figure and show me a digital photo of you holding the above page of the post (page 15 of the Toronto section, from the Nov. 24 edition) I will send you an archival quality print from zazzle.com.
Of course you can purchase the illustration on any number of types of printed media; moo cards, greeting cards, framed prints, posters, even shirts and other objects. Let me know what you have in mind and I will provide a quote, or if you wish to print it yourself for personal use I will provide the correct files.
Recently I had the pleasure of meeting Jocelyne and Crystal, two students at U of T who organize a fashion club for teenagers called TRENDS. They asked me to come to their meeting this month and talk about my experiences as a fashion student, illustrator and blogger. I am also planning on showing the members how to draw a classic nine-head fashion figure by formula.
I am allowed to invite a few people to come. I know I have a few teenage readers in and around Toronto, and this would be a terrific opportunity to meet you. The TRENDS event is on this Saturday afternoon (November the 24th) at Ryerson University in downtown Toronto. If you would like to attend, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
It is a rainy, dark day here. I am working and happy. That I have the privilege of illustrating fashion for a living gives me great enthusiasm to continue doing so. It is always challenging, and feels right. A sense of being at the beginning of something.
Sometimes there is a pile of projects to do, like right now. These are the best days – I am working on several Fashion Figures, drawing for my designer clients, and working on cool side projects. Every sketch is not just a new design and a pretty figure, it is like drawing a roof over my head, fresh food from the market, incremental progress on my student debt, and sharp new pencils, and not least of all skills. So of course I am glad to take a few days devoted to my drawing table.
I have not forgotten about Final Fashion, dear readers. So I will now take a little break and assemble some distracting clicks that you can visit until I find the right moment to post proper again.
- I am skipping this week’s review of Episode 7 of PRC, I will have to make next Tuesday a double-header. Thanks to Adrienne for inviting me watch the show with her. We both agreed that the show is improving, and that some designers who have not impressed us with their effort are now bringing it.
- Julian Roberts posts the real professorial lecture on The Fashion Spot that has got me thinking and feeling. It deserves an equally epic response when I have sorted out what my response is.
- Carolyn lent me the first Scott Pilgrim book. I finished it in about half an hour and I enjoyed every minute. Brian Lee O’Malley‘s storytelling, lively lines and expressive characters are quite fascinating to look at.
- Speaking of comic books, are there any comic books out there about fashion? Google tells me… sort of.
- I was posting about a list of professional goals the other day that I am working on… Tricia at Bits & Bobbins is writing lists too, of creative things to-do.
- The Grumpy Owl answered my mustache question. His own mustache has been growing, along with increasing suspense and speculation… looking forward to the gala post.
- Adrian at Fashion Verbatim takes the last word on L’Oreal Fashion Week in his inimitable way.
- Almost Girl has launched a new set of shopping blogs, Almost Pretty, Almost Dressed, Almost Packed, and Almost Heeled. Kind of like how I found it necessary to create Final Food for my off-topic expressions. Julie is a smart girl and I have no doubt at all she enjoys the irony of announcing these blogs on that auspicious week of fashion blog history, Black Friday. Things have changed a lot for all of us since 2005, and it is good to remember the way we were and what we have learned since.
As you may have noticed, a lot of these are blips which want to be epic posts. This will have to do for now.
This week I set aside time to think, organize and plan. As 2008 fast approaches it has become apparent that I can no longer put off preparing myself for all the things I wish to do and accomplish next year.
At first I was overwhelmed. I wrote down my goals and ideas, but I still could not wrap my head around how I would achieve them. They seemed huge and impossible. Perhaps that is why I had felt so much inertia around starting to get ready for next year.
I did a little reading online, and became a latecomer to the most popular productivity site on the web, 43 folders. Merlin Mann wrote an incredible pair of posts on Building a Smarter To-Do List that I found inspiring and helpful. In the time I set aside, I began to break down my goals into smaller steps which are simple and doable. Every day I can do something that gets me a little bit closer to my ideal. My to-do list is very long right now, but instead of being overwhelmed I feel like I know what I need to do and how I will get it done. This exercise has raised my confidence considerably.
When I visited Susie Love to watch PRC on Monday she generously lent me Dr. Stephen Covey’s classic 7 Habits of Highly Effective People on old-school cassettes. I have never listened to motivational tapes before but Susie’s endorsement is very convincing. Since I met her at the Fashion and Design Festival in August she has inspired my admiration. Even within a few months her progress as an entrepreneur has been considerable. Every time she gets a new account or fresh press, I cheer. She is a firecracker.
I have been listening to the tapes while I cook and clean, and while I practice sketching. Dr. Covey is friendly and deliberate. The information he offers is common sense and he repeats himself often. Yet instead of feeling patronized I appreciate the simplicity and the reinforcement.
Within 2 days of listening to the tapes I already found one situation with a client where I was able to apply Dr. Covey’s lessons with positive effect. I was able to change a project from something daunting into something manageable. The client’s spirits were visibly raised over the course of the meeting, and of course I felt a lot better too.
I am not the only fashion blogger/entrepreneur who takes an interest in productivity. Elaine Perlov at i am a fashion designer. gee has a whole series of posts dedicated to her taskmaster, which happens to be an adorable egg-timer. I will have to add “buy adorable egg-timer” to my to do list.
While I was poking around Elaine’s blog I also noticed that she is working on some custom favicons, and I was inspired to do the same. I used my initials, which I sometimes sign small sketches with.
What do you think?
The other things I have been pondering this week have more to do with people and relationships, things that are not so easily itemized as a to do list. The spirit of self-improvement I have been feeling lately is compelling me to reflect on how I can communicate better. I want to figure out how to be more empathetic and helpful. I feel like I have a long way to go. I hope by practicing a sense of awareness, someday I will develop these sensitive and important skills.
For this episode Gail and I enjoyed Susie Love‘s hospitality. Surrounded by Susie’s amazing jewelry, with a glass or three of good cheer, made me very happy that I do not have cable. It is a pleasure to be compelled to spend my Monday evenings amongst such fine company. Thank you Susie and Gail!
My episode review and another fashion week sketch are on the other side of the line.
As an inveterate bohemian I do not have a great disposable income for frivolities like magazines, but when confronted with David Downton‘s compelling entreaty Pourquois Pas… I simply can not think of a reason why not. This is a magazine that is everything I wish a magazine would be.
For good or bad we are all artists or creators now, or at least we have that capability. The question became why NOT do your own magazine?
– David Downton
The drawings are treated like the treasures they are and the text and graphic design lets the illustrations take the lead. The writing offers applause for the contributions of fashion illustrators past and present.
The greatest treat for me is the glimpse into the working lives of artists like Downton and Eula. The magazine is not without a stellar supporting cast of divine models drawn from life like Carmen Dell’Orefice and great fashion writers like Cathy Horyn and Sarah Mower (both who are known to doodle in lieu of notes). In short, it is an effort that I most appreciate. Thank you David Downton and all of your marvelous friends.
To wrap up, a taste of some of the passages that have resonated with me.
“He was full of bravado and self-assurance, but he laughed at himself and was great fun to be with. He was also a great sales person. He sold himself to the fashion industry and used all his skill to describe the essence of the collections. In a way, he opened the door for other fashion illustrators.”
– Carmen Dell’Orefice on Joe Eula
“The point where art and fashion meet is fertile ground for personal expression… I began to see that there is a meritocracy at work. To be a successful fashion illustrator you HAVE to be good, since only the best and most accomplished sustain careers. It can not be done with hype.”
– curator William Ling
These fine people have all customized a fashion illustration to their specifications. I have learned a lot from my first five clients, and so changes are being made to the original offer. Starting with the name – I am now calling them Fashion Figures.
A Fashion Figure is a single illustrated figure in the tradition of classic fashion illustration, slightly exaggerated and stylized. It can be a female or male figure of any age, from any angle, front back or side. It can be full colour or just highlighted with one or two colours. The illustration can represent anyone real or fictional; not just yourself. It could be a gift for someone. It can be as true to life or fantastically outrageous as you like.
If you love fashion, you are probably familiar with the art of fashion illustration and express yourself or your craft through clothing or appearance. A custom Fashion Figure communicates your style and ideas through fashion illustration. You can be anywhere in the world. You do not have to be a fashion blogger or a fashion designer to get one – all you need is an idea for your fashion figure.
You can have your Fashion Figure printed on business cards or moo cards, post cards, gift cards, posters, archival prints for your wall, and even some garments and objects. You may use it online in correspondence and online profiles. Further rights to publish and distribute it are also available.
Email me at email@example.com for details.