Listings

    No events to show

Follow

Twitter

|

Facebook

|

MySpace

|

Last.fm

RSS

Subscribe

Top 25 Art Blog - Creative Tourist

An interview with illustrator Jesse Tise.

Pasadena based illustrator Jesse Tise imagines the most wonderful worlds inhabited by strange flora and fauna. Here he answers a Q&A, bringing a little of the colourful Californian art scene to our wintery shores...

Written by Amelia Gregory

David Downton is one of the most prolific living fashion illustrators, approved and by far my favourite (no offence, contributors!) His loose, visionary style seems so effortless and radiates elegance and beauty. Beginning his career as a commercial illustrator, it wasn’t until he attended Paris couture shows over a decade ago that he really began to explore fashion illustration. Since then, he’s created images of the world’s most beautiful women and the its most groundbreaking fashion. From Dior to Dita Von Teese, he’s captured the essence and spirit of women and fashion like no other image maker before him. His images are everywhere, in books, in magazines, on billboards, on the walls of illustration students’ bedrooms and hell – even M&S tote bags.

This month sees the launch of Downton’s first solo book – Masters of Fashion Illustration. Inside, it explores the work of the greatest fashion illustrators of the twentieth century as well as a good look at his own work. You’re in for a treat here – page after page of lavish images celebrate the genre, featuring the greats of fashion illustration as well as looking at the influence of other artists and designers.

In the run up to the publication of Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration, I spoke to David about his illustrious career and the new book…

Hi David! I’m worried about asking all the questions you’ve been asked already… but… How *did* you get into fashion illustration?
In a way, I was ‘mugged’ by fashion. I was fairly well established as an all-round commercial illustrator – who occasionally took on  fashion commissions –  when the FT sent me to Paris to draw at the couture shows. That was in July 1996 and I felt like I’d been given the keys to a magic kingdom.

How do your pieces come together?
Surprisingly slowly. I keep working until it looks effortless, which means doing a lot of drawing. I am looking for a kind of controlled spontaneity.

What techniques do you use?
It really depends on the brief, my mood and what I am trying to convey. I love using Rotring ink, because it is such a rich black and Dr Martin’s black ink, because it has a velvety, violet cast to it. I also use gouache, watercolour, oil stick, occasionally acrylics… really anything that seems appropriate or inspiring at a given moment.

What qualities do fashion illustrations have that photographs or film don’t?
A personal sensibility (very few illustrations are the result of a team effort). A sense of the moment, fluidity, dexterity. Drawings tell the truth without needing to be accurate. The camera is a gadget (and we all love gadgets), but we have been saturated by photographic imagery. It’s a point and shoot world.

Who has been your favourite subject to draw, portrait-wise?
In no particular order: Cate Blanchett, Dita Von Teese, Erin O’ Connor, Paloma Picasso, Lady Amanda Harlech, Linda Evangelista and Carmen. I’ll stop there, but the truth is, everyone I’ve drawn has been inspiring.

Which designers are your favourites to illustrate?
LaCroix, Dior, Gaultier, Chanel, Valentino…. the masters.

Which other image makers have inspired you/do you admire?
Again, too many to list fully. How about Matisse, Boldini, Picasso, Francis Bacon, Euan Uglow, Réne Gruau, Mats Gustafsson, Tony Viramontes, Abraham Ganes, Al Hirshfield and Bob Peak to kick off with?

How do your collaborations come around?
It depends – sometimes I think of a project I’d love to do and pursue it….  At other times it comes to me, either directly, or via my agent. There are no hard and fast rules, but I’m always trying to scare something up.

Here at Amelia’s Magazine, we love fashion illustration and Amelia’s next book will be a celebration of the genre. What advice would you give to our army of up-and-coming illustrators?
My advice would be simple; keep drawing. You can’t be too good at it. And when you’re not drawing, keep looking, training your eye. Be professional. Fashion illustration is a profession, as well as a passion. Most of all enjoy it; you have the whole world at your fingertips.

There seems to be a real revival of fashion illustration at the moment – magazines and websites are showcasing sketchbooks and commissioning more and more illustrators and exhibitions are popping up everywhere. Why do you think illustrations excite people?
I was once working backstage at Dior and a model said “Drawing… wow, that’s new!” I thought, ‘drawing is now so old, it’s new!’ In other words, like everything else it’s cyclical. I think a lot of people just forgot about it. But, to be honest, although everyone talks about a revival, fashion illustration never really went anywhere. Perhaps you just needed to look harder.

Will you ever use a computer as part of your imagemaking?!
Never say never, as they say.

What can we expect from the new book?
It’s beautiful! Gorgeous! A celebration of my favourite fashion illustrators from the turn of the 20th century up until the late 80s, followed by a portfolio of my own work.

How did the book come together? Did you enjoy creating it?
I worked very closely with the designer, Karen Morgan, and loved every agonising minute of it! It was a big leap for me. I’d done 2 issues of my own fashion illustration magazine Pourquoi Pas? and I thought I knew what I was doing, nevertheless it was daunting to do a 240 page book in my ‘spare’ time. But it was a labour of love; I got to look at the the work of the artists I most love; I met  Tony Viramontes’ brother and  René Bouché’s widow; I had access to the Vogue archive. I have to say, the publishers (Laurence King) were brilliant, very indulgent and I think we are all proud of what we achieved.

So, what else do you get up to?
 I have two teenage children (actually my daughter’s 20, now), so all the usual things. I’m a lazy workaholic. When I’m not working I am very happy doing ‘nothing’. I live in the countryside an hour from London, a very long way from the world of fashion.

Masters of Fashion Illustration by David Downton is out now, published by Laurence King.
David Downton is one of the most prolific living fashion illustrators, buy information pills and by far my favourite (no offence, story contributors!) His loose, visionary style seems so effortless and radiates elegance and beauty. Beginning his career as a commercial illustrator, it wasn’t until he attended Paris couture shows over a decade ago that he really began to explore fashion illustration. Since then, he’s created images of the world’s most beautiful women and the its most groundbreaking fashion. From Dior to Dita Von Teese, he’s captured the essence and spirit of women and fashion like no other image maker before him. His images are everywhere, in books, in magazines, on billboards, on the walls of illustration students’ bedrooms and hell – even M&S tote bags.

This month sees the launch of Downton’s first solo book – Masters of Fashion Illustration. Inside, it explores the work of the greatest fashion illustrators of the twentieth century as well as a good look at his own work. You’re in for a treat here – page after page of lavish images celebrate the genre, featuring the greats of fashion illustration as well as looking at the influence of other artists and designers.

In the run up to the publication of Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration, I spoke to David about his illustrious career and the new book…

Hi David! I’m worried about asking all the questions you’ve been asked already… but… How *did* you get into fashion illustration?
In a way, I was ‘mugged’ by fashion. I was fairly well established as an all-round commercial illustrator – who occasionally took on  fashion commissions –  when the FT sent me to Paris to draw at the couture shows. That was in July 1996 and I felt like I’d been given the keys to a magic kingdom.

How do your pieces come together?
Surprisingly slowly. I keep working until it looks effortless, which means doing a lot of drawing. I am looking for a kind of controlled spontaneity.

What techniques do you use?
It really depends on the brief, my mood and what I am trying to convey. I love using Rotring ink, because it is such a rich black and Dr Martin’s black ink, because it has a velvety, violet cast to it. I also use gouache, watercolour, oil stick, occasionally acrylics… really anything that seems appropriate or inspiring at a given moment.

What qualities do fashion illustrations have that photographs or film don’t?
A personal sensibility (very few illustrations are the result of a team effort). A sense of the moment, fluidity, dexterity. Drawings tell the truth without needing to be accurate. The camera is a gadget (and we all love gadgets), but we have been saturated by photographic imagery. It’s a point and shoot world.

Who has been your favourite subject to draw, portrait-wise?
In no particular order: Cate Blanchett, Dita Von Teese, Erin O’ Connor, Paloma Picasso, Lady Amanda Harlech, Linda Evangelista and Carmen. I’ll stop there, but the truth is, everyone I’ve drawn has been inspiring.

Which designers are your favourites to illustrate?
LaCroix, Dior, Gaultier, Chanel, Valentino…. the masters.

Which other image makers have inspired you/do you admire?
Again, too many to list fully. How about Matisse, Boldini, Picasso, Francis Bacon, Euan Uglow, Réne Gruau, Mats Gustafsson, Tony Viramontes, Abraham Ganes, Al Hirshfield and Bob Peak to kick off with?

How do your collaborations come around?
It depends – sometimes I think of a project I’d love to do and pursue it….  At other times it comes to me, either directly, or via my agent. There are no hard and fast rules, but I’m always trying to scare something up.

Here at Amelia’s Magazine, we love fashion illustration and Amelia’s next book will be a celebration of the genre. What advice would you give to our army of up-and-coming illustrators?
My advice would be simple; keep drawing. You can’t be too good at it. And when you’re not drawing, keep looking, training your eye. Be professional. Fashion illustration is a profession, as well as a passion. Most of all enjoy it; you have the whole world at your fingertips.

There seems to be a real revival of fashion illustration at the moment – magazines and websites are showcasing sketchbooks and commissioning more and more illustrators and exhibitions are popping up everywhere. Why do you think illustrations excite people?
I was once working backstage at Dior and a model said “Drawing… wow, that’s new!” I thought, ‘drawing is now so old, it’s new!’ In other words, like everything else it’s cyclical. I think a lot of people just forgot about it. But, to be honest, although everyone talks about a revival, fashion illustration never really went anywhere. Perhaps you just needed to look harder.

Will you ever use a computer as part of your imagemaking?!
Never say never, as they say.

What can we expect from the new book?
It’s beautiful! Gorgeous! A celebration of my favourite fashion illustrators from the turn of the 20th century up until the late 80s, followed by a portfolio of my own work.

How did the book come together? Did you enjoy creating it?
I worked very closely with the designer, Karen Morgan, and loved every agonising minute of it! It was a big leap for me. I’d done 2 issues of my own fashion illustration magazine Pourquoi Pas? and I thought I knew what I was doing, nevertheless it was daunting to do a 240 page book in my ‘spare’ time. But it was a labour of love; I got to look at the the work of the artists I most love; I met  Tony Viramontes’ brother and  René Bouché’s widow; I had access to the Vogue archive. I have to say, the publishers (Laurence King) were brilliant, very indulgent and I think we are all proud of what we achieved.

So, what else do you get up to?
 I have two teenage children (actually my daughter’s 20, now), so all the usual things. I’m a lazy workaholic. When I’m not working I am very happy doing ‘nothing’. I live in the countryside an hour from London, a very long way from the world of fashion.

Masters of Fashion Illustration by David Downton is out now, published by Laurence King.
David Downton is one of the most prolific living fashion illustrators, ambulance and by far my favourite (no offence, this contributors!) His loose, treat visionary style seems so effortless and radiates elegance and beauty. Beginning his career as a commercial illustrator, it wasn’t until he attended Paris couture shows over a decade ago that he really began to explore fashion illustration. Since then, he’s created images of the world’s most beautiful women and the its most groundbreaking fashion. From Dior to Dita Von Teese, he’s captured the essence and spirit of women and fashion like no other image maker before him. His images are everywhere, in books, in magazines, on billboards, on the walls of illustration students’ bedrooms and hell – even M&S tote bags.

This month sees the launch of Downton’s first solo book – Masters of Fashion Illustration. Inside, it explores the work of the greatest fashion illustrators of the twentieth century as well as a good look at his own work. You’re in for a treat here – page after page of lavish images celebrate the genre, featuring the greats of fashion illustration as well as looking at the influence of other artists and designers.

In the run up to the publication of Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration, I spoke to David about his illustrious career and the new book…

Hi David! I’m worried about asking all the questions you’ve been asked already… but… How *did* you get into fashion illustration?
In a way, I was ‘mugged’ by fashion. I was fairly well established as an all-round commercial illustrator – who occasionally took on  fashion commissions –  when the FT sent me to Paris to draw at the couture shows. That was in July 1996 and I felt like I’d been given the keys to a magic kingdom.

How do your pieces come together?
Surprisingly slowly. I keep working until it looks effortless, which means doing a lot of drawing. I am looking for a kind of controlled spontaneity.

What techniques do you use?
It really depends on the brief, my mood and what I am trying to convey. I love using Rotring ink, because it is such a rich black and Dr Martin’s black ink, because it has a velvety, violet cast to it. I also use gouache, watercolour, oil stick, occasionally acrylics… really anything that seems appropriate or inspiring at a given moment.

What qualities do fashion illustrations have that photographs or film don’t?
A personal sensibility (very few illustrations are the result of a team effort). A sense of the moment, fluidity, dexterity. Drawings tell the truth without needing to be accurate. The camera is a gadget (and we all love gadgets), but we have been saturated by photographic imagery. It’s a point and shoot world.

Who has been your favourite subject to draw, portrait-wise?
In no particular order: Cate Blanchett, Dita Von Teese, Erin O’ Connor, Paloma Picasso, Lady Amanda Harlech, Linda Evangelista and Carmen. I’ll stop there, but the truth is, everyone I’ve drawn has been inspiring.

Which designers are your favourites to illustrate?
LaCroix, Dior, Gaultier, Chanel, Valentino…. the masters.

Which other image makers have inspired you/do you admire?
Again, too many to list fully. How about Matisse, Boldini, Picasso, Francis Bacon, Euan Uglow, Réne Gruau, Mats Gustafsson, Tony Viramontes, Abraham Ganes, Al Hirshfield and Bob Peak to kick off with?

How do your collaborations come around?
It depends – sometimes I think of a project I’d love to do and pursue it….  At other times it comes to me, either directly, or via my agent. There are no hard and fast rules, but I’m always trying to scare something up.

Here at Amelia’s Magazine, we love fashion illustration and Amelia’s next book will be a celebration of the genre. What advice would you give to our army of up-and-coming illustrators?
My advice would be simple; keep drawing. You can’t be too good at it. And when you’re not drawing, keep looking, training your eye. Be professional. Fashion illustration is a profession, as well as a passion. Most of all enjoy it; you have the whole world at your fingertips.

There seems to be a real revival of fashion illustration at the moment – magazines and websites are showcasing sketchbooks and commissioning more and more illustrators and exhibitions are popping up everywhere. Why do you think illustrations excite people?
I was once working backstage at Dior and a model said “Drawing… wow, that’s new!” I thought, ‘drawing is now so old, it’s new!’ In other words, like everything else it’s cyclical. I think a lot of people just forgot about it. But, to be honest, although everyone talks about a revival, fashion illustration never really went anywhere. Perhaps you just needed to look harder.

Will you ever use a computer as part of your imagemaking?!
Never say never, as they say.

What can we expect from the new book?
It’s beautiful! Gorgeous! A celebration of my favourite fashion illustrators from the turn of the 20th century up until the late 80s, followed by a portfolio of my own work.

How did the book come together? Did you enjoy creating it?
I worked very closely with the designer, Karen Morgan, and loved every agonising minute of it! It was a big leap for me. I’d done 2 issues of my own fashion illustration magazine Pourquoi Pas? and I thought I knew what I was doing, nevertheless it was daunting to do a 240 page book in my ‘spare’ time. But it was a labour of love; I got to look at the the work of the artists I most love; I met  Tony Viramontes’ brother and  René Bouché’s widow; I had access to the Vogue archive. I have to say, the publishers (Laurence King) were brilliant, very indulgent and I think we are all proud of what we achieved.

So, what else do you get up to?
 I have two teenage children (actually my daughter’s 20, now), so all the usual things. I’m a lazy workaholic. When I’m not working I am very happy doing ‘nothing’. I live in the countryside an hour from London, a very long way from the world of fashion.

Masters of Fashion Illustration by David Downton is out now, published by Laurence King.
Two years on since their first show Charlotte Gibson, this site Marine Hollande, approved Sally Mumby-Croft and Natascha Nanji (the founders of Circuit-Wisely) presented their new show Circuit Wisely presents, 17 Artists. The aim of the exhibition was to show artisit’s responses to the East London residential building, investigating its scope for comment on the dual roles of architecture and context within the contested geography of East London.

Artists (I was one of them) were given freedom and restrictions exhibiting in this particular space ensuring that our work was temporal and could have duplicitous functions in the communal areas such as the car park, balconies, stairwells, lifts and terraces open up possibilities for creativity.

I started the exhibition on the ground level of the first stairwell following the wool that was wrapped up the handrails and piping. Michaela Brebenel’s installation 1 to 7; G to 6A – Loose Ends whose work plays with the notion of navigating a space – through external and internal sources of what one does and does not see. I continue my journey upwards and pass by a decorative installation work by Richard King, a brightly coloured painting by Daniel Wilkins but my attention is held by Ben Fox’s sculpture Sublet City looks like a shantytown. The sculpture is made from found materials and is beautifully made. It is accompanied by a text ‘the house shelters day-dreaming, the house protects the dreamer, the house allows one to dream in peace.’ The contrasting nature of the contemporary East London building and the fragile houses of the piece seem to echo the sudden development of East London the mixture of old and new and the destruction of the old in favour of the new.

I pass my own work and onto the next level in which lying on a table is Will Jennings’ Portfolio. Jennings’ piece is a critical reflection of the owner of the building itself. It is a publication that is a selection photography and text to create a dialogue about the capitalistic nature of landscape and home. It is rare that such an opportunity for a piece of work criticising the building is actually installed in the place that it is criticising. It was interesting to see the interaction and discussion this piece caused with the residence of the building presenting them with the opportunity to re-think their living space.

After reading I walk up the stairs and see another ornamental piece by Richard King. Hanging on the level above are three beautiful photographs by Alex Ressel. I continue my journey upwards and see ‘DIAL 2-2-4-9 AND POINT TO THE SKY’. This is a vinyl text piece by Natalie Dray. Opposite this is a comical 3D image Lost in Space. The image is of the famous Robot who seems to vibrate out of the paper and into some form of hologram – this I am seeing without the help of 3D glasses. I have now completed my journey of the stairwell and make my way onto the walkway and enter a flat to see Charlotte Gibson’s Sitting Room Installation makes one’s eyes pop out of ones head. The collection of brightly coloured collages, furniture, lamps, china, jelly, plastic and string are

I am walking towards the second stairwell to get in the lift as the doors open I see Natascha Nanji’s work A Tail of Two Cities installed in the ceiling of the two lifts of the building. In one of the lifts the ceiling has been covered with black rubber that has been punctured and shells are poking through. The weight of the shells is threatening when one walks into the lift. The movement of the lift passenger has been altered the work has imposed itself on the space of the passenger. On one journey a couple walked in chatting unaware about what was above their heads until one shells grazed the top of the male’s head to which he was most alarmed. A scene from a horror film perhaps? The other lift the work is far more obviously imposing itself into the space – black rubber tubes dangling down from the ceiling a strange sea creature chandelier.

I get the lift back to the 5th Floor and wonder around the walkway and see Zoe Paul’s sculpture Buoy. I walk onto the terrace I see Susanna JP Byrne’s Cy Cartographer No. Sculpture stands tall looking out towards the city. The sculpture stands upright and tall like a century guard – a look out over the London landscape. The piece reminds me of a mixture of school science / geography experiment the copper wire referencing the science and the brightly coloured poles the yard sticks we used to measure the playing field with.

A large group of people gather onto the walkway and I move off the terrace as it is needed for Marnie Hollande’s performance piece Gas. This performance wowed the crowed at the opening night of the exhibition. A figure emerged onto the walkway her face covered by a shimmering midnight blue mask, dressed in chiffon with balloons attached to her. The body and balloons struggled against the wind and crowd. Moving her way to the terrace to continue the performance. The wind was so strong that the performer moving with the constraints of her costume and was being moved by the strong East London wind. Balloons became detached from the costume and were carried off into the darkness.

The exciting thing about the Circuit-Wisely shows is partly the diversity of work on display but also that visitor seems to be completely free to move about the building but in fact is being deliberately manoeuvred to encounter the work in relationship to the various movements one can make within the space. The curation and choice of art works allows visitors to experience different environments and transports them from a block of flats to an interesting space for creative people to come together and display work.

David Downton is one of the most prolific living fashion illustrators, sales and by far my favourite (no offence, shop contributors!) His loose, dosage visionary style seems so effortless and radiates elegance and beauty. Beginning his career as a commercial illustrator, it wasn’t until he attended Paris couture shows over a decade ago that he really began to explore fashion illustration. Since then, he’s created images of the world’s most beautiful women and the its most groundbreaking fashion. From Dior to Dita Von Teese, he’s captured the essence and spirit of women and fashion like no other image maker before him. His images are everywhere, in books, in magazines, on billboards, on the walls of illustration students’ bedrooms and hell – even M&S tote bags.

This month sees the launch of Downton’s first solo book – Masters of Fashion Illustration. Inside, it explores the work of the greatest fashion illustrators of the twentieth century as well as a good look at his own work. You’re in for a treat here – page after page of lavish images celebrate the genre, featuring the greats of fashion illustration as well as looking at the influence of other artists and designers.

In the run up to the publication of Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration, I spoke to David about his illustrious career and the new book…

Hi David! I’m worried about asking all the questions you’ve been asked already… but… How *did* you get into fashion illustration?
In a way, I was ‘mugged’ by fashion. I was fairly well established as an all-round commercial illustrator – who occasionally took on  fashion commissions –  when the FT sent me to Paris to draw at the couture shows. That was in July 1996 and I felt like I’d been given the keys to a magic kingdom.

How do your pieces come together?
Surprisingly slowly. I keep working until it looks effortless, which means doing a lot of drawing. I am looking for a kind of controlled spontaneity.

What techniques do you use?
It really depends on the brief, my mood and what I am trying to convey. I love using Rotring ink, because it is such a rich black and Dr Martin’s black ink, because it has a velvety, violet cast to it. I also use gouache, watercolour, oil stick, occasionally acrylics… really anything that seems appropriate or inspiring at a given moment.

What qualities do fashion illustrations have that photographs or film don’t?
A personal sensibility (very few illustrations are the result of a team effort). A sense of the moment, fluidity, dexterity. Drawings tell the truth without needing to be accurate. The camera is a gadget (and we all love gadgets), but we have been saturated by photographic imagery. It’s a point and shoot world.

Who has been your favourite subject to draw, portrait-wise?
In no particular order: Cate Blanchett, Dita Von Teese, Erin O’ Connor, Paloma Picasso, Lady Amanda Harlech, Linda Evangelista and Carmen. I’ll stop there, but the truth is, everyone I’ve drawn has been inspiring.

Which designers are your favourites to illustrate?
LaCroix, Dior, Gaultier, Chanel, Valentino…. the masters.

Which other image makers have inspired you/do you admire?
Again, too many to list fully. How about Matisse, Boldini, Picasso, Francis Bacon, Euan Uglow, Réne Gruau, Mats Gustafsson, Tony Viramontes, Abraham Ganes, Al Hirshfield and Bob Peak to kick off with?

How do your collaborations come around?
It depends – sometimes I think of a project I’d love to do and pursue it….  At other times it comes to me, either directly, or via my agent. There are no hard and fast rules, but I’m always trying to scare something up.

Here at Amelia’s Magazine, we love fashion illustration and Amelia’s next book will be a celebration of the genre. What advice would you give to our army of up-and-coming illustrators?
My advice would be simple; keep drawing. You can’t be too good at it. And when you’re not drawing, keep looking, training your eye. Be professional. Fashion illustration is a profession, as well as a passion. Most of all enjoy it; you have the whole world at your fingertips.

There seems to be a real revival of fashion illustration at the moment – magazines and websites are showcasing sketchbooks and commissioning more and more illustrators and exhibitions are popping up everywhere. Why do you think illustration excites people?
I was once working backstage at Dior and a model said “Drawing… wow, that’s new!” I thought, ‘drawing is now so old, it’s new!’ In other words, like everything else it’s cyclical. I think a lot of people just forgot about it. But, to be honest, although everyone talks about a revival, fashion illustration never really went anywhere. Perhaps you just needed to look harder.

Will you ever use a computer as part of your imagemaking?!
Never say never, as they say.

What can we expect from the new book?
It’s beautiful! Gorgeous! A celebration of my favourite fashion illustrators from the turn of the 20th century up until the late 80s, followed by a portfolio of my own work.

How did the book come together? Did you enjoy creating it?
I worked very closely with the designer, Karen Morgan, and loved every agonising minute of it! It was a big leap for me. I’d done 2 issues of my own fashion illustration magazine Pourquoi Pas? and I thought I knew what I was doing, nevertheless it was daunting to do a 240 page book in my ‘spare’ time. But it was a labour of love; I got to look at the the work of the artists I most love; I met  Tony Viramontes’ brother and  René Bouché’s widow; I had access to the Vogue archive. I have to say, the publishers (Laurence King) were brilliant, very indulgent and I think we are all proud of what we achieved.

So, what else do you get up to?
 I have two teenage children (actually my daughter’s 20, now), so all the usual things. I’m a lazy workaholic. When I’m not working I am very happy doing ‘nothing’. I live in the countryside an hour from London, a very long way from the world of fashion.

Masters of Fashion Illustration by David Downton is out now, published by Laurence King.

David Downton is one of the most prolific living fashion illustrators, sildenafil and by far my favourite (no offence, stuff contributors!) His loose, visionary style seems so effortless and radiates elegance and beauty. Beginning his career as a commercial illustrator, it wasn’t until he attended Paris couture shows over a decade ago that he really began to explore fashion illustration. Since then, he’s created images of the world’s most groundbreaking fashion and its most beautiful women. From Dior to Dita Von Teese, he’s captured the essence and spirit of women and fashion like no other image maker before him. His images are everywhere, in books, in magazines, on billboards, on the walls of illustration students’ bedrooms and hell – even M&S tote bags.

This month sees the launch of Downton’s first solo book – Masters of Fashion Illustration. Inside, it explores the work of the greatest fashion illustrators of the twentieth century as well as a good look at his own work. You’re in for a treat here – page after page of lavish images celebrate the genre, featuring the greats of fashion illustration as well as looking at the influence of other artists and designers.

In the run up to the publication of Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration, I spoke to David about his illustrious career and the new book…

Hi David! I’m worried about asking all the questions you’ve been asked already… but… How did you become a fashion illustrator?
In a way, I was ‘mugged’ by fashion. I was fairly well established as an all-round commercial illustrator – who occasionally took on  fashion commissions –  when the FT sent me to Paris to draw at the couture shows. That was in July 1996 and I felt like I’d been given the keys to a magic kingdom.

How do your pieces come together?
Surprisingly slowly. I keep working until it looks effortless, which means doing a lot of drawing. I am looking for a kind of controlled spontaneity.

What techniques do you use?
It really depends on the brief, my mood and what I am trying to convey. I love using Rotring ink, because it is such a rich black and Dr. Marten’s black ink, because it has a velvety, violet cast to it. I also use gouache, watercolour, oil stick, occasionally acrylics… really anything that seems appropriate or inspiring at a given moment.

What qualities do fashion illustrations have that photographs or film don’t?
A personal sensibility (very few illustrations are the result of a team effort). A sense of the moment, fluidity, dexterity. Drawings tell the truth without needing to be accurate. The camera is a gadget (and we all love gadgets), but we have been saturated by photographic imagery. It’s a point and shoot world.

Who has been your favourite subject to draw, portrait-wise?
In no particular order: Cate Blanchett, Dita Von Teese, Erin O’ Connor, Paloma Picasso, Lady Amanda Harlech, Linda Evangelista and Carmen. I’ll stop there, but the truth is, everyone I’ve drawn has been inspiring.

Which designers are your favourites to illustrate?
Lacroix, Dior, Gaultier, Chanel, Valentino…. the masters.

Which other image makers have inspired you/do you admire?
Again, too many to list fully. How about Matisse, Boldini, Picasso, Francis Bacon, Euan Uglow, Réne Gruau, Mats Gustafsson, Tony Viramontes, Abraham Ganes, Al Hirshfield and Bob Peak to kick off with?

How do your collaborations come around?
It depends – sometimes I think of a project I’d love to do and pursue it….  At other times it comes to me, either directly, or via my agent. There are no hard and fast rules, but I’m always trying to scare something up.

Here at Amelia’s Magazine, we love fashion illustration and Amelia’s next book will be a celebration of the genre. What advice would you give to our army of up-and-coming illustrators?
My advice would be simple; keep drawing. You can’t be too good at it. And when you’re not drawing, keep looking, training your eye. Be professional. Fashion illustration is a profession, as well as a passion. Most of all enjoy it; you have the whole world at your fingertips.

There seems to be a real revival of fashion illustration at the moment – magazines and websites are showcasing sketchbooks and commissioning more and more illustrators and exhibitions are popping up everywhere. Why do you think illustration excites people?
I was once working backstage at Dior and a model said “Drawing… wow, that’s new!” I thought, ‘drawing is now so old, it’s new!’ In other words, like everything else it’s cyclical. I think a lot of people just forgot about it. But, to be honest, although everyone talks about a revival, fashion illustration never really went anywhere. Perhaps you just needed to look harder.

Will you ever use a computer as part of your imagemaking?!
Never say never, as they say.

What can we expect from the new book?
It’s beautiful! Gorgeous! A celebration of my favourite fashion illustrators from the turn of the 20th century up until the late 80s, followed by a portfolio of my own work.

How did the book come together? Did you enjoy creating it?
I worked very closely with the designer, Karen Morgan, and loved every agonising minute of it! It was a big leap for me. I’d done 2 issues of my own fashion illustration magazine Pourquoi Pas? and I thought I knew what I was doing, nevertheless it was daunting to do a 240 page book in my ‘spare’ time. But it was a labour of love; I got to look at the the work of the artists I most love; I met  Tony Viramontes’ brother and  René Bouché’s widow; I had access to the Vogue archive. I have to say, the publishers (Laurence King) were brilliant, very indulgent and I think we are all proud of what we achieved.

So, what else do you get up to?
 I have two teenage children (actually my daughter’s 20, now), so all the usual things. I’m a lazy workaholic. When I’m not working I am very happy doing ‘nothing’. I live in the countryside an hour from London, a very long way from the world of fashion.

Masters of Fashion Illustration by David Downton is out now, published by Laurence King. All images courtesy of David Downton.

David Downton is one of the most prolific living fashion illustrators, and and by far my favourite (no offence, viagra dosage contributors!) His loose, pill visionary style seems so effortless and radiates elegance and beauty. Beginning his career as a commercial illustrator, it wasn’t until he attended Paris couture shows over a decade ago that he really began to explore fashion illustration. Since then, he’s created images of the world’s most groundbreaking fashion and its most beautiful women. From Dior to Dita Von Teese, he’s captured the essence and spirit of women and fashion like no other image maker before him. His images are everywhere, in books, in magazines, on billboards, on the walls of illustration students’ bedrooms and hell – even M&S tote bags.

This month sees the launch of Downton’s first solo book – Masters of Fashion Illustration. Inside, it explores the work of the greatest fashion illustrators of the twentieth century as well as a good look at his own work. You’re in for a treat here – page after page of lavish images celebrate the genre, featuring the greats of fashion illustration as well as looking at the influence of other artists and designers.

In the run up to the publication of Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration, I spoke to David about his illustrious career and the new book…

Hi David! I’m worried about asking all the questions you’ve been asked already… but… How did you become a fashion illustrator?
In a way, I was ‘mugged’ by fashion. I was fairly well established as an all-round commercial illustrator – who occasionally took on  fashion commissions –  when the FT sent me to Paris to draw at the couture shows. That was in July 1996 and I felt like I’d been given the keys to a magic kingdom.

How do your pieces come together?
Surprisingly slowly. I keep working until it looks effortless, which means doing a lot of drawing. I am looking for a kind of controlled spontaneity.

What techniques do you use?
It really depends on the brief, my mood and what I am trying to convey. I love using Rotring ink, because it is such a rich black and Dr. Marten’s black ink, because it has a velvety, violet cast to it. I also use gouache, watercolour, oil stick, occasionally acrylics… really anything that seems appropriate or inspiring at a given moment.

What qualities do fashion illustrations have that photographs or film don’t?
A personal sensibility (very few illustrations are the result of a team effort). A sense of the moment, fluidity, dexterity. Drawings tell the truth without needing to be accurate. The camera is a gadget (and we all love gadgets), but we have been saturated by photographic imagery. It’s a point and shoot world.

Who has been your favourite subject to draw, portrait-wise?
In no particular order: Cate Blanchett, Dita Von Teese, Erin O’ Connor, Paloma Picasso, Lady Amanda Harlech, Linda Evangelista and Carmen. I’ll stop there, but the truth is, everyone I’ve drawn has been inspiring.

Which designers are your favourites to illustrate?
Lacroix, Dior, Gaultier, Chanel, Valentino…. the masters.

Which other image makers have inspired you/do you admire?
Again, too many to list fully. How about Matisse, Boldini, Picasso, Francis Bacon, Euan Uglow, Réne Gruau, Mats Gustafsson, Tony Viramontes, Abraham Ganes, Al Hirshfield and Bob Peak to kick off with?

How do your collaborations come around?
It depends – sometimes I think of a project I’d love to do and pursue it….  At other times it comes to me, either directly, or via my agent. There are no hard and fast rules, but I’m always trying to scare something up.

Here at Amelia’s Magazine, we love fashion illustration and Amelia’s next book will be a celebration of the genre. What advice would you give to our army of up-and-coming illustrators?
My advice would be simple; keep drawing. You can’t be too good at it. And when you’re not drawing, keep looking, training your eye. Be professional. Fashion illustration is a profession, as well as a passion. Most of all enjoy it; you have the whole world at your fingertips.

There seems to be a real revival of fashion illustration at the moment – magazines and websites are showcasing sketchbooks and commissioning more and more illustrators and exhibitions are popping up everywhere. Why do you think illustration excites people?
I was once working backstage at Dior and a model said “Drawing… wow, that’s new!” I thought, ‘drawing is now so old, it’s new!’ In other words, like everything else it’s cyclical. I think a lot of people just forgot about it. But, to be honest, although everyone talks about a revival, fashion illustration never really went anywhere. Perhaps you just needed to look harder.

Will you ever use a computer as part of your imagemaking?!
Never say never, as they say.

What can we expect from the new book?
It’s beautiful! Gorgeous! A celebration of my favourite fashion illustrators from the turn of the 20th century up until the late 80s, followed by a portfolio of my own work.

How did the book come together? Did you enjoy creating it?
I worked very closely with the designer, Karen Morgan, and loved every agonising minute of it! It was a big leap for me. I’d done 2 issues of my own fashion illustration magazine Pourquoi Pas? and I thought I knew what I was doing, nevertheless it was daunting to do a 240 page book in my ‘spare’ time. But it was a labour of love; I got to look at the the work of the artists I most love; I met  Tony Viramontes’ brother and  René Bouché’s widow; I had access to the Vogue archive. I have to say, the publishers (Laurence King) were brilliant, very indulgent and I think we are all proud of what we achieved.

So, what else do you get up to?
 I have two teenage children (actually my daughter’s 20, now), so all the usual things. I’m a lazy workaholic. When I’m not working I am very happy doing ‘nothing’. I live in the countryside an hour from London, a very long way from the world of fashion.

Masters of Fashion Illustration by David Downton is out now, published by Laurence King. All images courtesy of David Downton.
JesseTise_euphoria
Euphoria by Jesse Tise.

When I discovered Jesse Tise by accident on Gareth A Hopkins’ blog I knew I had to get in touch and find out what inspires his wonderful illustrations. Read on and enjoy.

Why Of Gods and Monsters?
I’ve always wanted to have a moniker for my art that was a little more special than just my name. I wanted the title of my website to reflect something greater and more magical than the ordinary world we live in. Of Gods and Monsters, cialis 40mg which is also a great film with Sir Ian McKellen and Brendan Fraser, struck the chord I wanted.

JesseTise_head_for_the_hills
Head for the Hills.

You’ve got a wonderful imagination – where do you get your inspiration from?
Nature! I love learning more about the flora and fauna of our world, and the many relationships between organisms in a single ecosystem. Also the japanese woodblock prints of Hokusai and Utamaro continually give me new ideas for pattern and composition. Oh, and science fiction film and books, Le Planete Sauvage is an amazing glimpse of an alien world!

JesseTise_the_hallowed_earth
The Hallowed Earth.

How do you create your work?
I usually paint my pieces with gouache (though sometimes I switch to acrylic) on paper. Gouache has amazing saturation of color. I use sponges to lay in wash gradients of color, over which I paint more solid shapes with brushes. However some of my newer pieces are digitally done; I usually make those by dropping scanned textures into flat, solid shape layers in Photoshop. I then print that out and use a lightbox to ink fine details with a brushpen, which I later scan and drop into the digital version.

JesseTise_The_Fisherman
The Fisherman.

What are your little creatures? Can you tell me more about their personalities and habits? Particularly this guy who appears a lot…
They are the googlocks, and they live scattered across six planets in an undeveloped galaxy. They reproduce via sporulation, so they are spread far and wide across the worlds. They wander the planets in nomad tribes, searching for their brothers and sisters and a home they will never find. Their bodies are soft, and jelly-like, so they are almost at the bottom of the food chain, though some have been able to tame and ride the larger, herbivore fauna. googlocks are the favorite prey of the much larger goomblaahs, omnivorous by nature, as well as the zaarlak, who are the greatest foe of the googlocks.

JesseTise_my_bestest_friend
My Bestest Friend.

What, precisely, is going on here?!
Ah, yet another fun piece for one of my Art Center classes! Its a self portrait with myself and my black giant schnauzer (named Sampson). However, I thought it’d be much more interesting, and fun, to replace our respective heads with a Native American mask and a set of multi-colored tentacles. Why? I’ll leave that one for you guys to answer…

JesseTise_Flora,Fauna,and_Freaks
Flora, Fauna and Freaks.

Where can we get hold of a copy of this?
Unfortunately, Flora, Fauna, and Freaks was a special set of booklets that was made for one of my courses at Art Center, and I have grown rather attached to it! I do have copies of my Space Spells zine, however, if anyone would like a copy just drop me a line, I’d be happy to send one to you!

JesseTise_Where_My_Tribe_At-
Where My Tribe At.

Have you done commissioned work, and if so who for?
I’ve had a few illustration gigs here and there, I’m working on getting my BFA degree in illustration right now, so I don’t actively seek freelance work but I’m planning on selling prints of my work in the future.

JesseTise_nocturna
Nocturna.

What’s the local scene like for artists? And how can people find out more about your community – are there any websites they should visit or cool blogs that they should follow?
I’m currently attending Art Center College of Design, which is in Pasadena, California. I’ve been lucky enough over the years to meet and some super-talented illustrators. Our department’s page can be reached here. Patrick Hruby and Ping Zhu are big sources inspirations for my work. I also make a habit of stopping by art+design blogs like GrainEdit.com, Meathaus.com, and Booooooom.com, I’m always finding great new talent through them.

Lastly, what are you working on at the moment?
I’m working on a new book called Xenology: A Googlock Guide to the Galaxy, which is going to be full of new paintings and images that show all my plants and animals in their element. Theres even an human astronaut that shows up now and then to investigate the alien worlds! I’m also working on making miniature, plastic toys of the googlocks, that I will try to have ready for sale by the end of the year. Should be a fun, exciting end of the year!

JesseTise_the_pilgrimage
The Pilgrimage.

You can follow Jesse Tise on twitter here.

Tags:

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Similar Posts:

One Response to “An interview with illustrator Jesse Tise.”

  1. cecilia says:

    Wonderful Work!!!

Leave a Reply