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Top 25 Art Blog - Creative Tourist

Welcome to the unique world of Tobacco and Leather- part one

Amelia’s contributor Elizabeth Johnson met up with pioneering illustrator Tobacco and Leather to get the lowdown on her unique style

Written by Elizabeth Johnson

double mode JPGlImagery throughout courtesy of Tobacco and Leather.

As we all know, site the internet is awash with fashion blogs with many focusing upon the fashion choices of the blogs’ author. This is where Tobacco and Leather (aka Abbey Watkins) differs. An incredibly talented illustrator, recipe Tobacco and Leather posts her work alongside some of the most pioneering fashion editorials being produced across the world.

Fashion illustration really is due a resurgence, as it is the antithesis of “Fast Fashion” with a rich heritage, that provides influence for designers creating clothes today. You only need to look at the many Vogue covers created by Eduardo Benito or George W Plank in the 1920’s to see how powerful an illustration can be at portraying the magic of fashion.

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Fashion is, by its own admission a world of fantasy and imagination. Illustration, it could be argued is a stronger medium with which to represent this creativity than the photograph, which no matter how elaborate, reworked or altered still represents a captured moment in reality, whereas illustration is as free as the imagination of the artist.

Hi Abbey, Could you tell our readers a little bit about yourself?
I study Textile Design for Fashion at Manchester Metropolitan University. I’m in my second year now and am really enjoying it. Manchester really is a great city and is a different world to where I grew up in Herefordshire.

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I found out about you through your AMAZING blog; Tobacco and Leather, which I have been following for the past 5 months. How long have you been blogging for, and what made you start?
Well first of all, thank you! I really appreciate it when people get in touch, it makes having a blog all the more worth while. I started blogging a little over a year ago now. I was told by my tutors at university that I would one day need a blog to get my work out into the world and although it wasn’t an immediate necessity I decided I wanted one right away! That’s how Tobacco and Leather came about. It soon started to become more about the editorials and the fashion world than my work, but I like to think there’s a good enough mix.

Your blog is definitely my favorite, as it is mix of high end editorial, the cream of the crop of fellow bloggers, plus you are a very talented illustrator yourself! What other blogs do you rate? What are your top five?
There are so many amazing blogs out there these days. To be someone’s favourite is a huge compliment! A top five is going to be hard to list. I like my blogs a bit arty, a bit mixed up and a little bit weird. Putting them in order would be impossible so here are 5 that I can’t keep away from at the moment; 30 Doradus, 00888 (previously known as I love psycho), In a Fraction of a Second, Panache and Viktor Vauthier.

Roksanda Illincic

In your Illustration, you are heavily influenced by the beauties and the models of the fashion world, when did you start with illustration? What/who else are your influences?
Since the day I learnt to hold a pencil, I have always been drawing, I guess it’s the thing that comes naturally to me. I remember my mum having to take me to work and she would just sit me in the corner with a pen and some paper and that would keep me quiet for hours! But I really got into fashion illustration and started finding my niche when I went to Art College to do a foundation year. That was about 3 years ago now. My influences? Well I clearly have a little obsession with beautiful models! Such as Abbey Lee, Claudia Schiffer, Natasha Poly, Jessica Stam and the greats. A more recent influence of mine is fantasy art and the creatures of mythology; I love how mystical it all is. I love how you can write it yourself and make up the rules. Look out for part two coming tomorrow…

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