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seethetroubleinhereyes said: hi, I have just started studying fashion illustration at collage and I have been asked to research an other artist/illustrator who as influenced my work ,so I was wondering if you would be happy to tell me some tips and tricks on illustration and the media and techniques you use, as your work has inspired me to study illustration and fashion. I hope this won't be to mush trouble. Thank you, Katie Lambert

Hello Katie,

Thanks so much for the kind words! It really means a lot to me. You are already taking the right steps by doing a Fashion Illustration program - those classes will allow you to practice drawing constantly and will teach you basic anatomy so your fashion figures look solid. That is how you improve best with illustration, just by following your eyes all of the time and not drawing what you think you see. I don’t really have any tips and tricks on techniques as it’s internalized. That is the part comes from your heart. It sounds cheesy, but it is true. It’s mostly a thing you feel out as you improve. But this is the general advice I give to all students:

- If you would like to do illustration as a career, then it becomes a business so having a good business acumen and professional manners is extremely important. I suggest getting various jobs to give you experience, even if they are not related to art. A store or a restaurant. Those jobs give you skills to deal with people and can also introduce you to connections you would never meet otherwise. That is how I got my first commissioned job, through a customer I would help while working at Phillip Lim many many years ago. Funny enough, Phillip gave me the same advice. He said to experience as many internships and small jobs as you can. 

- If you care about your drawings, invest in some quality paint and nice paper. Even if it’s just a few basic colors you can mix to make new ones. It makes all the difference in the world. Shit watercolor and cheap paper will only make it more difficult to feel like you have control over your work.

- Step away from your computer. Tumblr, pinterest, instagram and blogs are quick fixes for inspiration, but it can also be virtual clutter. I am actually really grateful those things were not around while I was in college, because the natural discovery of finding things you love on your own is priceless. Visit the library or a museum. Draw from real things, design is everywhere. Colors in a sunset, a weird crack in a sidewalk to the water that comes down while you are taking a shower. I think that is what makes you a stronger artist, by just living your own life and paying attention to a beautiful, real, world. 

Hope this helps! Good luck with school x