Bill Brown

What inspires you?

Mostly I'm inspired by people-watching. Later, when I'm sketching, I might use a hairdo, or an overbite, or a stance that I have seen. When I can't watch people, I'll draw from magazines or my own photographs. I draw my friends a lot. I also enjoy redrawing existing artwork, such as early advertising cuts or clip art, but recreating the image in my own style.

Are you interested in fashion?

I've always enjoyed working on projects that ride on a rush of creativity and have too short a shelf-life to be over-managed. That would describe most of the fashion magazine work I do, but I have never been interested in designing clothing.

Describe your work.

I would describe my illustrations as sweet, yet smart-assed at the same time. I like having that duality in there. For example, if an illustration is sexy, it should also be silly. Nothing should be taken too seriously.

Which media and techniques do you use? Nearly all the line art is drawn with ink on paper. In fact I just use sharpies and relatively inexpensive paper. Then the line art is scanned, and colour is applied in Adobe Photoshop.

What, for you, makes a successful fashion illustration?

An illustration is a collaborative process, so the success of it depends on the work dynamic of the artist and the client. If the art director and the artist respect each other for their specific talents, the result should be a success. When I'm working, I want to feel free enough to do the sort of work that caught the client's eye in the first place. I'm proud of the work in my portfolio and some of my most successful images were done without a lot of art direction. I'm one of those artists who works well unsupervised for a while, but I do like to have some boundaries to push against. Ultimately, it's important for me to at least do what's asked of me. They are paying for it after all.

What artistic training have you undertaken?

BA Hons in Graphic Design from Montana State University (USA),

If you could give one piece of advice to a student, what would it be?

Draw all the time. Draw every day if you can. I highly recommend a lot of nude figure drawing. It's so much easier to draw a clothed figure when you know what it looks like underneath. If you can't get nude models, draw your clothed friends. It's always best to draw from life rather than a photograph, but photographs are good when you can't get someone to sit for you.

Describe yourself and your greatest achievement.

I'm a regular guy who happens to be very lucky. My greatest achievement has been making a living of my greatest passion, I love to draw, and I would do it anyway, whether people paid me or not. The fact that it's my job has kept me drawing steadily for years, and my style has evolved throughout that time. I can't wait to see how much I've improved in ten years.

Lysiane Royere Illustration

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100 Fashion Tips

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