Interview with Caroline Andrieu, fashion illustrator
For this latest MOOK, Caroline Andrieu brought her drawings along for the ride. The talented illustrator from the fashion world tells us her tricks of the trade.
I don’t feel like I’ve got a really recognizable style, but I’d say that it's fairly realistic and pared-back, yet detailed in areas, unfinished in others.
You draw a lot of portraits. What are your tips for making them look so realistic?
For me, it’s all about the expression in the eyes. If they’re strong and present, the rest is incidental.
Why did you decide to work with pencils and watercolor?
When I started out 10 years ago, I used to use ink, but then I wanted to branch out a bit and try out new techniques. I didn’t like colored pencils - too many bad childhood memories. But one day, when somebody
gave me a huge box of pencils, I gave them a try and learnt how to master them to get the result I was looking for. As for watercolor, its much softer than ink, and allows for much more nuances. Anyway, I mix it all up now, I don’t want limit myself.
How did you find your way into specializing in fashion illustration?
I was immersed in fashion everyday, as I worked as a graphic designer, then as an art director for various fashion magazines. I offered to draw some illustrations for some articles, and it just took off from there. For me, it was the most perfect way of expressing myself, and it complemented my work within a publication.
Which projects have been the most inspiring?
Each project is interesting, but it’s often the people with whom I work that inspire me. It’s rewarding to put somebody else’s ideas to paper and bring them to life.
What makes the most visual impact for a fashion collection? What elements make a successful line?
Personally, I like it when I see details, whether they’re references to art and cinema, or they evoke a theme or idea.
I only pick what I like visually. That could be the hairstyle, the colors of the clothes, or more often than not, the model. I need to find a little extra something from the offset that I try and transpose.
If you had to design a pattern for HOM, what would it be?
Probably a floral pattern. It's something I’m trying to develop in my work right now, but I’ve only just touched the surface for the moment.
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