This illustration was created for the Draw A Dot Open Call based on Dior's Spring 2017 collection. Draw a Dot, curated by Marcus, is a blog showcasing fashion illustrators works from around the globe. Each month Marcus holds an open call where he gives an assignment themed to a designer's collection. Droves of illustrators participate, hoping to be one of the final nine artists to be featured on his blog.
My intention for sharing my process and work with my audience is to inspire, motivate, and of course, to receive critiques (cause I believe you can't grow if you don't open yourself to guidance). The Open Call results came in last weekend, and I have to admit, I made myself sick with stress over it. On Thursday night, before the announcement would be made, I could sleep because I was so anxious to know whether I had made it or not. By Saturday, I knew I wasn't one of the finalist because Draw A Dot made this feedback on Facebook:
"I have received quite a number of runway illustrations and they are good, but they are not really standing out from the crowd. Now I want you to be me for a second. Imagine you have received over 100+ submissions, do you think a runway illustration (copy off a runway photo) will get your attention?
As an illustrator, you are a creative soul. If you are going to submit a runway illustration to an open call, what you can do is maybe add a fun twist to it (add something to the background, have an interesting composition etc)."
Marcus pushes artist to think outside the box, to get creative. So I did. I was watching the first episode of Abstract on Netflix while I was working on this piece. Christoph Niemann was a great companion to have on this creative journey! I was so inspired by him and his work! It put me in such a great creative mood, that whenever I made a mark that I liked, I freaked out! Like, I'd scream from excitement and maybe do a little dance! Since Marcus didn't want a runway illustration, I thought of doing a portrait that focused on the make up and jewelry of Dior's collection. I then added motifs from what the model was wearing throughout the piece. You can see the model and gown here. When this Dior model was all painted and complete, I was quite proud of the results because I truly felt that I had pushed myself to do something out of my norm.
But like I said, after the statement was made, I knew I wasn't going to qualify as a finalist. After having that feeling, I told myself, "It's okay, just wait for the results and see what you can learn from the artists and from the director's picks." And sure enough, the weekend passed, and my illustration never came up on Draw A Dot's Instagram feed. So I looked, I evaluated and I must admit, I'm not sure. But that's why I'm bringing this to you. What do you think I could do better? It's been a long time since I've turned in work for a competition, so I'd like to know how I can best fit my work to what a director is looking for.
Putting the Draw A Dot competition aside, I am very happy with the results of this illustration and am actually quite in love with this piece. A little fun fact: I picked this model to illustrate because of her red hair. It had nothing to do with what she was wearing, but I loved the colors in her face, her eyes, her hair. Have you every mixed paint for red hair? Uh, I absolutely loooove mixing this color! And no it's not just straight up orange or red...there's magic involved. The magic of color theory! Ha! Anyway, I dedicate this illustration to all my lovelies who the world lovingly refers to as gingers!