During college, I loved fashion illustration. I could draw circles, straight lines and do gestural drawings during life drawing class for hours. But as I progressed in my studies, I also began to feel more comfortable with computer software including Adobe Photoshop and InDesign, a desktop publishing program. After college, my poison of choice became Illustrator for all design, layout and illustration.
I used to feel pretty guilty about not drawing by traditional means anymore but recently I was called to teach a fashion illustration class and they wanted to know if I could teach it on a tablet. (Yes!) All my charcoal and graphite sits quietly in the closet, traded in for the convenience of a mouse. But there are ideas that would have been forgotten had it not been for the efficiency of a click. Patterns are easier to replicate and there’s no need to waste paper. I still “draw” everything freehand using a mouse and/or a trackpad, it’s just now I don’t have to erase. I can go from this:
To this, in a few clicks:
Illustration is just as fun and colors are flattened yet bold hues. And I can still draw in my signature style.
Digital is also great for creating sketches for clients.
I still believe that it’s incredibly important to be able to render a person in graphite so that you can apply the same rules for shadow and scale digitally. I haven’t lost my drive to create, it just comes in a cleaner, brighter package. And that doesn’t mean that I still don’t get messy from time to time.