Detroit Performs

S10 E4 | CLIP

Fashion Illustrator Nicole Jarecz

Nicole Jarecz is a fashion illustrator who finds a balance between playful and precise in her sketches.

AIRED: June 01, 2020 | 0:07:20

(contemplative music)

- I think it was really the fashion industry

that inspired me to do this.

It's all about the clothes for me.

Fashion illustration, it's like a different

form of expression than photography.

You have a lot of fashion photography out there,

but not a lot of fashion illustration.

So it's just a different expression of the figure,

a different expression of the wardrobe,

the way the wardrobe moves.

It's different than design; I'm not designing the clothes,

I'm just taking the photo or taking the person

and transforming it into something new.

Before photography, there was only illustrators

illustrating these ideas for magazines,

and then helping designers out as well,

illustrating the figure, which was a very important part

of seeing the dress before the design was made.

And then, yeah, you had the illustrators

who were working for Vogue or WWD.

There was a guy named Rene Gruau,

and he was one of my favorite illustrators,

and he kinda dominated that field.

But unfortunately, once photography came,

it was a quick way to seize the moment,

and it kinda took over illustration at the time.

I think an illustration

is more special than a photograph.

I know a lot of talented photographers,

but it's very straightforward, this is the image.

With an illustration, you're taking an idea

and recreating it into something new,

something more magical.

I really wanna express a gesture

with my fashion illustrations.

It's more mesmerizing.

It captures color and light and movement.

That's really what I wanna capture with my illustrations.

So sometimes I'll take a photo and I'll stylize it more.

Everything is always changed up.

It's never exactly the same as a photograph.

I focus more on the clothing when I do the illustration.

I really like couture gowns.

Couture is like a high design,

a way of sewing in intricate patterns.

I like that it's telling a story in a way,

and I just like the whole movement of the couture,

compared to a street style that you might see.

For the mediums that I use,

I play around with a lot of different things.

I use colored pencil, ink, watercolor,

gouache, acrylic, anything that I can find.

I really like to mix it up and try different techniques.

The type of clothing definitely makes a big

impact on what I use for the medium.

If I see a flowy dress, I might wanna use watercolor,

because watercolor is very graceful and elegant.

So I combine a lot of digital

and traditional methods together,

especially when I'm working for a client for a magazine.

So I'll start the illustration off traditionally.

I'll do a pencil drawing, and I'll do my watercolor and ink.

Then I scan it in, and I finish it up in Photoshop.

And I might do this several times,

to get the exact essence of what I'm trying to represent.

I've worked for a lot of different companies in fashion.

I've worked for Roger Vivier,

a couture shoe company in Paris.

I've worked for "ELLE" magazine

and "Glamour" magazine, a lot of fashion magazines.

My favorite project that I worked on was for Roger Vivier.

I designed a bunch of greeting cards

for him and his company, and that was a lot of fun.

It was a very luxurious brand to work for,

and I'd really like to work for different brands like that.

The daily struggle that I have is to be playful

and precise at the same time.

In my personal pieces,

those are always the most fun for me,

so I just try to be a little bit more free.

I try to be a little bit more fluid in what I'm doing.

I think people really respond well to my personal pieces,

maybe because (chuckles) I'm not overthinking them as much.

I think that they really like the gesture

that I put into my personal pieces, and the color,

and just the overall feeling is just more,

creating something that's beautiful

for someone to put in their home

or to show to their friends and family.

I just wanna share my work with people.

Interacting with the community here

is really important to me.

I started seeing illustrators doing these

sketching events a few years ago in bigger cities

like New York and Paris, and I thought,

I really wanna bring that to Detroit.

I wanna do the same thing, and nobody else is doing it!

So I contacted Neiman Marcus and Saks,

and they were both on board,

and they started having me regularly, sketching.

I bring all of my supplies with me, some paper,

and then people just start coming up to my booth,

and they see me sketching.

I usually take a photo of them,

or they'll stand in front of me and pose,

and I'll do my sketch, and it's kinda like

a takeaway gift for them for the evening.

I sketch a little bit of everything.

I sketch people dressed to the nines in gowns,

and then I dress people in streetwear.

My favorite is when people are really dressed up.

It makes it a lot of fun.

I like when people are dressed bold, and in lots of color.

It really gives me an opportunity to get out there,

talk to people, interact with them,

and just see what they respond to.

It helps me to improve upon myself,

when I see if they react to one sketch

compared to another sketch.

Well, when I started doing these events,

I realized that I had to be very quick.

I only have a certain amount of time to sketch somebody.

And I realized that I don't need to spend

hours and hours and hours on one single illustration.

People really like it when it's simple and fluid,

and I try to bring that into my work at home,

to remember to keep it simple, keep it playful,

and don't overthink it too much.

The community loves it, they're excited about it.

I've had a ton of support from people here in Detroit,

so it's been really great.

I think that the illustration just brings

a different outlook on fashion.

I think people sometimes respond more to the fashion

illustration than if they were to see it in person

or even on their computer screen with photography.

It just brings more of a special feeling.

I don't think fashion illustration ever gets boring.

I think it's something that evolves over time.

I think my style could change again,

like it has in the past.

It just depends on the trends, what's going on,

and what I think people are responding to at that time.

(upbeat music)


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