As my artist's statement explains, my work is utterly incomprehensible and is therefore full of deep significance. -- Calvin and Hobbes

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

#8 Fashion Illustration; 31 days of rhinos

I'm too sexy for my dress, too sexy

#8 Fashion Illustration; 31 days of Rhinos
Media: Ink and pencil

I do apologize for being sick. I vowed to do 31 days of rhinos and I was flat on my back yesterday and missed a day. I will make it up tomorrow. I'm finally feeling a lot better. Let's hope it stays that way. On with the next one! It's late and I've finished a very special rhino.

This rhino is a tribute to fashion illustration, something many artists don't think about when they consider an art genre. But I'll tell you why it's important!

Did you know that everyday artists for centuries have been illustrating fashion for a living? You already know such greats as Albrecht Durer illustrated plants. Well, fashion is no different. Fashion Illustration has been a popular genre for advertising the couture of the day for 500 years! Sounds crazy right? Well, clothiers are the second oldest profession, I'll bet!

And, one of the all time great illustrators in history, and very dear to me, Alphonse Mucha, an art nouveau era painter from Moravia (now Czech Republic) made his fame regularly illustrating Sara Bernhardt for her shows, as well as many advertising campaigns. In fact, he wanted to be a serious painter, but his fame came in his illustrations, and it wasn't long before he accepted his fate and ran with it (although he still painted historic old world paintings for the homeland!)

Imagine life before the invention of photography, or even the popular use of it! It wasn't really until the 1930s that fashion photography became vogue. literally! It was Vogue Magazine that popularized photography for the fashion world.

Back to illustration. Since it's first uses in medieval times to current popular culture, fashion illustration has stood strong as an art form. In fact, now more than ever, it is indeed created as art and for the sale as art, not just some one's livelihood as an underpaid advertising artist.

Notable fashion Illustrators, which are way too numerous to mention might not be known to you, except a few eccentrics who dabbled...Andy Warhol, for one! Another, Kenneth Paul Block is known to be the biggest of the 20th century, and worth reading about!

" In the introduction to Drawing Fashion: The Art of Kenneth Paul Block, published in 2008, Isaac Mizrahi described Block’s influence: “More than any single designer, he gave New York fashion its sophistication. Because he drew Babe Paley and Jackie Kennedy a certain way, they became what he had envisioned.” - excerpt Wiki

As Fashion Illustrators go, Kenneth Paul Block was God!

Many of you wont know this, but right out of college, my Mom and I got our starts as fashion designers. We had our own business, Auzias, where we designed and sold better women's apparel to high end boutiques. Although I moved and went to Interior Design before becoming a full time artist, Mom is still an apparel designer. One day soon, we are going to work together again and create a fun new line that you will have to have!

Mom and Me in 1995 featured in the Seattle Trade Show Magazine

Thanks for asking about the rhinos and wishing me better! You are a great group of friends and readers.

See you tomorrow,
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  1. Great post! Glad you are feeling better!

  2. Rebecca, glad you are feeling better! I love the Rhino, she is very sexy the other Rhino's best watch out.

    Lovely picture of you and your mother. You have so many hidden talents. Are you from Seattle? That is great that you worked with you mom and have your art to share.

  3. Love the illustration (Rhino in a red dress, smokin') Rebecca and thanks for the great information about fashion illustration. Wonderful picture of you and your mom too. Great to hear you are feeling better.

  4. Thank you ladies! Yea, she is pretty Sweet! LOL.
    I miss my Mom. My folks are trying to move to be closer to me...hopefully soon.

  5. Becca, such an absolutely fabulous "Rhino in a Red Dress" (I hear a song in that somewhere)
    and you and your mom... two beautiful women.
    So did you get your whackiness from mom or dad?
    (my mom was "the solid" in our family, while my dad and i were doing anything to avoid, or at least out-wit, reality. poor woman)
    Loving this March theme btw!


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