Saturday 30th September was grey and rainy, outside on the streets of Liverpool. But inside the comfort of Baltic Creative, on Jamaica Street, a small group of very sassy women, were armed with pencils, tracing paper and a wonderful cornucopia of imagination… hence my first Fashion Illustration Class, open to the public was underway! We all sat around a large table in the warm tungsten glow of The Big Shed. I talked about my role as an artist & fashion illustrator, in my hearty southern drawl (as in Portsmouth, not Texas), whilst my wonderful students/clients, followed my banter to produce their very first fashion orientated illustrations! There is always something so intimidating about staring at a blank piece of paper, wanting to make a mark which means something, and is perfect, but the need for perfection overrides the actual picture. Thank god for tracing paper! Oh dearest Photoshop, you may well have layers, but us traditional, analogue artists, have the original layering technique!
Every single person who signed up for my class, fully invested into their own styles of creativity. Some draw with a heavy hand, so the graphite is like tar, leaving old lines showing underneath new marks. Others preferred to sketch, creating a very physical dialogue on the paper, and building up lines to secure the illustration. From the first drawing, made up from shapes, not dissimilar to a Michelin Man, organically developing into an actual finished, fashion drawing. It was so brilliant to watch the visual storytelling unfold. This is why I love sharing my knowledge of drawing and fashion, because it is so wonderful to tap into forgotten creativity. For those who were shamed in art class at school, for not being good enough, for not being invested in, for not being given any type of encourgement, the art room is a scary place. But with a room full of support and happiness, you can pretty much achieve anything. Which is exactly what we did yesterday. A perfect digital detox for a couple of hours on a Saturday in the Baltic Triangle.
Thank you so much Ladies, it was an absolute pleasure to meet you all. My next class will be towards the end of October, dates to be TBC. Everyone welcome! (Unless you are Van Gogh) X