Happy Valentines Day!

Happy Valentines Day to all our subscribers. We hope you get your Valentino Valentine. Those of you celebrating Singles Awareness Day, be sure to pamper yourself a bit. You deserve it.

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Holly Nichols: Featured Artist

Q&A with Fashion Illustrator, Holly Nichols

Tell us your story and how you got to where you are today.   I grew up in a family that encouraged creativity. I was enrolled in private art lessons as a child and when it came time to apply to colleges, decided I would find a major that allowed me to express my creativity but also one that would keep my job options open. I started college (Endicott College) as an Interior design major, but soon realized it was much more technical than it was creative, so I switched my major to studio art. I spent my remaining years in school exploring different media and techniques, but kept the theme of my work heavily centered around fashion. Upon graduating, I made an Instagram account (@hnicholsillustration) that featured my fashion sketches. The Instagram community was very responsive to this type of illustration and I was able to grow a following of both fashion and art lovers. Since then, I have been able to expand my client list and create a full-time career as a fashion illustrator!
How would you describe your illustrative style?   I think my sketches are a mix of high fashion and whimsy. I love the more “couture” sketches, but I also want people to be able to relate to the characters I create, which is why I try to sketch garments you may be seen wearing around the house, but also outfits you see coming down the runway in Paris.
How would you describe your illustrative style?   I think my sketches are a mix of high fashion and whimsy. I love the more “couture” sketches, but I also want people to be able to relate to the characters I create, which is why I try to sketch garments you may be seen wearing around the house, but also outfits you see coming down the runway in Paris.
What do you think makes a successful illustration?   I think personal “success’ in any form of art is constantly changing. I look at sketches I did a year ago, which, at the time, I considered to be successful. Looking at them now, they are sketches I’d never want the public to see. The more you practice your craft, the better you become. I believe if you think you’re doing your best, you’re not doing it right. There is always room to grow. By finding an imperfection in your work, you are able to tweak it and improve a skill you didn’t have when you woke up that day.
Are there any fashion illustrators you admire and why?   David Downton is a genius. He’s able to create definite shapes (ex-specific dresses) using abstract strokes. I admire the movement and effortlessness his work displays. My own work is very tight and controlled (as much as I try to loosen up!). He’s an inspiration for sure.   Who are your favorite designers?   My favorite designers include Elie Saab, Giambattista Valli, and Zuhair Murad. They all create pieces with a lot of volume, sheer fabric, and sparkle, all of which are my favorite to sketch. I was honored to be recognized and featured on Elie Saab’s website this past year.
Are there any fashion illustrators you admire and why?   David Downton is a genius. He’s able to create definite shapes (ex-specific dresses) using abstract strokes. I admire the movement and effortlessness his work displays. My own work is very tight and controlled (as much as I try to loosen up!). He’s an inspiration for sure.   Who are your favorite designers?   My favorite designers include Elie Saab, Giambattista Valli, and Zuhair Murad. They all create pieces with a lot of volume, sheer fabric, and sparkle, all of which are my favorite to sketch. I was honored to be recognized and featured on Elie Saab’s website this past year.
What is next for you?   I can’t share too many specifics about my future projects, but I’ve been fortunate to be able to work with some brands and designers that I’ve loved for years, which is truly a gift. In the online shop, you will start to see more products outside of wall art. As far as what’s next for me personally, I hope to travel more (with my markers close at hand).
To see more of Holly’s work, be sure to visit her website and follow her on Instagram.

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Alex Brokamp: Furniture, Lighting and Industrial Designer

Alex Brokamp is a furniture designer and recent grad from University of Cincinnati

Alex Brokamp

When did you know you wanted to become a designer?

I don’t remember a specific moment when I wanted to become a designer. I have always just enjoyed making weird things ha ha. I do remember though when I was younger I used to always build skateboard ramps in my driveway with my friends. This was probably the first time I realized I enjoyed making stuff.

Alex Brokamp

What are the biggest influences on your designs?

Since I just recently graduated from the University of Cincinnati’s industrial design program the biggest influence on my work thus far was being able to work in the same studio space with all of my talented friends and classmates. This was very inspiring to me because industrial design is such a broad field so I had the opportunity to observe people who were designing medical devices, electronics, or soft goods and see how their process was different from my own.

Alex Brokamp

What would you say is your best design skill?

My best design skill is just a willingness to learn about new materials and processes. I am not amazing at one specific area of design, so I try to make up for that with hard work and a willingness to learn.

Alex Brokamp

What do you think are the most interesting trends in your field right now and why?

I think one of the biggest trends in design is the continued intersection between the art and design worlds. As a result, I think this produces a variety of styles and trends because designers come from all different types of educational backgrounds. Therefore, I think design will never become stagnant because the design landscape is constantly being changed or challenged by new and diverse studio practices that are a result of different backgrounds.

Alex Brokamp

What are you currently obsessing over and how does it influence your work?

I am currently obsessing over the skateboard brands Quasi and Isle. I really love the art direction behind both of these companies. My main obsession outside of art and design is skateboarding, so when I am not busy designing I am most likely skateboarding ha ha.

Alex Brokamp

What projects are your favorite to work on?

My favorite projects to work on are ones that I am able to use a new material or process I have never used before. When designing I like to make work that has a personal story behind it, but still utilizes a form language or title that the user can identify with. This is one of the reasons why a lot of my designs revolve around experimenting with simple shapes that highlight interesting material and color compositions. When creating new work the end goal is to always create a piece that initiates and maintains a meaningful relationship with the consumer.

Alex Brokamp

To see more of Alex’s work, follow him on Instagram. If you are in the NYC area March 17-21, go check out his debut collection at the Architectural Digest Home Design Show.

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