? THE IMPORTANCE OF FASHION ILLUSTRATION IN FASHION/CAREER OPPORTUNITIES IN FASHION ILLUSTRATION - By Victor Mmendie

The idea of fashion is utterly useless without a decorative interpretation and portrayal. Designs emanate from creative minds but dies in thick gloom when a ray of reality does not shine through its paths. My Mom (Colleen Iseyen) was an illustrator back in the days. She dabbled more in "Fashion Flat Sketches" or "Technical Drawings" which will be expatiated later in the article. She told me how much importance was placed on illustrations back then and how sad it is to know that it no longer count. FASHION ILLUSTRATION is highly important in FASHION DESIGNING just as an architectural design is very important for a proper house construction.
  For every fashion, there must be a design and for every design, there must be a distinctive illustration. Illustrations birth the design of the mind on a permanent source for view. MARILYN VOS SAVANT is an American authoress who is known for possessing the highest recorded IQ according to the Guinness Book of Records. Concerning illustration, here is what MARILYN had to say, "Be able to draw an illustration as least well enough to get your point across to another person". MARILYN knew quite well the indispensability of illustration and the power it exerts when put to use. For someone else to fully perceive your concept, notion, idea and message, it is best you illustrate it out by dint of a sketch-by-sketch analysis than have them worded. It shows professionalism and a sense of beauty in it.
Illustrations are better accomplished through sketches, drawings, sculptures, paintings or graffiti depending on the individual's concept which he wants to be understood. Cloth making is etched on brainwork but easier with a canvas of fashion illustrations. Fashion illustration is the communication of fashion through drawings or sketches. There are zillions of Fashion ideas and concepts that "cannot" be fully comprehended by words of mouth or pictures; they are better illustrated. According to Wikipedia, "Fashion Illustration has gone from being one of the sole means of fashion communication to having a very minor role. The first photographic cover of Vogue was a watershed in the history of fashion illustration and a watershed mark of its decline". Sad to know that fashion illustration has lost its reins and importance. The purpose of this article is to enumerate the importance of fashion illustration in cloth making. Below are the significance of fashion illustration in cloth making:

PROVIDING A CLIENT WITH A FORE-DESIGN LEST THE CLOTH IS MADE

A fashion designer may not always have a fashion idea to introduce to a client. Even a client can come up with a concept of fashion. One very appropriate thing that fashion illustration helps to achieve is to aid the client to grasp the fashion idea that he/she may have in mind. Through sketches, drawings or even paintings, a client will see the fore of the about-to-be-made dress and even suggest corrections.

HELPS TO MAKE THE WORK OF THE TAILOR EASIER
When a tailor is shown the sketches of a particular design concept, it makes the work easier for the tailor. In this way, technical drawings and flats are best suggested. At the get-go of this article, I mentioned that my Mom was a Fashion Flat Illustrator and delved into Technical Drawings back in the days. Technical Drawings or Flats Sketches are detailed sketches or drawing of clothes alone without fashion figures, templates or croquis. It focuses more on complex and detailed areas of a design that you want a client or tailor to pay close attention to, which would have been ignored if shown on a catalog, magazine, picture or website. Fact on fact, Fashion illustration or Technical drawings helps the tailor to produce a quality, professional and perfect apparel.

IT BRINGS ABOUT PROFESSIONALISM ON THE PART OF A FASHION DESIGNER/TAILOR
When a style of work is professional, it shows that it possesses a standard or quality that makes it distinct. It also recognizes the designer as proficient, amateur and great at what he/she does. When your clients see sketches and illustrations of pre-dresses or pre-designs, it enables them to place more value, respect and reliance on you and your craft. They will not grieve against high fees or extra-charges on the clothes because they know how much work was put into it from start to finish. Clients will even refer other clients to you because they believe so much in your dexterity.

IT HELPS YOU PUT TOGETHER A PROPER FASHION COLLECTION
It is mandatory that every fashion designer create a collection every year; either a capsule collection or otherwise. When a designer is proficient at creating fashion illustrations, it makes it easier for him/her to create significant designs without depending on magazines, catalogues, fashion blogs, and Instagram accounts of other fashion designers to create a collection. There’s absolutely nothing wrong in getting inspirations from the above mentioned sources. However, a fashion designer should be able to create well thought-out and distinct designs accompanied with the ingredients supplied by other fashion-oriented sources. Fashion illustrations will help you to organize the designs in your head as raw as they are to create a collection that will make a positive sale impact in the fashion market.

 IT IS A CRITERION FOR FASHION DESIGNERS WHO WILL LOVE TO FURTHER OR DO A PROFESSIONAL COURSE ABROAD
Because of how important FASHION ILLUSTRATION is in the Fashion World and the necessity placed on it in the Fashion Designing Industry, a lot of Fashion Schools abroad hold “FASHION ILLUSTRATION” as a strong criterion lest you are admitted into their academy or allowed to do a professional course. They believe that every designer should have attained the knowledge of Fashion Illustration during their early stage of learning how to create apparels. A Fashion Designer without CORE KNOWLEDGE” of FASHION ILLUSTRATION can limit his/her possibilities to break into the international market filled with professionalism and originality. It can also make it difficult for a designer to partake of international runway shows, exhibitions and other marketable events because such events requires that an interested designer presents such things as Fashion Illustrations of the collection, a portfolio, a look-book, previous runway shows etc.
Having considered 5 yet powerful points that shows why FASHION ILLUSTRATION is important in the field of FASHION; let us now consider some career opportunities in FASHION ILLUSTRATION:
CAREER OPPORTUNITIES IN FASHION ILLUSTRATION
A lot times, some designers view FASHION ILLUSTRATION as an area of FASHION that is somewhat unimportant and needless to their FASHION CAREER. Others feel there’s no point learning it because it is not a money-making venture. However, below are some career opportunities in FASHION ILLUSTRATION; tested and acknowledged.

             WORK FOR A DESIGNER WHO HAS GREAT IDEAS BUT HAS TROUBLES TRANSFERRING THEM TO PAPER
     A fashion illustrator can earn a lot of money just from drawing out designs on paper that a designer is unable to interpret. Sometimes, it might also be that a designer has the knowledge of Fashion Illustration but needs an urgent or long-term helping hand to create bespoke collections or satisfy a client in need of a custom-made outfit.

    TEACHING OTHERS TO DRAW IS A THRIVING CAREER CHOICE
    There’s nothing that pays the bills more than when you impart, add value and inculcate into a person especially when such a person is so much in need of it. A Fashion illustrator can earn a good living just by teaching, organizing fashion illustration classes, training students in a fashion school etc.

   BE OPEN TO OTHER ILLUSTRATING JOBS THAT ARE NOT DIRECTLY RELATED TO FASHION
   When a person possesses drawing skills, it opens doors to other opportunities that call for such skill even when it is not closely related to fashion. For instance, children books especially depend on illustrators to capture the stories and bring it to life; which may also include characters that must wear clothes. Also, a fashion illustrator can be called to create lifestyle illustrations for blogs, websites, magazine or even billboard adverts. Such contracts can generate a lot of money.

     CREATE FASHION ILLUSTRATIONS AND SELL THEM
     There are a lot of fashion designers that are in need of distinct fashion illustrations to purchase in order to please their clients better. This can be a great opportunity for a fashion illustrator to get paid for such services an also benefit from referrals.

       CREATE FASHION ILLUSTRATION TEXTBOOKS FOR SALE
  When there’s vital and valuable information of a particular knowledge penned in a book (both hard copy and electronic copy), it becomes a great need to purchase. A fashion illustrator can also make a lot of money by selling textbooks and eBooks about fashion illustration; something that is rarely done.
The above opportunities are just some out of the many benefits that comes from being a FASHION ILLUSTRATOR. There also many other opportunities that are yet to be explored. However, one thing is a major take-home fact, “A FASHION DESIGNER IS NOT COMPLETE WITHOUT THE KNOWLEDGE OF FASHION ILLUSTRATION”. I exhort every fashion designer sans the knowledge of FASHION ILLUSTRATION to endeavor to learn it as soon as possible as it will create a lasting impact as well as create more and more opportunities to explore.


WRITTEN BY: VICTOR MMENDIE




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