Subject Title: Are Illustrators the New Fashion Bloggers?

An email correspondence re: the new old media.


On Wed, Aug 12, 2015 at 11:36 AM, Leandra Medine wrote:

Are illustrators the new bloggers?

On Aug 12, 2015, at 11:43 AM, Amelia Diamond wrote:

Why do you ask that? Because they have these seemingly idyllic, “kind of easy” non-corporate jobs that make you feel like, uh I can do that — or because they’re the new thing to talk about?

On Wed, Aug 12, 2015 at 10:00 PM, Leandra Medine wrote:

Well, a new one pops up and seems to make headline news on like, a weekly basis. For what it’s worth, though, that job does NOT seem easy. Maybe to you because you can draw but I can barely render a circle. You’re not wrong, though. There’s a sense of “I can do that too!” — and with so many popping up, a stick figure interpretation of Gumby isn’t really enough to get you followed, right? If that’s even the impetus. But it’s another textbook case of Darwinism stepping in, proving that if you can’t turn a brussel sprout into a dress, you might not survive.

On Aug 12, 2015, at 11:28 PM, Amelia Diamond wrote:

I’ve thought about fashion illustration as something I might want to do long term, but it seemed dated, or like not a real-life job. Everything’s done on Photoshop and computers now. That old school world of fashion illustrating had its heyday, you know? Or so I thought. I never imagined it as a sustainable career. So it’s actually pretty exciting to see new illustrators bubbling to the surface. In no way do I think it’s easy or as idyllic as it sounds — what ever is?

BUT. It does seem like such a romantic job.

You’re right, though. A new one seems to pop up every week. Chicken/egg here, but do you think they’ve always been around and Instagram is just giving them an easier platform to share their work or is Instagram encouraging new illustrators?

Remember that cool pointy boob drawing Inès de La Fressange taught you how to do?

On Thu, Aug 13, 2015 at 5:55 AM, Leandra Medine wrote:

I think the line of questioning there is probably a little off. It’s more like: are these actually careers or are they pet projects — which is how illustrating could be compared to what blogging 1.0 looked like.

In 2012, the Internet was all: “egalité!” But fashion was like: “Who are these girls and why are they at fashion week?” I don’t think we knew why we were at fashion week, but we went with it, and did what we could to turn our websites into careers. Maybe in 2015, mobile is all: “Show me your pen! It’s the irreverent thing to do,” and Instagram is all: “Who do these pens belong to and how do the owners pay their rent/why am I struggling to pay mine?”

People who exercise don’t do it as a full time job, right? It’s a cathartic release, something they do for themselves. Does that make sense?

On Thu, Aug 13, 2015 at 6:53 PM, Amelia Diamond wrote:

I think the difference is that the illustration world does NOT have old guard/new guard tension like fashion does.

It seems like an all-inclusive community as opposed to: damn these kids and their crazy web logs to showcase their work. If anything, the emerging illustrators (see: Donald Drawberton) are just paving the way for this to be a career once again.

I keep thinking back to that convo w. Cathy Horyn about the fashion illustrator Joe Eula. During his heyday, fashion illustrators (the big ones) were as celeb-y as the designers because they captured clothes in a way that photography could not.

Then modern photography killed the illustrat-star.

On Aug 13, 2015, at 6:58 PM, Leandra Medine wrote:

And now maybe with Instagram killing “modern photography” and proposing a more crude version of it (to be fair I don’t actually think Instagram is killing photography, I think photographers who are too precious about their photos/putting them out in square format and whatever are hurting themselves), the illustrator gets to rise to the top again.

I really like your point about their place in fashion and also believe this is so much of an industry that operates on “feel” — and often these illustrators release a feeling in us that is energizing, that excites us…but are they replacing anything? As in, the big fear with new vs. old media was that the digital entities would cancel out the print ones — is there an element of that with the resuscitation of illustrators? What would they cancel out?

On Fri, Aug 14, 2015 at 8:54 AM, Amelia Diamond wrote:

Maybe they’re replacing selfies, or just the constant stream of “me, me, me” on Instagram…

When you display your art, you are saying, “Look what I did! This is who I am, this is what I think/feel/see.” But it’s easier to roll your eyes at a selfie, or an “outfit of the day,” because it seems self-indulgent or self-obsessed.

A drawing, however, is enjoyable, relatable, shareable and you can interact with it. It’s still kind of a selfie — it can feel just as vulnerable to share. But it breaks up the pattern.

Maybe this only makes sense in my head…

On Fri, Aug 14, 2015 at 10:24 AM, Leandra Medine wrote:

Wait a second. I think this presents the existential question of whether everything we lend our likeness to is kind of a selfie? All the stuff that we project, especially through the social media feeds we cultivate to create a full picture of who we are…that’s all based on mood, biases, interests, etc. Maybe we’ve been indulging in selfies (just not as the hyper-literal face-in-camera-now-show-me-the-filters) since long before Steve Jobs enabled the turn around function on our iPhone lenses. Maybe narcissism is just a fancy term we’ve been using to define a basic tenet — self involvement to survive — of being human.

On Fri, Aug 14, 2015 at 10:42 AM, Amelia Diamond wrote:

Case in point: Cave drawings.

Illustrated by Joseph Amar


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