Tara Dougans is recently one of my favorite fashion illustrator at the moment. Her abstract illustration style is very unexpected, yet the images are always very attractive to look at.
I started to know this artist when I first saw her Spring On Acid series. Today, I am very honored to be able to share this interview with all of Swide readers.
M: Hi Tara, I know you are very busy right now and thank you so much for taking some time to answer my questions. First I want to ask, how did you become a fashion illustrator?
T: In 2009, I spent 7 months abroad studying art direction in editorial design at the Amsterdam Fashion Institute. I had myself set up in a student room in the west end with a bed, a desk and plenty of white wall space. Over Easter, I was lucky enough to receive a care package in the mail from my Mom – and in that unassuming brown box was a chocolate bunny or two, a cream floral dress and a box of Staedtler pencils. Those pencils couldn't have come into my life at a better time – with all that white space and a fair amount of free time, I had a pretty strong incentive to draw. I had never really worked with pencil before (I was mostly a black pen sort of girl) but really took to it and at the end of that 7 month stint I had something like 15 pieces taped to the wall. So that's how it started: with the resolve to fill some empty space. I posted a couple on flickr and everything has kind of grown organically from there.
M: That’s a very interesting way to start off your illustrator career and I am glad the pencils help you to discover what you truly want to do. So, what kind of drawing mediums do you like to use to illustrate your works now?
T: Pencil! Nearly exclusively pencil these days.
M: I am not surprised by this answers since pencils seem to have saved your life. Now, in your own words, how would you describe your illustration style?
T: Heavily detailed, painstakingly crafted, none too serious.
M: Heavily detailed is definitely words I can use to describe your works. I have to confess, I am absolutely in love with your Spring On Acid series. How did you come up with this concept? Will you plan to do a Fall On Acid series later?
T: I had a thought one day that it would be interesting to try to translate a garment wearing a figure rather than the other way around. I had made a couple quick sketches of massive dresses dancing around with tiny little legs and faces, and when the photos from the Spring collections started popping up on the Internet, it seemed like a natural approach. It's probably unlikely that I will re-use this concept though – I like to try something a little bit different with each season.
M: It is sad you may not want to do another series like this but the Prada dress image has been in my head ever since I saw it. Last but not least, what do you think of Dolce & Gabbana F/W 2011 collection? Is there a specific piece from the show you want to illustrate?
T: I dug the playful menswear infusion: prim white collars, braces, smart trousers and Bobby socks ! To illustrate I would probably want to tackle one of the more heavily patterned looks – perhaps along the lines of the star-print blouse paired with the graphic lace trousers. Or any one of those strong shouldered blazer looks.
Credit: Tara Dougans
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