Francesca Wadell Interview

)How did you become a fashion illustrator?
          I was made redundant just before I got married, but it turned out to be a blessing in disguise. I would do         fashion illustrations for friends and they were like you should do this properly, I didn't think I could do something I loved so much as it didn't feel like proper work! It was my husband that encouraged me the most and told me to get a blog and post up my work, I'd still be procrastinating if it wasn't for him! After that I contacted some magazines and it took off from there - I can't believe I didn't do it sooner!

2)How do your pieces come together?
By looking through tons of fashion magazines, online fashion sites and blogs, whatever the brief entails
3)What techniques do you use?
I sketch and draw in pen and ink, add a few washes and scan into the computer to enhance and edit it in photoshop.
4)What qualities do fashion illustrations have that photographs or film don’t?
Sometimes they can be whimsical sometimes very graphic. I don't know - is it because you can see the thought process in a drawing? I like the fluidity of the line that can capture the essence of the subject.
5)I know you’ve contributed illustrations for Bloomingdale’s, Turkish Vogue, Vintage Mavens and many more.  Who has been your favourite subject to draw, portrait-wise?  
To be honest its really hard to choose one. My favourites are some of the first ones I did, one of my favourites is of Giselle after a Corrine Day photoshoot.
6)Which designers are your favourites to illustrate and why?
I like it when a client, like Vogue will ask me to look at the spring or fall shows and its all about picking out the season's key looks and details - for instance this season I fell in love with Lanvin's sunray pleat  skirts .I also like Balmain and McQueen is always great to do - lots too many to mention I think!
7)How do your collaborations come around?
They come about through friends or people contact me through the blog, I get alot of work that way. Now that I have an agent in London its much more official!
8)What advice would you give to our army of up-and-coming illustrators?
I started off by doing illustrations in exchange for a credit on a blog or in a magazine that way I built up my portfolio and you get your work noticed. I also think twitter, facebook and having a blog is a fantastic way to get your work out there.

9)There seems to be a real revival of fashion illustration at the moment – magazines and websites are showcasing sketchbooks and commissioning more and more illustrators and exhibitions are popping up everywhere. Why do you think illustration excites people?
I think its a wonderful thing, people obviously love it I think its because it makes an article or a product more special, an illustration can add bit of whimsy or sometimes be very graphic.
11)So, what else do you get up to?  I’ve seen on your blog that you have just had a baby girl!
She's 9 weeks old now and is taking up most of my time, but I love every second with her and my social life's never been busier
12)I understand you are a freelance designer as well and sell your designs.  Could you tell me a bit about them?
I'm not really doing that at the moment as its a lot of work 
13)Where does your work feature other than in magazines?  Is there a niche which you tend to go for?
As my work is mainly fashion and beauty alot of my clients are art directors of magazines, I think its well suited to the beauty industry
14)Tell me a bit about your personal style, what designers you love and your favourite high street stores?
I love Blamain and Chloe, but I can't afford them (yet haha!) so its H&M all the way! When I get my next big commission I'm going to buy the Alexa Mulberry - it'll be the most stylish changing bag ever!
15)What’s the best part about fashion illustration?  Is it the free invites to shows and events and the free gifts?
Ha no I wish! For me it's being able to work from home, getting the work life balance right  - it also allows me flexibility which I need right now with my wee one!


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