My experience with Vogue India

A few months ago, I was approached by a publication and they wanted me to do a series of illustrations for them . We only went as far as doing one rough draft and they decided not to go ahead with the project. I wasn’t given a reason for the decision , which was confusing. While it left me feeling a little low,  I’ve learnt that disappointments are part of the game and I told myself to forget about it and concentrate on possibilities and upcoming projects in the future .

A few weeks later, one morning , I woke up and checked my email on my phone. There was an email for me from Vogue India asking if I could do a few illustrations for their November issue. I had to rub my eyes to check if I was hallucinating. I wasn’t .

The project was to create 14 illustrations for the Couture Report to be published in the November issue.  The bridal couture designs by the designers , were shown at the 10th edition of India Couture Week in July ’17.  The designers in the report that I was going to illustrate were Anita Dongre, Shymal & BHumika, Anamika Khanna, Tarun Tahiliani, Rina Dhaka, Manav Gangwani, Reynu Taandon, Varun Bahl, Rohit Bal , Monisha Jaising, Gaurav Gupta, Anju Modi , Rahul Misra and  Manish Malhotra.

I was floored and the process began soon to create the illustrations . We had just about 2 weeks to finish it up for print. I’d like to thank the amazing team at Vogue India for their art direction and patience during this entire collaborative process. It was a back and forth process to make sure that the illustrations were a good mix of my artistic style and Vogue aesthetics.

As any project begins, we had to do the first round of first drafts -first in pencil and then the first round in color and some detail .

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First draft
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First Draft
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First Draft

We started with one illustration (Shyamal Bhumika – see below) from start to finish to get a sense of the final look . Once we got that down, it helped me understand what the final look was going to be .

The question that I’ve gotten most ,  is about the sketching process and the kind of materials used. I’ve done my best to answer those questions below.

All of the first drafts were hand sketched and hand painted (see above images ) . This was the stage where the most amount of changes/ feedback took place to make sure, we got the colors of the outfits , poses , hair etc to a point where it would evolve into the final .

I created Shyamal Bhumika and Anamika Khanna ,completely  by hand , using a mix of watercolors, markers and pen . I used Winston and Newton watercolors for Shyamal & Bhumika along with Sakura Micron Pens for the detailing and Uniball Signo White pen for the sparkle. I used Copic Markers and Copic multiliner and Sakura Micron Pens to detail.  I scanned them in and digitally edited them , in Procreate app on the Ipad Pro , for the final look.

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Shymal & Bhumika – Hand drawn and painted with watercolors, detailed with pens. 
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Anamika Khanna – Hand drawn with markers and watercolors before final digital edit

For the rest of the 12 illustrations , I scanned the first drafts in and took them forward in Procreate App on the Ipad Pro with Apple Pencil .

With the Apple Pencil , I feel the comfort of working with a regular pencil . I’m able to draw and sketch the same way that I would with a pencil. Procreate app has a plethora of pens, paint styles, effects and more. For those who’ve never worked with it , the additional benefit is that you can work using layers and create PSD files for Adobe Photoshop. It helped that I worked on the majority of the outfits digitally . As you will see from the reference images, below, each outfit has an immense amount of detailing – embroidery, color- wise, the fall of the fabric etc. I was able to zoom into each detail and work on it.  It’s easier to re create when edits and changes are requested than on paper, for sure – especially when there is a stringent deadline to be met.

I have poured my heart and soul into this collaboration . I worked for 2 straight weeks on this project. I’d go to bed by 10ish pm . I’d wake up early to get a start to the day .. after a certain point, one questions if 3 am is late at night or early in the morning !

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ANITA DONGRE

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Manish Malhotra

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TARUN TAHILIANI

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GAURAV GUPTA

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SHYMAL & BHUMIKA

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ANAMIKA KHANNA
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ROHIT BAL

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VARUN BAHL

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MONISHA JAISING

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ANJU MODI

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RAHUL MISHRA

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RINA DHAKA

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MANAV GANGWANI
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REYNU TAANDON
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From the very outset, the art direction was clear – the outfits had to be the main focus – making sure that it referenced from the photographs provided . Up until the last day , I worked to make sure each illustration matched every edit request , art direction and did justice to the designer’s work . One of the questions has been , how long it took me to do each illustration . On an average , each illustration – from pencil to final look was 10 – 15 hours – depending on the complexity of the outfit. I’m pretty certain, adrenalin kept me going through this rigorous process . On the final day,  I worked through the night and turned in the work in,  the morning of my husband’s birthday .

Of course, at 2:00 am , my Ipad and my Apple Pencil , both,  needed recharging – as did I ! Nothing that coconut water and ginger infused water with a dash of lemon couldn’t take care of 😉 I am proud of myself that I limited myself to 2 cups of caffeine and stuck to a 45 minute run/walk everyday during this period . It helped me stay focussed with long periods of sedentary and intense work .

I knew the issue would be out on November 4th in India . Obviously, i had a sleepless night wondering how it would all look . That night I dreamt that I had the issue in hand and I turned it cover to cover – but my work had not been included in it ! Such is the way the mind works. But, I have to thank those who wrote to me the next day , saying they saw my work in the issue ! Vogue India sent me the pdfs of the final report , shortly, and I was almost in tears.

It is such a satisfying feeling when your work is finally out in the real world. It took me back to the moment when my work didn’t move forward with the other publication and I told myself that there were better things to come. I had a serendipitous moment when I got the email from Vogue India- this was meant to be. The universe works in mysterious ways and positive thinking goes a long way. Yes, rejection is part of the game. But there’s something bigger and better ahead.

I hope I’ve answered most queries about this project that people have asked me about. Feel free to contact me if you have questions or just to say hi 🙂 Thank you to Vogue India , again ! Thanks to every single one of you who wrote to me, sent me snapshots of your copy of Vogue and my work in it . It is truly humbling .

Oh and yes, my copy of Vogue India arrived  from India a few days ago,and yes, it sits on my coffee table 🙂

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Cheers,

Laksh

Set me free – an in progress video

Hello loves,

Hope everyone is enjoying the nice warmer weather . Spring is tricky – with the temperatures swinging and the rain too. It’s raining today 🙄 .  But , although I will always favor cool over heat, I do like the 65 -70 degree weather  – anymore than that, and I start to complain !

I also find myself drawing more outfits that think spring. This time, I thought a video would be perfect showing the process.

I used Copic Markers and Sakura Micron pens for the sketch .

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Markers for the blouse
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Markers used for the skin tones
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Markers used for the lehenga / skirt
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Plethora of Sakura Micron pens for detailing

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She’s available as a print on Etsy and also on phone cases on Casetify .

Cheers,

Lakshmi

 

Lakme Fashion Week 2016

Hello friends,

So much has happened since I last updated my blog. For now I want to update it with the sketches I did during Lakme Fashion Week held in March/April in my hometown – Mumbai.

I worked on these sketches using Copic Markers and Sakura Micron pens. No pencils were used in the making of these illustrations ! I went straight for the pens and markers.

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Manish Malhotra pretty much showing us we are all stars in this galaxy 
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Mrilalini Gupta’s Bohemian ensemble with the fun messy top half knots 
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Poco and Jacky ‘s military inspiration 
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I was super excited to see Swati And Naina’s sari collection ! The classic always stands out !
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Wendell Rodricks
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Rahul Mishra 
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Payal Khandwala – Never shies away from color and I love her work for it. This one was my favorite – I liked creating the movement in the fabric.. and that sari ! 
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Masaba Gupta 
NeetaLulla
Neeta Lulla 
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Nishka Lulla’s absolutely divine pastels 
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And Anushree Reddy’s bridal brigade … simply gorgeous !

I really enjoyed illustrating these. I hope you like them too .

As always, feel free to contact me for commissioned works for your look books, events and more. I love creating custom looks .

Cheers, loves !

Lakshmi

NYFW Illustrations

 

Hello friends, its been a while !  I’m finally getting around to uploading the rest my illustrations inspired by New York Fashion week.

  1. Marissa Webb : I love how both these looks work in their own ways. Ms Webb has a flair for perfection.
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Marissa Webb

2. Rossie Assoulin : As you can see both these sketches – Marissa Webb and Rossie Assoulin – have swift strokes . For some reason, my hand moves quicker with certain looks . They inspire me to work quickly and deftly . Maybe it’s the movement in the fabric or the way it drapes around the model – I’ll never know why my hand moves the way it does ! These were Winsor and Newton watercolors and Sakura micron pens.

Rossie Assoulin’s style is very unique . I love the playfulness in the outfits along with the ways she conjures up new styles that gives it the stylish and chic look.

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Rossie Assoulin

3. Bibhu Mohpatra : The color of the fabric, the silouhette and the gold flecked eye shadows took my breath away.

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Bibhu Mohpatra

4. Ralph Lauren : That gold dress – that’s all I have to say  ! I used every gold tool I had. I think this may have been my first time experimenting with Gold leaf as well. It works well for shimmery looks .

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Ralph Lauren

5. Marchesa : They can do no wrong . Look at that dress – so beautiful that I illustrated both front and back .

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Marchesa

6. Caroline Herrera : Its a vision in purple as Karlie Kloss floats in this gorgeous creation.

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I hope you like them ! Comments, thoughts, please share.

Cheers,

Lakshmi

 

Survived the Storm

Hello from the other side….

We were pounded with snow starting last Friday. They weren’t kidding , when they said, there would be a lot of snow. I believe we got at least 2 -1/2 feet of snow , if not more.

The stores were packed with people stocking up, the days leading up to Friday and even Friday at noon. I was in there picking up a few things. Once it started snowing, I was happy being indoors. But my kids and the other kids in our neighborhood  showed me what it was to be a kid and how to enjoy the snow . From ‘helping’ by shoveling the snow, to making snow angels and snow blobs and more , they loved it.

After Friday night, it was best to just stay indoors. And I made the most of it , by working on some winter inspired illustrations.

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Blake Lively checking out the storm in my neighborhood !

By Saturday afternoon it was pretty clear to me and my daughter that there was more to this storm than just #stormjonas. We decided Queen Elsa had brought the weather with her. That was the only explanation . So here she is- Elsa reimagined – You just have to Let it go , sometimes!

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Elsa – reimagined 

I also had sometime to create an original sketch of a group of chic women who take Winter and Winter fashion seriously and they are in my Etsy shop for purchase.

Is there anything that you’d like me to sketch as art prints ? Im open to ideas and suggestions.

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These girls are available as Art Print in my Etsy Shop for purchase 

Moving on from winter … strictly metaphorically speaking – like I have a choice .. Its Haute Couture Week , which means there is so much eye candy out there for me to sketch! And not enough time. But I am going to try.

I started off with sketching Irina Shayk in Versace. I mean, she is drop dead gorgeous and killed it on the runway. So it was a lot of fun sketching her.

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Irina Shayk for Versace 

Before I wrap up this post , I wanted to thank Taraji P Henson for reposting my illustration of her on Instagram to her 6.6 million followers ! Insane , right ?!

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Taraji P Henson in Stella McCartney at the Golden Globes 

Lastly , I want thank everyone who takes a minute to read my blog or follows me on Instagram! I value your support and love to hear from you. Please email me or contact me via Instagram or comment , even if it is just to say hi . I love hearing from people.

Cheers!

Lakshmi

December is here..

Hello lovelies,

I cannot believe the  year is almost drawing to an end. Its the beginning of December.  In our household, it means, I just got done with both my kids’ birthday parties. Majority of the birthdays in our family begin in October. My sisters, my husband, father- in-law, my niece , my son , my brother-in-law and my daughter. Lots of birthdays, phew !

December begins with my daughter’s birthday , there’s holiday parties, Christmas , my own birthday and of course the year ends – in that order .

There’s lots of illustrations to be done , in all of this, of course.

I’ve been busy with a few commissioned pieces, which I love. If you’ve been keeping up with me on Instagram, you’ll see the stuff I’ve been playing with.

It’s hard to pick , but here are some of my favorite pieces.

I came across this gorgeous dress designed by Suneet Varma, an Indian designer. The red just caught my eye . Give him some love. Really one to watch .

This particular piece was regrammed by the designer. yay.. to me its a recognition that the designer appreciates the way I interpret his vision in my own way. I also feel very connected to the designer and his/her vision.

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Suneet Varma

Who doesn’t like shoes and heels ? Pair them up with some frayed hem jeans as reported by The Zoe Project – you’ll be on point.

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Heels and frayed jeans = awesome 

 

I love illustrating movement , as is obvious in many of my sketches – be it fashion , street style , dance and sport . Its all about conveying that energy in an artistic way. I am inspired by the photographs taken by the nycdanceproject . If you haven’t checked them out, you should. Here’s a sketch inspired by their picture from last Monday.

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Ballerina

More shoes. I love them .. which girl doesn’t , right ?

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Pantone delighted the world by announcing the Color of the Year for 2016 – not one , but two – Rose Quartz and Serenity ! Thank you , Pantone !

 

 

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This is me, literally , thanking Pantone !

This dress .. speechless !

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Marchesa Fashion’s SS16 couture from NYFW 

I also want to highlight the fashion happening in Australia . I am an Indian-born Australian living in the U.S. I tend to stay connected to all these parts of me through illustrating them . Keeps me inspired and hopefully , I bring to you content that is fresh and new.

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Erin Holland dressed in Danni Minogue for Target Australia and Jean Paul Gaultier. Pretty Stunning , huh ? 

Lastly , I want to leave you with this gorgeous ballerina – yes, again …

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Leanne Lovette for nycdanceproject 

This one just felt like she was floating – poetry in motion. One of those pictures that you feel just has to be illustrated !

I hope you have a lovely week ahead of you . I will be back again to share more with you . In the meantime, email me – lsartillustration (at) gmail.com)  to say hi or follow me on Instagram to keep up and connect .

Cheers,

Laksh

November is here !

Happy Monday ! Its already November . I mean, how fast is 2015 going ? In a blink of an eye , so much has happened.

October was such a fun month for me. I have had so much to be thankful for. It started with the amazing mention on WhoWhatWear.

I have had a few enquiries on commission illustrations . Wow ! Which brings me to the point , I am open to creating commission illustrations – especially with the holidays coming up. Email me 🙂

The other bit of exciting news – if you aren’t following me on Instagram – come on over. I did an illustration of Zuhair Murad’s design for  New York City Ballet – which got regrammed to their followers !! I mean , c’mon – waking up on a Saturday morning to seeing your illustration on Zuhair Murad’s instagram feed ???! No words.

I am such a fan of his work. There’s such a feminine , elegant and ethereal quality to his designs. So to be acknowledged by him is an honor.

Here’s the original image

I happen to have in progress shots of the illustration too. Its fun capturing the process, don’t you think ?

Hang out with me on Instagram , where I try and post everyday . I’d love to hear from you – even if it is just to say hello.

Cheers,

Lakshmi