A combination of hand-drawn illustrated fashion trends with the assembling of digital graphic art.
‘‘For me, being an illustrator, apart from working on visual communication based on the client’s requirements, is also a freeway to express myself. I believe that, in the end, all of us will be gone…but what remains forever is what we have given to the world, our achievements, our work and our soul. I hope that my work inspires future generations.’’
The collage as an art expression on its own began, according to many, at the end of the 19th century with several pieces by George Braque and by Pablo Picasso, in a time and space (that simultaneously produced it and were transformed by it) of restructuring, composition and alteration of its sociocultural elements. In the early stages, the technique was simply the union of pieces of paper to achieve new pieces; today, the artists of collage work both with paper and with digital resources.
From newspapers and magazines, to maps, tickets, propaganda, photographies, tapes, postal stamps, paintings, texts and opposing objects, the composing elements of collage come together in a creative practical process of gathering works of art and even in separating them in an artistic exploration. Among the most representative artists in search of these fragments that encapsulate cultural manifestations and moments, we find photographers -who see in collage a great opportunity to intervene their own completed pieces- and painters -who use it to blend new materials and textures.
Gigi Thanawongrat, contemporary fashion trends graphic artist, has used on this tactic to express herself since she first studied interior architecture. It was during that time where she developed the passion for hand-made pieces that highlight her own style as well as the latest fashion trends displayed in fashion magazines, which she unifies in her collages with her handmade sketches. After working in the design industry, Gigi moved towards to what inspired her the most: graphic design.
‘‘I developed a great interest for fashion illustration and digital drawing. I have tried to create and develop my own style so that it is more unique by exploring many art forms, such as hand painting, hand drawing, vectors drawing and making models.’’
How did her career started?
‘’Many years ago, I started publishing my fashion arts and fashion trends on Instagram, where a retail buyer at a multi-brand store in Bangkok found them and that was my turning point! She gave me my first commission which was to create advertising pieces that were then published in VOGUE Thailand and ELLE Thailand, two of the most influential fashion trends magazines.”
‘‘Some of my current favorite illustrators include Erte, Tony Viramontes, Oliver Jeffers, Helen Hancocks, Natsko Seki, Maria-Ines Gul and Unskilled Worker.”
One of the main influences that Gigi has had to become the successful artist that she is today, are children’s books: ”my favorite illustrations book is one of Oliver Jeffers, artist and illustrator. His art is so amazing! On many occasions, the color palette I use in my projects comes from a combination of the chromatic concepts of the illustrations in children’s books. ”
‘‘For the details of the silhouette, my style goes from an outline turned into a painting. I still love drawing a face with eyelashes and without a nose because this has been my signature since the beginning.”
The art of collage has become as a recognizable, powerful tool in the elaboration of even more powerful statements. Recently, we have seen the positioning of collage as a tool comparable to illustration, as a means to address current politic events, issues and controversies. Through animations, collages, videos, posters and sculptures, among others, political art touches the minds and consciences of the viewers about what is happening.
‘‘It is a good option to use illustrations to tell stories about politics because it would make the readers understand the content easily.’’
Which is the country that most inspires you?
‘‘The United Kingdom and especially London! I have been there 2 times and I completely fell in love with the city, its architecture, creativity and the high individualism of the people is very inspiring. London has great museums, art galleries, parks and a lot of things to do, it is a place that has been very important in my professional journey, that trip made me discover my goals!’’
“I truly believed that ‘the way to do great work is to love what we do’, as Steve Jobs once said. I know what it feels like when I found the job I truly love and was passionate about. I want to be a person who inspires and encourage others through my art.’’
Which are the characteristics you look for in a fashion brand that makes you want to illustrate their products?
”Its artistic side plus its history. I feel inspired by the beauty of unique crafts, a dress inspired by holidays, a cultural trip, swimsuits, tribal and ethnic fashion trends, a craftsman and a colorful printed fabric among others. My favorite brands include Soda, Gucci, Rhode Resort, Vita Kin, all things Mochi, Dodo Bar Or or Jacquemus, Chufy, Yuliya Magdych, March 11, Pippa Holt and Cult Gaia.’’
What is the market niche to which you are aiming for through your work?
“Definitely people in the fashion industry or related to fashion trends, such as bloggers, fashion editors, beauty editors, buyers, fashion influencers and fashion designers. At the beginning, I worked without getting paid and afterwards, I’ve managed to attract clients who have given me opportunities because they really appreciate and believe in what I do.”
What is the kind of work you are most developing more frequently nowadays and which is the market demanding the most?
“At this moment, what I love the most doing is fashion collages, bringing together fashion trends and accessories. I would love to be a stylist. Fashion is fun! That’s why I create my own fashion content on “The joy of dressing is an art” inspired by the quote by John Galliano. My motto is to display my essence and create what I want to see. I always follow my intuition when it comes to the selection of fashion items that are based on my personal style and also on the fashion trends that are updated every season. At the same time, I am willing to promote new brands and rethink the history of established brands; it is a good opportunity for the brands to find and inspire themselves.
It’s now when we all need something fun and inspiring!’’
‘‘In my opinion, the fashion communication industry has been able to welcome illustration. Illustrators can continue to grow more in the future through digital media. Today, everyone can communicate and share their interests. ”
Have you been inspired by Colombian fashion?
‘’At this moment, Johanna Ortiz is my favorite Colombian fashion designer. I love her swimsuit with ruffled details: the must-have pieces of her collection is a Jungle Cotton Pareo and a knitted bag with tassel. I have been working on the illustration of the Christmas card for the clothes of a Colombian resort called WAIMARI. I had a lot of fun and I am glad that my work is coming across into the Colombian public!”
“To succeed in these days you need to have a unique style, you need to produce better quality works and to have the ability to adapt to the world of digital media. The challenge is to capture your audience’s or viewers’ attention in just a second. The most important thing is to stay focused and keep practicing as much as possible.”