Find Your Sketching Voice

- - Fashion Art

Your sketching voice is as unique as you are.  In a time where designers have access to Photoshop, Illustrator and a number of other CAD (Computer Aided Design) programs, your individual sketching voice becomes more valuable, because no program can create what your hand can sketch.   The University of Fashion is launching a new video series on Finding Your Sketching Voice in which we will help you find your voice, as well as consider how your sketching style assists in defining your aesthetic and brand.

Keep in mind that your sketches serve several purposes.  Initially, sketching is a fast and effective way to get your ideas on paper.  Eventually, your sketches may serve as a form of communication to be used with assistant designers, pattern makers and sewers.  In today’s fashion industry, your sketches will serve as promotional pieces representing both you as a designer and the clients you wish to reach.  Now, more than ever, it is important to reflect your client in your sketching style and show how your design aesthetic sets you apart from the rest.

Sketching Styles Reflect Designers' Clients

Sketching Styles Reflect Designers’ Clients

Let’s consider a few examples.  In the above sketches, the house of Versace has represented its ultra glam customer in this sketch for Lady Gaga.  Versace is synonymous with a jet-setting lifestyle and body conscious designs, both of which are represented in this sketch.  Contrast Karl Lagerfeld’s sketch for Fendi (Fun Fashion Fact:  Did you know Karl Lagerfeld started his design career at Fendi in 1965?).    Lagerfeld’s socialite “it girl” is illustrated in head-to-toe accessories and you can almost feel the paparazzi following close behind her as she shops along Fifth Avenue.  Finally, in Rei Kawakubo’s sketch for Comme De Garcons, we see an avant garde client reflected – the absence of a defined face invites her one-of-a-kind clients to “see themselves” in her designs.  The static frontal pose of her croquis reflects her customers’ confidence in their unapologetic avant garde fashion sense.

Sometimes designers seek illustrators to convey their message to their customer base.  In the following video, illustrator Jonathon Bartlett uses his unique sketching voice to convey Ralph Lauren’s branch of Denim & Supply’s brand aesthetic to the mass market.

Now, consider your client and her/his lifestyle.  What image would she/he like to project in your designs?  After careful consideration, take a look at our latest video, Find Your Sketching Voice – Part 1.  Learn how to define and hone your sketching style in a way that best represents you and your designs.

Sign-up for our newsletter

Join our newsletter to receive updates on future blog posts, special deals, and new lessons. Also visit the main webpage to check out all of our video lessons.

Kara Laricks is a regular contributor to the University of Fashion. She’s also a New York based women's wear and accessories designer. As the first winner of NBC's Fashion Star, Kara has designed collections for H&M, Macy's and Saks Fifth Avenue. Her masculine meets feminine line, Kara Laricks, debuted at New York Fashion Week in 2012 and her S/S 2013 collection sold exclusively at Saks Fifth Avenue. Kara's designs have been featured on the Today Show and HBO's True Blood as well as covered in Women's Wear Daily and on Kara holds Master's degrees in both Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Kansas and in Fashion Design from the Academy of Art in San Francisco. An educator turned designer, Kara is dedicated to supporting emerging designers and inspiring others to follow where dreams lead.