June 28, 2016
The Real Draft
This image is on the back cover of my book, Draw Fashion Now. I’m quite pleased with it now, but it was a three week struggle to get to this point. Even though it’s embarrassing, I want to lift the curtain and show the excruciating process it took to create this drawing. It’s so important for aspiring illustrators to understand that drawings are not created by magical talent, but by effort and practice.
There were a lot of constraints demanded by the format of the book – each drawing had to be a consistent size, the drafts needed to be clear enough to be easily understood, and the rendering had to be simple enough to describe in three steps. Plus, the drawing had to be beautiful too! Getting all of those things right for this particular example took 33 separate analog drawings, which I’ve compiled into a GIF below. Many of these passes are, to be fair, pretty hideous. You will see what a real draft looks like (a total mess), how many times I changed my mind and went back to the beginning (three), and also how many shamefully ugly renderings I did before I did the final one. After all of that, the final illustration took me about 10 minutes.
A lot of people believe that drawing requires “talent” and that talent is innate, which ultimately prevents them from even trying something that they want to do. If you simply take the time to do as many drafts as it takes, you CAN draw, anyone can. Even professional illustrators do bad drawings – if anything, we do way more of them. So if you want to draw, don’t be afraid. All you need is pencil, paper and persistence. You can Draw Fashion Now too.