Following LCF’s BA14 Summer Season we saw tons of beautiful images all over social media from students, graduates and industry alike.
However, one set of images really caught our eye – Megan-Ruth St Clair Morgan, BA (Hons) Fashion Illustration student, dropped us a line to say she had live illustrated the BA14 Runway Show. We couldn’t overlook such wonderful work so we asked Megan to tell us the secret to creating beautiful fashion drawings in super short bursts of time…
LCF News: How do you manage to create these beautiful images in such a short space of time? We reckon you must have only a few minutes from when the collection hits the runway to when it disappears off the scene!
Megan: Well that’s something I ask myself all the time and get asked all the time! I think I would say lots of practice… It’s using quick ways of getting the image onto paper that helps. I use a water brush, watercolours and fine liners to create drawings. I also add in the use of a few big markers to create big marks from time to time. Let’s just say I like shows where the models walk slow!
LCF News: What do you love to draw? Which collection did you enjoy drawing the most?
Megan: I love doing catwalk illustration and drawing from life – movement and body are so interesting! My favourite had to be Rachel O’Mahony, BA (Hons) Fashion Design Technology Womenswear, and Harry Harvey, BA (Hons) Fashion Textiles. The textures and shape were fantastic to illustrate. It’s all about silhouette and creating movement, and it moved so well.
LCF News: What makes a great fashion illustration?
Megan: Personally I think a focus on the clothes rather than the person, in live illustration you are capturing the collection not the model. But it really depends what sort of fashion illustration you do, the thing that has stuck with me is to draw everything as if its an object and have no preconceived ideas as to what it should look like. Realism, honesty from the artist and creative freedom. A fashion illustration should be a personal reaction to what you’re viewing. A showcase of the how the collection made you feel and how it expresses itself to you.
LCF News: What advice would you give to anyone thinking of studying BA (Hons) Fashion Illustration?
Megan: Take every opportunity you get given! That’s the biggest thing to learn, Sue Dray (BA (Hons) Fashion Illustrator Course Leader) has so many contacts and connections in the industry and passes on her wisdom (and show tickets to LFW etc.) like no tomorrow. Just take on board positive and negative feedback as you would have to in the industry and remember you are building yourself as an artist all the time. Also one big thing… attend every class! It sounds stupid but if you miss classes you miss chances to build your skills and portfolio and also meet people from industry. Sue brings in industry visitors sometimes without warning if you are there you will never miss out! Lastly think of the course as a platform to create your illustration branding and industry name, you have 3 years of tutoring to prepare you for a tough industry. I’d use that time to get known and build your contact base.
LCF News: What else are you up to? What opportunities has LCF given you to achieve your ambitions?
Megan: Well the list is endless, LCF has enabled me to do things I never thought were possible. I’m now officially in position as the new LCF Vice President for SUARTS so you’ll be seeing a lot of me from now on!
I’m currently building my international base as an illustrator just back from Berlin Fashion Week and currently collaborating with various well known brands – Paul Smith, Coggles.com, The Ragged Priest, MICHALSKY and many more. The work is coming through thick and fast so it looks like a busy summer ‘break’.
To be able to come to London at 16 to study at LCF was a dream in one so everything that has happened since is magic. Studying a BA at 17 with industry involvement within 4 weeks of the course starting, shows just how amazing this place is, LCF gave us tickets for my first LFW as an illustrator and its since then that my career has started fully. So I can only thank LCF and Sue Dray for that! LCF are so willing to help and push you towards the right people, all the tutors have amazing industry knowledge and contacts so that in its self is another opportunity for you to achieve.