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Draw inspiration from icons in fashion illustration: Piet Paris

Piet Paris

“Really find your style. It defines you and makes you stand out from the crowd.” – Erin Petson

The style of Piet Paris

Piet Paris has been in fashion illustration for more than 25 years. Paris had worked with big international clients like Vogue, Saks Fifth Avenue, Harper’s Bazaar and has launched multiple books. In 2011 he designed the invitation, backdrop and catwalk for the spring / summer fashion show of design duo Viktor & Rolf. He is known all around the world for his graphic and unique fashion illustration style. The illustrator is always looking for the perfect shape. For finding the perfect shape he uses techniques like stencils and collages. In a video interview he spoke about how he developed his style. He likes to use stencils just like his hero : famous dutch graphic artist Hendrik Werkman. He also likes to have clear contours in his work, just like the creator of Nijntje, Dick Bruna.

Dick Bruna and his character Nijntje

Piet Paris describing his work

“My drawing style exists of leaving out and simplifying. This I combine with a great desire for making a composition where the residual spaces are just as important as the drawing itself.”

Piet Paris

In the video interview Piet Paris tells about that when drawing by hand it’s easy to make mistakes. He didn’t like the fact that when mistakes are made, he has to start te drawing all over again. So he decided to cut the good parts out of his drawings and use those for new art works. That’s when the idea was born to work with stencils.

The drawing process goes as follows: Piet Paris starts with an idea and a blank sheet of paper. The first thing he does is drawing the directions of the body. He works from the inside out. Then stops when he feel like he needs to stop, like “..when you think oh, if I add much more she will get too large”. (Piet Paris). After that he cuts out the parts that he think have an interesting shape and uses the shapes as stencils. With spray paint he fills up the stencils with colors and texture. The final step is creating new art work by using the created shapes and combining them with linework.

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