Friday, January 12, 2007

Do You Have To Be A Good Drawer To Be A Fashion Designer?

No! It's fun to draw fashion figures with long legs, ruffles and pleats, but don't let that stop you from pursuing your dream of becoming a fashion designer.

As a designer I am sometimes a horrible drawer. To draw something out of my head looks very silly. I can draw whatever I'm looking at, which came from getting in tune with my hands and brain in a quiet place, and being taught by a sculptor to line up the angles of what I am looking at to see now it measures to points on other objects, and then drawing from there.

I cannot draw a traditional fashion figure, on which to draw clothes. I have not practiced enough, so I have to put a proportioned fashion figure on my glass-top desk, turn on a desk light on beneath my desk, and use it as a light board to trace over the form. It is from there that my fashion drawing begins. However, it is very important for me to base my drawing off of a non human object as inspiration, like a bottle of nail polish. See this nifty trick I learned from a fashion design class at FIT. If you're bored, you can cut up objects of a theme, glue them together, and voila, you have an outfit:

fashion drawing

But to answer the question: I'm going to say that you do not need to be a good drawer to be a fashion designer, but you would need to have some money to pay someone else to draw. I cannot make a pattern for clothing (I can for accessories that I create). I have to pay someone else to do that, and to bring it to the professional level of pattern making. Peek inside my Dress Up Box to see what I have designed, but not stitched or patterned.

Before you dismiss yourself as a non-drawer, I'd say ask yourself what kind of drawing is it that you cannot do. I for example, am not very skilled with watercolor (yet), though I love the brushes and buying paint. However, I am more technically skilled with using the watercolor brush in the graphic program Adobe Illustrator on the computer. See my desktop wallpaper at Katie James for examples of different "mediums" used to make drawings.

My final answer is, if you want to be a fashion designer, you will find a way. You may not make traditional drawings, but you must have some way to communicate your vision.

Fashion Drawing Resources:

9 heads fashion drawing book
9 Heads, a fashion drawing book

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Danielle said...

Great answer, Katie!

I, like you, can't draw a traditional fashion figure. (Always had a problem with limbs, lol) When I used to design clothes in high school, I used a paper doll template from an old childhood toy set and worked from there. When I had a few things made by a seamstress, she fleshed out my ideas into a pattern.

While I think having the ability to create fashion drawings and patterns is the ultimate, I'm sure not everyone has the skill. Look at all the celebrity fashion "designers" LOL.

Mista said...


Katey said...

I don't think you have to be a great drawer to be a fashion designer. Of course, having the talent to put your ideas onto paper in beautiful sketches would probably make things easier, but in the end, I think that if you have great designs, you can be a great fashion designer. Take some drawing classes and start putting your ideas onto paper...the best way you know how. Besides, it's about your ideas and the finished products. Not about the drawing. All you need is your creativity and your passion, but again a drawing class wouldn't hurt. If you really want to be a fashion designer, stop wondering and start acting. Take a drawing class and move on. :)

Free Croquis said...

You don't have to be a good drawer necessarily. You can get free fashion croquis here There are no royalties or requirements. Just download and use them for your fashion drawings or illustrations. By the way, your work is beautiful! I don't even think you need them.

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