Fashion Illustrator Lucia Emanuela Curzi
Lucia Emanuela Curzi’s creative world is made up of elegant lines of blank ink and splashes of colour in the perfect union of fashion meets art. Born in Italy and now based in London, the award-winning illustrator’s penchant for high fashion illustrations has quite literally drawn the attention of fashion brands such as InStyle, and is leading the way in illustration’s place in the fashion industry. And to add to all that, Lucia is also directing her brand LU featuring a collection of t-shirts and scarves emblazoned with her signature sketches. The title of illustrator doesn’t begin to do justice to this multi-talented creative who began in filmmaking before taking up the pencil and is now blending the two together, rewriting the codes of illustration. Dedicating her art to the feminine and beauty through fashion voyeurism, Lucia is leaving splashes of water colour in her wake.
CM: How would you describe your style?
For me is very instinctive and natural so it’s aways difficult to define your own style! I would say pop and expressionistic in the same time, colourful and strange.
CM: When did you first know you wanted to pursue illustration as a career?
Since I was a kid I was very good at drawing, however, before pursuing an illustration career I hold a BA in Film and got a job in Advertising . In my mid twenties I came across this book about fashion illustration and I thought there was not such other elegant and timeless form of illustration, I just decided to move in London form Milan and build a portfolio that express fully my personality and my drawing skills.
CM: Your work has been featured in top magazines internationally–commercially and as an artist–how did you achieve such a level of exposure?
My career started working for independent magazines in London but took off because one year later I won the High Street Edit Fashion Illustration Competition run by Company Magazine and I had the chance to illustrate the whole issue. This editorial led to a long collaboration with the same art director in InStyle for few years. I guess I have been lucky to have someone with fresh eyes who believed in my talent and give me the first great chance.
And of course a good the big opportunity for me was my agency and social media: social networks are changing how we communicate and became an effective way to connect to clients.
CM:What materials do you use in your illustrations?
I draw on paper using ink, watercolours, pen, charcoals, and sometimes acrylic. Some of my works are photoshopped and few others have collage elements,
CM: Biggest challenges as a creative? Your most rewarding moment?
The biggest challenge is managing the time and the financial part: many administrative and promotion tasks that require time, determination and discipline.
My most rewarding moment is coming this month with 20 full pages illustrated in he Anniversary Issue of Harper’s Bazaar. Not only is it an honour to be featured in a such iconic magazine, it’s a lifetime achievement for a fashion illustrator being asked to draw such number of pages and define the style of an issue. It says a lot how fashion illustration is coming back more and more.
CM: Can you tell us more about your filmmaking?
After I hold my BA in Filmmaking. I worked as Video Editor and researcher for directors in Adversing before becoming an illustrator. I had an amazing time learning from top advertising professionals in Milan and it’s part of my career. Today I am using this experience to develop a language that is an extension of my vision as fashion illustrator. I have a keen interest on creating new techniques crossing illustration, collage and film looking at surrealism and pop artists. My film Diamonds is an organic flux of paint gestures and a deconstruction about the fashion images we see every day in the magazines.
I want to think about the image as part of a bigger world an don’t get constraint by the illustration on a page.
CM: Your most important take away from art school?
The best take away was in a fashion drawing course I took at the LCF where I met a great tutor that taught me how to keep my own drawing style refining it and make it simpler.
CM: Best advice for aspiring illustrators?
I receive a lot of enquires form students, and I am always astonished as they teach them to look so closely at other illustrators. University should be the time of art experimentation and practising your drawing skills and breaking the rules.
I think the best advice is be UNIQUE, create your own style looking at different sources of art inspiration: study how to make a unique line drawing inspiration from fine artists and old masters .
Lately I see more and more young illustrators defining their style emulating other fellow designers. The world is full of skilled artists but to stand out you have to create your own voice and re-define the new social media as a new language, dare to be different!
Photo © Lucia Emanuela Curzi
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