Fascinated by Vogue and the work of couture designers, fashion illustrator Julie McGrath says she finds inspiration in creating their intricate designs on paper. With a profound love of fashion and art, her illustrations reflect a fascination for people watching and a great love for twisting proportions. She also finds creativity and inspiration in the imaginations of her children.
Can you tell us about your background in the arts? Originally from Massachusetts, I am now living in Florida. I attended the University of Massachusetts at Boston earning a bachelor’s degree in Art focusing in Art History. From there I went on to study in Illustration and Design, earning a Master of Arts degree from Savannah College of Art and Design.
And now? I’ve completed a second Masters at SCAD, this time in Art Administration. I teach visual arts and humanities at colleges and universities, and continue to evolve and nurture my style daily.
How long have you been an illustrator? Since I could hold a pencil. But really I only started considering myself an “illustrator” over the last five or six years. That is when I found my groove and my style.
When did you develop an interest in fashion and accessories?
In college. ‘Vogue’ became much more about the artistic concepts and less about the models and the consumer side of things. I started to understand it more as a form of art. Alexander McQueen had a pretty major influence in that understanding. With my love of art and this new understanding of fashion, my style was born! It took me a number of years to get into a rhythm with my specific style.
Who is your favorite designer? Some designers that always grab my attention are Dior, Giambattista Valli, Gucci, YSL…..I could go on and on! I love what Maria Grazia Chiuri is doing with Dior. Gucci is ALWAYS fun to draw.
Do you have a favorite illustration? I cannot say I have a specific favorite drawing. I truly love them all in different ways. However, the most fun are always the illustrations with sunglasses. Yes, my sunnies obsession plays a factor but also those are always the best when they are finished. Those illustrations always get the most attention and reaction and people truly love them.
In terms of the illustrations, I always make it my own by reminding myself that this is my work. In college when I took fine art focused classes, the point was always to draw what you see. I had a hard time shaking that idea and it haunted me in a lot of my illustration classes and then earlier in my career. At one point it just hit me, this style of drawing is mine; I can do what I want. So when I deter from the original image and give a twist on the human form I remind myself it is my work for me. I can do whatever I want.
Instagram: @drawpaintdesign / For commissions and further information: https://www.drawpaintdesign.com CN