The 12 Best Fashion Illustrators in Canada Selected by Marcus Kan of Draw a Dot
Posted: Jul 15 2015
With a solid following of 25K (and counting) on Instagram, Marcus Kan of Draw a Dot is an authority in the world of fashion illustration. We caught up with the Toronto-based blogger for his word on the 12 best fashion illustrators in Canada.
Marcus Kan has had his eye on the world of fashion illustration through his blogs since 2009, and today has a following of over 25,000 on instagram for his website Draw A Dot. This Canadian blogger is capturing the fashion industry one dot at a time and sharing it with the world; The Chic Canuck sat down with Marcus for a Q&A to find out more about him, his passion for showcasing talented illustrators, and find out who he thinks the best fashion illustrators in Canada are, right now.
The Chic Canuck: What made you want to start draw a dot?
Marcus Kan: When I first started my other blog Fusion of Effects in late 2009, I decided to create a section to showcase the fashion illustrations I like and thought this would set me apart from other fashion bloggers in the city. Because of that section, I landed my writing gig at Swide by Dolce & Gabbana online magazine from 2011 to 2014 and my focus was on fashion illustrations. Through there, I got the chance to connect with many talented illustrators from around the world. In late 2012, I decided to create Draw A Dot. to showcase their works to my readers.
The main purpose of Draw A Dot. is to give these talented illustrators a place to promote their works and get more exposure. Since 2012, many illustrators I have featured on the site have become very successful and brands have started to put the site on their radars.
TCC: What elements does a piece of fashion have to have in order for it to be illustrated well?
MK: The answer is simple: the fashion piece needs to be dramatic and full of great details. This may explain why illustrators love to illustrate Haute Couture collections because there are too many great details in each garment.
TCC: Why do you think fashion illustrating has developed such a large following in these past years?
MK: I believe it has to do with social media platforms. I still remember when I was first exploring the fashion illustration sector in 2009, there were not a lot of ways for me to discover the talents. With the release of Instagram, illustrators start to use that platform to show their works, and this helps people like me to discover more great talents.
Fashion houses also help to make this industry more popular than before. They love to see their collections being illustrated by illustrators and if they believe the art works have the same aesthetic as them, they would show them on their own social media platforms. Once they post an illustration on instagram or twitter, at least 3 million followers will see it and then some of them will share the artwork to their friends and family. This really shows the snowball effect on social media platforms.
TCC: What's your favourite thing about working with and showcasing other artists?
MK: Fashion illustrators are storytellers, and fashion is just one of the props for them to use for their masterpieces. Sometimes their artworks will show a completely different vibe of certain collections and that really opens my mind. I also love how some illustrators evolve their styles throughout the years and many of them have made a big impact to the industry. Ultimately, I feel very rewarding when big publications approach some of my favourite illustrators, especially the ones who are first discovered by me.
TCC: Can you name for us some of your favourite Canadian illustrators and why you admire them?
See Marcus' Top 12 picks for the best fashion illustrators in Canada below!
I cannot stop loving Sunny Wong's works because her characters are beautiful, yet with a dark twist. It is also refreshing to see each illustrated model is paired up with an illustrated animal.
Benjamin Edward always pushes the illustration envelope and lately I am very impressed with his illustration + photography art works. His watercolour illustration style is simply beautiful!
I always have a special spot for Jocelyn Teng's illustrations. Her style is very whimsical and let me tell you, she is one of the best illustrators in this city to do live runway sketches!
Laura Gulshani has an unforgiving illustration style. Compare to other illustrators, her style is very raw but at the same time she can capture all the essence of the collections.
Juspa's illustration style is very polished and I cannot stop looking at all those fine lines she created. I do believe her career will take off very soon. She is a rare gem.
I love Matthew Gallagher as a fashion designer, but I love him more as a fashion illustrator. He can show the elegant vibe of the collections flawlessly with his simple illustration style. This guy is simply talented!
MelEesa Lorett's runway illustrations are very unique. When you look at the artworks, you will feel the energy from the collections and her illustration style also reminds you of the 80s posters.
Lisa Nishimura's illustrations are whimsical and soft. If I needed to use a snack to describe her works, it would be cotton candy. Light and sweet.
Stephanie McKay's illustration style is very soft and feminine. Her fashion illustrations have a very calm vibe and you will want to use your imagination to complete each of her works.
If you are looking for fashion pop art, then look no further. Ben Liu has a unique illustration style and his works are always fun and relate to the pop culture.
Gordon Shadrach is a master of menswear illustrations. His fashion paintings are very realistic and full of great details! I am hoping to own an art piece from him in the future!
Danielle Meder of Final Fashion is one of the illustrators I met when I first got into the fashion illustration scene. Her fashion paper dolls are always one of my favourites and secretly, I do hope she will make a paper doll of me one day.