Drawing is in the Genes and DNA of Matthew Chow (aka mchowstylist)

When did you first get into drawing?
I always had an interest in drawing, as far back as I can remember.
Illustration runs in my family, although it was never pursued in any serious
way. My grandfather was an oil painter, my mother and father both drew
as children, and my uncle is a talented illustrator turned architect. I was
always encouraged by my loved ones to pursue and practice drawing.

Why did you choose to make fashion part of your inspiration?
My mother sewed her whole life, she would teach me how she made
things, and it eventually paved my way to getting a bachelor’s degree in
fashion design. My studies included fashion illustration, which only
solidified my love for it.
I have been working as a clothing stylist in the commercial and advertising
world for the past 10 years. Part of my job is creating imagery for clients
and editorial content for magazines, so I’m very much immersed in the
fashion landscape.

What is your particular working day as a creative?
My typical day revolves around creative briefs for various commercial
brands and pulling clothing for photoshoots. Throughout that, I’ve done the
odd illustration job for various clients and publications. However, this
pandemic has allowed me to reconnect with my art and use it as another
way to obtain work in a more serious way. It’s been a great creative outlet
during a time of uncertainty and confusion.

What tools do you use when creating your images?

I mainly use traditional mediums like acrylic ink and coloured pencil and
procreate/photoshop for my digital pieces. I often combine the two for
interesting results. When working on jobs for clients, I like the flexibility and
speed of digital art and how it allows me to make quick corrections when
needed. But there’s certain nuances with traditional art that you can’t
reproduce in digital that I love so much!

Who or what has influenced you over the years as an artist?

The always changing trends in fashion keep me influenced. It’s never
stagnant, always evolving, so I think that is what keeps me excited.
My partner is also involved in the fashion world, owning a modelling
agency, Want Management. I’m constantly inspired by the faces he scouts
and develops and the projects his models get to be a part of, such as
campaigns for Prada and Celine, and editorials with world-renowned
photographers. I always appreciate the imagery they get to be a part of.

Editorial work doesn’t have the highest rates, it’s great for your
portfolio and adds legitimacy to your work. That will result in commercial
work and higher rates down the road. Take any opportunity you can to publish your work!

What advice do you have for younger artists looking to be part of this

This is something that I’m still working on myself, however, I think it’s
important to connect with other artists. I have two friends who now live in
New York who work as full-time illustrators, Lauren Tamaki
(@laurentamaki) and Marcos Chin (@marcoschinart). They’ve been great
at offering advice when I need it.
I try to connect with people in the industry and offer my services in hopes
that it will result in work. I’ve been fortunate to have gained industry
connections through my job as a clothing stylist that has gotten me work as
an illustrator. The world is very intertwined, crossing paths with producers
and editors that can use my artwork for other projects.
Although editorial work doesn’t have the highest rates, it’s great for your
portfolio and adds legitimacy to your work. That will result in commercial
work and higher rates down the road. Take any opportunity you can to
publish your work!
I also make a point of drawing every day. We can always better our skills
and we must develop our own styles.

What are you drawing today? Music are you listening to? Books that
your are reading? Favourite artist/designer at the moment? 

I’m working on my Fida entry, as a matter of fact! I’m very excited about
the theme of ‘muse’ and have a couple ideas on the go.

Instead of listening to music, I generally listen to various YouTube artists
that do ‘draw-along’ sessions. I find it relaxing and motivating. My personal
favourites are Fran Meneses (@frannerd) and Sha’an d’Anthes
In regard to favourite designers for illustration, I tend to like anything with
colour. But when it comes to my styling work and personal taste, I love
minimalist designs with subdued colours. It’s this odd mix of things that I
may like and appreciate in real-life but would prefer something more vibrant
and ‘over-the-top’ to illustrate. Basically, I don’t have a favourite designer
and my taste is all over the place!

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