The Art of Feeling Empowered with Gabrielle Fotch

When did you first get into drawing?

I think like most artist I have been drawing for as long as I can hold a pencil. Since I was little kid, I spent hours drawing and painting. My mother always encouraged me to express myself artistically and even when I was 5 years old, I already had my little studio at home dedicated exclusively to my art. During my school years, I was always involved in all the artistic activities that I could, Photography, drawing, painting. So, it was a very natural for me to pursue illustration as a career when I was given the opportunity to study at the Savannah College of Art and Design.

Why did you choose to make fashion part of your inspiration?

Fashion, like art has always been an important part of my life. Just like any other visual art, fashion is a tool to show the world your personality, express yourself, who you are, what you like and what makes you unique. I feel the most confident when I’m in an outfit that I truly love and that’s exactly what I like to convey with my art. I like to depict people that are empowered and confident. And of course, I love the overall glamour and sophistication.

What is your particular working day as a creative?

I draw every day, usually I start early in the morning and try to be as productive as I can. I like to do some quick sketches to warm up before I start working on my illustrations and then look up for inspiration on Instagram, fashion shows and fashion magazines. Usually, I work around 6-8 hours a day. Sometimes when I feel I’m getting stuck or have a creative block, I go outside to do plein air painting.

What tools do you use when creating your images?

It depends on the illustration I am working on. When I work Digitally, I use my Huion Kamvas 20 Tablet and Photoshop, occasionally I start the sketch on procreate for iPad. When I work in traditional mediums, I have a preference for watercolours. My favourites are Arches Cold Press watercolour paper, and Dr. Ph. Martins liquid watercolours. And sometimes I combine both digital and traditional. But I think is important to always experiment with new mediums and techniques.

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

I can mention endless names of people who have influenced me throughout my career as an artist. I should start by mentioning my former professor and mentor Arden von Haeger. Of course, fashion illustration masters like David Downton, Donovan, Rene Gruau, and Leyendecker. As well contemporary painters like Michael Carson and Nick Runge.

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

I would say, draw every day, work on your craft and, always be opened to learn something new. Don’t just settle for what you’re comfortable with, experiment with your art and have fun. Also, talk with people in the industry, artists you admire or other creatives with your same interests, there's always so much to learn from others and get inspired by.

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

I'm currently working on an illustration inspired by the Celine spring 2021 Ready-to-wear collection! Lately I’ve been obsessed with Drab Majesty a darkwave band from LA, it is a very interesting musical project, I highly recommend the album “Modern Mirror” I absolutely love it. My favorite artist at the moment is collage artist Dave Danzara also known as @Lostintimedesigns on Instagram, I really enjoy all the references to pop-culture and sci-fi in his works and his style.

Studio space. GF x

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