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Fida Talks - The Role of Portraiture in Fashion Drawing

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Fida is running a series of monthly talks with Industry artists and creatives. 

The Talks will be discussing the work of a selection of fashion creatives and artists, with numerous experience working both in-house and freelance with brands. The talks will offer the opportunity for Q&A at the end and the talk should last no more than 45 minutes. 

Fida aims to help support and celebrate the fashion illustrators of today, through the money raised from the talks will offer opportunities to illustrators unable to afford a place on the Fida website or books. 

Free to all Fida Members



Thursday, February 11, 07:00pm - 08:00pm  GMT UK

The Role of Portraiture in Fashion Drawing
Nadia Coolrista @nadiacoolrista
Chris Gambrell @gambrell
Natalia Sanabria @nataliasanab
Melanie De Jong @melaniedejong.illustrator
Alena Yoytenokl @voyalen
Host Patrick Morgan RCA


Nadia Coolrista

Nadia Coolrista was born in Russia and started drawing at the age of 13. She graduated from Udmurt State University with a bachelor's degree in interior design and worked professionally as a furniture, trade, and exhibition designer for more than a decade. 

In 2014 she discovered her passion for drawing portraits and fashion-related illustrations; almost as a direct benefactor of her early adoption of social media (Instagram, Pinterest, Tiktok, YouTube). Today her artistic techniques and skills have grown tremendously and now highlight her love and affinity for testing new mediums and methods of expression.   

Chris Gambrell

From Bristol, Chris graduated from the University of West England in 2001, with BA (Hons) in Illustration.

Primarily a fashion illustrator, Chris has produced illustrations for Zara, Spain and his work has been published in fashion and creative press in the US, Australia and Europe. In 2017, he was the featured artist in Voir Magazine and in 2018 his worked featured in the Brazilian fashion magazine, Revista Caterina. In 2018, he was also featured in the PatternBook blog, as ‘one to watch’. In 2020, he featured in British Vogue and also created the cover illustrations for the Artemisia Gentileschi biography written to accompany an exhibition of her work at The National Gallery, London

My reason for illustrating is to explore form. I was a stone sculptor and this remains even when working in 2D, I still feel a compulsion to ‘carve the page’. The designs of Comme des Garçons resonate for me – the sculptural forms are a constant source of inspiration. Italian Artist Lorenzo Mattotti is probably my biggest influence, the composition and colour of his work is breath-taking. He manages to set up a tension of movement and vibration within an image.

I am in a constant state of flux with materials and working method as every image seems to suggest a different tool. I don’t think I have ever settled into a style and not sure if I ever will.

Chris has many collectors of his work, both nationally and internationally – we happily post out his unframed pieces to the UK and abroad. 

Melanie De Jong

Melanie de Jong is an illustrator from Zwaag, The Netherlands. She Studied Fashion at the Artemis Academy in Amsterdam, graduated in 2011. Loves fashion, art, patterns, crafts and fashion trough the ages.

All illustrations are handmade, using paint, ink, watercolor and crayons. she also uses digital techniques to create patterns, drawings or graphics.

Natalia Sanabria

Beautiful women who have confidence, style and a touch of attitude come to the forefront in the work of Costa Rican fashion and beauty illustrator Natalia Sanabria. A talented watercolour artist, she’s an expert when it comes to accentuating the positive and catching the eye with her bright colours and realistic shading.
Working mainly in fashion, publishing and editorial, Natalia Sanabria is influenced by fashion designers like Meadham Kirchhoff, Tsumori Chisato and Prada. Equally, she’s inspired by artists like Gustav Klimt, Toulouse Lautrec, Degas and Egon Schiele because they could make women look powerful yet delicate at the same time – qualities that are clear in Natalia’s work as well. She studied Graphic Design and Painting at the University of Costa Rica.

Alena Yoytenokl 

Digital and freelance fashion illustrator experimenting with all forms of fashion drawing. 


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