So, this is like a follow-up post to my previous post on fashion designing. I got a comment from a reader asking ” How did you realise you wanted to have a career in fashion illustration? How did you start?” when my answer started becoming longer than intended, i decided to make this a post.
First of all, I’ll like to say this; I’ve always been an artistic person, I’ve always loved to create, draw, colour, write, sing, dance, speak. I remember in secondary school, I was taken to Science class because they grouped us by our grades. This is one misconception that still reigns in some schools. Art is ambiguous, there’s no clear definition, it’s personal and it’s how you want to express it, but that doesn’t mean it’s for ‘dull’ minds. Art is the appreciation of life, harnessing the human mind and making your imaginations come alive. My mom had to come to the school and tell them to put me in arts “that’s where her flair is” she said. I had to convince them that I wasn’t forced, that it’s something I want to do cos it wasn’t like I was failing in science, actually, I like geography, but I live for this stuff and it’s what I want to do.
Now, I don’t know how I started drawing, I guess it was just a talent. I remember when I was about 9 years of age, my brothers and I would pause the cartoon we were watching whenever we get a good angle of an image we wanted to draw, and we’ll all get our drawing books and draw from the tv screen, and after drawing, we’d compare whose was the best. Our favourite was ‘Ben 10’ so we did a lot of ‘Ben 10’ sketches. I used to draw houses, Disney cartoon, unfortunately, I don’t know where the drawing book is again. I would have loved to revisit it.
As I grew up, I realized that I started drifting towards the fashion angle of things. I always like to look good, even as a child, always up and about, running things, participating in stuff. Around the age of 14, it became clear to me that fashion was something I wanted to do. Being someone that used to draw, it was easy for me to start sketching. For example, when I want to sew something, I’d sketch it and show my mom. That’s also when I discovered the ‘oval, triangle, circle’ method I told y’all about here. So I googled stuff. I remember the first blogs I came across were Cassie Daves, Style by Enkay and Retro religion. They were style blogs, not exactly designing, but being a fashion enthusiast, it also intrigued me. I started watching fashion stations, researching on fashion designing, trying to develop my knowledge and expand my capacity as young as I was. I found out that some of my ideas were just as good as theirs and I went “if they can do it, why can’t I?”
Coming back to Nigeria, cos I have to start with my home first, I began watching the AMVCAs and other fashion and red carpet shows. I came to the conclusion that we Nigerians love glamour, but sometimes, we don’t know how to tone it down a notch. We African women are bold, black and beautiful, even in our fashion and I admire us for that, but sometimes, a bit of simplicity won’t hurt anybody. Sometimes it gets too much, you see dresses that have a lot going on, and then someone pairs that with flashy jewellery and a lot of makeup. We need symmetry, a balance, and what I used to do was that, I’d pick a dress that I felt had too much going on, then I’d use my imagination to take out the parts that are not necessary, replace some, and I’d sketch the end product.
From there I took a step up. I decided this was something I really wanted to do. I learnt how to draw, invested in my drawing skills, I don’t want my drawing to be mediocre, even though fashion designing is more of the dress than the sketch, but that’s not an excuse to be ordinary. I want someone to look at my portfolio and be transfixed. I’m not even done yet, I’m still learning more on drawing.
I started blogging as a result of It, but a year into blogging and I realized that I’ve not been blogging for the initial reason I started. So I decided to start this series. I’m not just doing fashion, I’m learning hair-making, investing in my makeup, tailoring, I’m studying law, I’m into music, and I’m not in a dance group yet, but I dance for me. I’m learning to draw and paint, I helped refurbish our living room, so I’m thinking interior décor too, my mom’s going to teach me baking, I know how to decorate cakes.
I want to be a Jane of all (art) trades and a master at them all. I’ve told God what I want and it’s possible.
So if you have any questions, leave it bellow in the comment box. Ask your questions, share your opinions, your dreams, whatever, just let me know what you think. And Amaka, I hope this is a good enough answer.