My Darling Sandy and I
In Shipping with Eugene
Working on Sell Throughs
Wearing Lida Baday for the X'mas Party
Andrea Lee and I
My Goodbye Soiree
Sandy's Beautiful Decorations
Last Day in the Front Office
Paul, Myself, and Eugene
Last Day Celebration
My Gorgeous Sister and I
Tim and Matt Joining the Goodbye Festivities
Old Meets New (Lida Baday in Saks Window NYC)
My New Home - FIT New York
The day has finally arrived to reveal the third and final installment of my story of finding fashion illustration. Your feedback has been so incredible and I'm so grateful to have connected with all of you through this journey. You've made writing it worth it beyond belief. Again if you're just tuning into the story you can read part 1 and 2 by clicking the links. To continue, I called a meeting with my then boss to discuss my future at the agency. He knew, as well as I knew, that my heart wasn't in it. The truth was I raced into that job without taking a moment to really think about what I wanted to do. I hadn't stopped to face myself since starting McGill five years earlier.
I had to bow out gracefully with as much gratitude and poise as possible. After all, I had learned a lot about myself and found the biggest clue while working there: fashion illustration. That night I raced home to Chapters to find the fashion art book section. Like a shining beacon of hope, the walls were lined with actual books devoted to the profession of fashion illustrator. I felt like I had won the lottery. "You mean to tell me that there is an ACTUAL CAREER that combines my TWO LOVES?" My heart was literally pounding as I tore through the pages, one example after another of amazing illustrators making careers out of DRAWING FASHION!!
At the back of the book Fashion Illustrator by Bethan Morris was a list of the interviewed illustrators and their contact info. Low and behold Toronto based Virginia Johnson was one of the listed artists. I had called in samples of her illustration based garments whilst working at FASHION Magazine. As you can imagine, light bulbs were shooting on in my head like fireworks. Suddenly all the pieces were falling into place. After purchasing that book, my first of many fashion illustration books to come, I started frantically searching the internet for schools that taught this profession. Eureka, FIT in NYC offered a two year AAS in my dream career!!
I immediately sent out an email to Virginia asking if she would meet with me for an informal interview. That same week I booked a trip to New York to visit the school and investigate the program. While I was visiting the campus I received a response from Virginia asking me to come in and see her upon my return, and so I did. I brought with me a few samples of my work and a list of questions. She remains to this very day my career icon. She graciously answered everyone of my questions and made me believe that I WAS actually good at what I loved. The greatest advice she gave me was to pursue what I love and not what will make my life easier.
Let it be known more often than not, what you love eventually does make your life easier, because you're being true to yourself.
The truth was though, I still had my doubts. That little voice inside my head was telling me to pursue accessory design because finding a job would be easier. But that WASN'T what I WANTED to do. I wanted to be an illustrator who would one day translate their art into wearable products, just like Virginia, just like Vera. I wanted to collaborate with an accessory designer, not be an accessory designer. I did A LOT of soul searching for two months before finding my third and final job at Lida Baday. When I got the call for my interview regarding a one year contract position at Canada's leading Women's Wear designer, I took it as another 'sign'.
A one year contract filling in for someone on maternity leave meant that I had no responsibility beyond that one year. That one year would take me right up until the day I would have to move to New York to pursue my complete and utter passion. That one year taught me more about myself than any other year combined. That one year required me to assist the VP of Sales and PR Manager for sales meetings, luncheons, magazine stylist pulls. More than anything, that one year brought me a connection with some of the most amazing people I have ever met. Oh and did I mention that one year happened to be my Champagne Year (turned 23 on the 23rd of Sept 2008).
So there you have it, my story of finding fashion illustration. It took MANY twists and turns to get there, but my unwavering desire to find my calling brought me to where I needed to be. Maybe you reading this is exactly where you need to be, to realize what it is that you love, or maybe that you're doing exactly what you need to be doing right now, in this given moment. I've only been back in school (my final semester) for one week and already the universe is presenting me with unexplainable opportunities. I see the 'law of attraction' at play yet again and I have every bit of faith that I will get to where I need to be. Thank-you again for tuning in.
Much much love,