BY TARA BURKE
It’s and this week we are doing a spotlight on the talented illustrator Carolyn Buch. She is a big dreamer and is determined to pursue her goal of illustrating for a living. She mainly focuses on fashion illustration as it is one of her biggest inspirations. Currently she attends Albright College as part the fashion program. What I love about her designs are that they have a free flowing lightness about them. Often times I think fashion illustrations can get bogged down with extreme detail and realism, when to me fashion illustration is more about expressing the way clothes can make you feel. Carolyn’s illustrations capture the attitude of the wearers while cohesively displaying current fashion trends. They are also fun! Some of her inspirations come straight from the catwalk, the red carpet and famous fashion bloggers. I’m always tuned into her Instagram (@carolynbuchillustration) to see what new project she is working on next. Currently, you can get commissioned work from Carolyn (contact info. below) and if you’re ever in Lancaster, Penn. check out her work at That Shuu Girl boutique. Stay tuned for an Etsy shop coming soon!
I got the chance to interview Carolyn and what inspired me the most was her ability to be happy where she is in her creative journey. In any creative field where a steady paycheck isn’t a guarantee it is easy to get discouraged. Instead, she stays focused on developing her work and not playing the comparison game. Carolyn is content with the fact that she is progressing and taking steps towards her dreams every day. I think we can all learn from that! The full interview and samples of her illustrations are below:
Carolyn Buch: Carolyn Buch Illustration
1) What got you started?
“Ever since I could hold a pencil I have been drawing. Now this may come as a suprise, but my pieces started out looking like something out of a Van Gogh exhibit. Just kidding, they were totally horrible when I first started. I had a passion for art and was usually doodling in my notes instead of paying attention in my classes. With time my ability as well as my interest in the field grew into what it is today.”
2) What are your inspirations?
“Most of my inspiration comes from looking at street style photography and fashion photography as well as pop culture and fashion trends. I like to add my own flair to illustrations that shed light into what our generation is wearing. I try to capture the attitude that the person wearing the garments would embody. I also draw inspiration from other illustrators and designers.”
3) Who is your favorite professional in your field?
“A few of my favorite illustrators would include Katie Rodgers of Paper Fashion as well as Esra Rosie, Kelly Smith, and Dallas Shaw. I also interned for Connie Lim who does beautiful work. There are so many talented professionals in fashion illustration that it’s almost impossible to pick a favorite!”
4) What are your favorite medias?
“I began illustrating with Prismacolor markers which I loved but they felt somewhat limiting at times. Right now I have moved into working with watercolor paint which has made my style more loose and has given me more freedom with my illustrations. You can also never go wrong with a simple pencil and paper.”
5) What is your aesthetic?
“I love street wear grunge as well as feminine pieces which has my style all over the place. Most of the time I like to mix and match soft and edgy pieces to create an interesting, unexpected look.”
6) Name your favorite go-to creative spot?
“My favorite go-to spot to illustrate is cuddled up with a cup of coffee under some blankets in my “studio” (…a.k.a. my room). I also like to find inspiration by going to big cities such as New York to people watch. It’s fun to get a first hand look at what people are wearing and their lifestyles.”
7) What are your future goals/biggest dreams?
“Some of my future goals include having my work featured in top fashion publications, be hired by an illustration agency, have my designs licensed to use on merchandise, and grow all my social media platforms. I would also like to open my own online store to sell my work as well as phone cases, shirts, and various other items featuring my designs. Who knows, maybe one day I’ll even start my own clothing line. But hey, all in a days work right?”
8) What is the hardest part about what you do?
“One of the hardest things about what I do is continuing to stay on track with my goals and to not get discouraged. There are so many talented individuals out there that at times you find yourself comparing your work to others. There will always be someone better than you no matter what you do in life and at the end of the day all you can do is be the best verison of yourself and give everything your all and you will reap the rewards.”
9) What have you learned in your creative process?
“I have learned that if you are truly passionate about something it will just come naturally. There was no question in my mind that this is what I am supposed to do because once I started everything just clicked. You should wake up and be excited about what you are doing and look forward to improving. Also, and most importantly, I learned DO NOT drink more than 3 cups of coffee in one sitting while trying to finish a project…spoiler alert: It WILL end badly.”
10) What is your favorite piece of your own, why?
“One of my favorite pieces is the illustration that got me into this field. I was in a fashion illustration class and got so much positive feedback on the piece. With the encouragement of friends and family I decided that even though it would be hard and take a lot of work, I have the ability to make this into a career for myself. I haven’t looked back since.”
11) Tell us a little bit about who you are?
“I am the coolest person you will ever meet… No, but honestly I’m your average 21 year old who grew up in suburban Pennsylvania and got a big break landing an incredible internship in NYC with fashion designer Anna Sui. I moved into the city where I Iived and worked and eventually fell in love with the energy of it all. Seeing all the possibilities and dreams coming true around me I decided that I will do whatever it takes to get to where I want to be in life one sketch at a time. I also like Starbucks, wearing beanies, long walks on the beach, you know the usual.”
12) Any tips?
“As far as illustration goes, if it is truly your passion then stay consistent and as cliche as it sounds…don’t give up! For life in general, if you don’t wake up in the morning excited about what you do or the goals you have for yourself, explore. See the world, find inspiration, figure out what makes you feel alive and make that a part of your life somehow in some way.”
Want to get to know more about the fabulous Carolyn Buch? Check out her social media and follow!
Instagram/Twitter: @carolynbuch (personal) @carolynbuchillustration (business)
Website (coming soon!): www.carolynbuchillustration.com
For Business Inquiries/Collaborations: firstname.lastname@example.org