Fashion Illustrator Deanna Kei is a NYC based Fashion Illustrator. Working with various mediums, and often combines digital with traditional, to create beautiful fashion illustrations. Deanna loves experimenting with different styles and subjects. She is always open to new collaborations and projects. She she loves working with bloggers I thought she was the perfect fashion illustrator to profile for a Behind The Brand feature!
How It All Began
It’s hard to say when this whole thing started. I’ve been doing freelance fashion illustrations for a while but just recently I’ve put my work online and began using my name. My path made itself clear to me in my junior year of high school. That’s when I was scrambling to get my portfolio together to apply to The Fashion Institute of Technology. I knew exactly what I wanted to do. My heart hasn’t wavered since. I’m lucky things worked out for me.
I can’t call my illustration business my main source of income just yet. Projects come and go and often there are gaps in between. To pay the bills I work full time as an apparel designer for a brand. I love being able to both design and illustrate. I couldn’t pick one over the other and I wouldn’t be happy without both.
My ideal customer is trendy and fun. I love prints and color – though sometimes I’m in the mood for just black and white. Fashion Illustrations are about glamor, style and enhancing reality. I want people to be able to look at my sketches and say “That’s pretty”.
One of my first business successes came when I was still in college. Some of my illustrations were used in a tv commercial. It was a short scene but I could not have been more ecstatic!
Her Business Advice To Upcoming Fashion Illustrators
If I could go back in time and give my younger self one bit of career advice it would have been to get on Instagram sooner! I really love Instagram. Its where I showcase most of my sketches. I’m also a big fan of Pinterest.
A typical work day for my business begins after my regular work day. During the day I’m busy doing trend research, techpacks, sketches, designs, fit comments etc. When I get home I have a few hours each night to draw in between the rest of life’s requirements. Every day feels jam packed but you’ve got to make time for the things you love. I try to offer a unique perspective through my work. I am constantly striving to improve on it.
Two things I’ve acquired along the way that have made a world of difference are my Bamboo drawing tablet and my dual-monitor desktop set up. I like to do a lot of digital work and these have become essential to me.
One tip I’d give newcomers is to stay personable. Networking is as important as ever.
Doing Fashion Illustrations For Bloggers
I love sketching bloggers and from time to time they’ll share my work or show a friend. It really helps to get me exposure. There’s also network of very creative bloggers on facebook who are always looking for collaborations and I’ve participated in quite a few. In fact, I just collaborated on a fashion coloring and activity book for girls with blogger Dana Lardner of Goodsgivingback.com The book is called ‘The International Fashionista’s Lookbook Diary”. It’s a coloring book/ fashion design journal for young girls packed with coloring pages and design prompts to get girls drawing their own ideas. The diary introduces ten fashionstas from around the world and includes tidbits and information about their respective countries. The book is available on amazon.
When selecting a blogger to work with I take into consideration their level of professionalism and reliability. It’s ideal if the partnership is mutual of course.
What’s Next For Fashion Illustrator Deanna Kei
Right now the majority of projects I take on are commissions. In the next year I’d like to be able to offer more of a variety of products. I’ve got some ideas but I can’t say yet.
Where To Connect With Fashion Illustrator Deanna Kei