Blogger Portrait: Stylishly In Love

Blogger Portraits, Current Cravings

Sublime Cravings - Stylishly In Love

I follow Sophia Donatelli on Instagram, and I always adore seeing her fab outfits in my feed. I was especially smitten by this winter pastel ensemble that she posted recently, so I just had to draw it. Sophia’s blog, Stylishly In Love, is jam packed with fashion inspiration, so be sure to check it out.

Curious about how I create my custom illustrations? Learn more about my process for creating a custom illustration here.
Interested in commissioning a custom illustration?  Please email me at, or you can click here to see my pricing for my custom fashion illustrations.
Sublime Cravings Custom Fashion Illustration Process

How I Create A Custom Fashion Illustration

Current Cravings

Custom Fashion Illustration Process - Sublime CravingsMy goal for any illustration is to do more than create a pretty picture. I want to capture and convey a feeling or vibe in every illustration I create. I apply the same approach when I am hired to create a custom fashion illustration. In order to truly make it custom, I know I need to capture the personality and likeness of the person I’m drawing.

I believe that there are a lot of similarities between the process of creating a custom illustration and creating a couture piece. Just like a custom illustration, couture pieces are designed to reflect a client’s personal style. Also, a couture piece often requires multiple fittings to ensure the garment fits perfectly. Similar to the couture process, I tailor the illustration to the preferences of my client by soliciting client feedback at several points along the illustration process. Below are some details regarding my custom fashion illustration process, along with an example that shows the each phase of the process.

Pre Drawing Phase: Initial Consult

My custom fashion illustration process allows me to collaborate with my client from start to finish. The first phase of the process, which is the most crucial in my opinion, is the Initial Consult. During the Initial Consult, I uncover the client’s vision for the illustration through various methods including asking the client for:

  • A description of the desired pose and clothing preferences.
  • Pictures that convey the desired pose and outfit for the illustration. These pics do not have to be of the client and can be images that capture the vibe or feeling they want the illustration to capture.
  • At least 4-5 pictures of the client (or the person to be drawn, if the client is commissioning me to draw a loved one), both close ups and full body.

If the client is open to it, I love creating a private shared Pinterest board as a way to comprehend their vision. Because Pinterest is primarily a visual platform, I find that it is an ideal way to discuss visual concepts. Ultimately, this first phase is all about listening to the client and understanding what they hope to see in the final illustration.

Illustration Stage 1: Black and White Sketches

Once I feel I have a good understanding of what the client wants, I start drawing. First, I create 2-4 black and white sketches with different options for pose and garment. Consider this description I put together based on my Initial Consult with a client, my client wanted:

  • A pose with movement
  • A pose that had her looking over her shoulder as she walked the other way
  • To be wearing a Self-Portrait dress

For this client I created 2 sketches (see image below), each with a different take of her desired pose. Also, each pose featured a different Self-Portrait dress.

Sublime Cravings - Black and White Sketches - Custom Illustration Process

The Black and White sketches allow me to give clients options based on their preferences. Also, It is an opportunity for the client to get a rough sense of what the final illustration might look like. During this stage, the client picks the preferred sketch (see “1st Stage” in the image below), and can give additional feedback on the sketch.

Custom Illustration Process with Steps -Sublime Cravings

Illustration Stage 2: Full Color Rough Draft

Once the client indicates the Black and White Sketch they prefer, I create a Full Color Rough Draft (“2nd Stage” in the image above). It is unpolished, but gives the client a good sense of how the final drawing will look. This stage of the process allows yet another opportunity to communicate with the client so I can discern the alterations that need to be made to the illustration. And because capturing the client’s likeness is of the upmost importance to me, this second stage is a great way to find out if the client thinks the illustration actually looks like them. I use all the feedback that I receive on the Full Color Rough Draft to guide the my work on the Final Illustration.

Illustration Stage 3: Final Illustration 

I call it “final” but that’s a bit of a misnomer. The Final Illustration (“3rd Stage” in the image above) is polished, but is not technically finished because clients can request up to 3 minor revisions on the Final Illustration.

The Key to a “Made to Order” Illustration

Ultimately, I feel that communication and collaboration are crucial in creating a custom piece that truely captures the vision of a client. Although I could streamline the process by reducing the number of opportunities for client revisions, I think it would make the process far less collaborative. And the collaboration between a client and myself is the key to making my custom fashion illustrations more “couture” and less “off the rack.”

If you’d like to learn more about my custom process or you’re interested in commissioning a custom illustration, please email me at

Also, you can click here to see my pricing for my custom fashion illustrations.

Blogger Portrait: Pretentious Pink

Blogger Portraits, Current Cravings

I recently completed this custom illustration of Danelle Bernakevich, a lovely and kind Calgary based blogger. The clever name of her blog, Pretentious Pink, comes from her favorite shade of Dior lip liner. You can check out her fab Instagram feed here.

Here’s a side by side comparison of my illustration and one of the photo references I used for this piece:

Interested in a custom illustration piece of you? Or thinking about commissioning an custom illustration as a gift for someone special? You can contact me at to find out about my process and prices.

Instagram Custom Illustration Giveaway Contest

Current Cravings

I’m hosting a custom illustration giveaway contest on Instagram. If you’d like to enter to win a custom illustration of you, you can check out the details on how to enter here. By the way, the last day to enter is August 15, 2015.

Below are illustrations that I created for the winners of my last custom illustration giveaway contest.

This illustration is of Montreal based event planner Deborah Blaise of Eloquenced D Events.

The other winner was Danish style inspiration blogger Janie Behrensdorff of the AngelQueen blog.

It was a pleasure creating custom illustrations for these amazing ladies. And I look forward to working on illustrations for the winners of this current contest.