A bounty of blessings continue to flourish from my time spent last April at the BAM Conference in Las Vegas. I met many interesting women, including the lovely Cathy Lawdanski. Cathy and I connected via Facebook and Instagram. Upon my return home from Vegas, I was ready to begin writing my next book, which became True Style. However, to help convey True Style's message, I needed to enlist the help of an illustrator. While pondering my next move, Cathy posted a message on Facebook where she shared the illustration talents of her daughter, Allison. What? I couldn't believe what I was seeing. I heard the angels from heaven. I immediately sent a message to Cathy, inquiring about her daughter and where I could view more of her work. After spending some time scrolling through her images on Instagram, I knew I had found my illustrator.
Friends, I am thrilled to introduce you to Allison Taylor, the creative illustrator whose amazing skill is featured in True Style: A Look Beyond the Surface. And by the way, the image on my blog header was also created by Allison. Enjoy the interview!
|Allison Lawdanski Taylor - Fashion Illustrator|
Hi, there! My name is Allison Taylor and I am a fashion illustrator. I am also a wife to my high school sweetheart, a soon-to-be mama to our sweet baby boy (whom I can't wait to meet any day now) and our sweet and energetic pup. I am 28 years young with a Bachelor's Degree in Communication Design from Texas State University. Eat'em up Cats!
**I'm so happy to announce - On February 12th, Allison and her husband, Michael, welcomed Jeffrey Elton Taylor at 8 lbs - 1 oz**
How did you begin your career in Illustrating?
In a nutshell, it all started on a rainy Saturday in Half Price Books. I picked up a used How-To Draw Fashion Illustration book for less than $6, purchased it, took it home, and filled out an entire sketchbook for the rest of the weekend whilst neglecting both sleep and eating. For someone who covets both, I knew something amazing was happening.The long version goes like this. I have been drawing since I could manage to work a pencil (just ask my parents). All through my K-12 education, I always opted to select art-related classes for both my regular and extra curriculum schedules. This passion to learn and improve my skills and creativity led me to study Communication Design at Texas State University. After earning my Bachelor's Degree in 2011, I rode the roller coaster that many of my fellow design graduates could relate to; hopping between unpaid design internships and rejection from design firms requiring at least 5 years of professional design experience for hire. This dose of reality then lead to a handful of "pay-the-rent" jobs; some design-related and some not so much. Fast forward 3ish years later, I found myself immersed in Instagram and following many different fashion illustrators. I knew I had always been inspired by this type of art but I did not realize that it could be a possible career. Then one rainy Saturday, I found myself in the art section of a Half Price Books store. A few months later, I left my full-time job as a marketing coordinator at an Architecture and Engineering firm to chase this crazy dream of mine!
Is True Style: A Look Beyond the Surface your first book project?
It sure is and what an honor! I had only been pursuing fashion illustration for about 4 months when Glenda contacted me for a possible collaboration. To say that I was excited is a huge understatement.
How was the experience working on a book?
Incredible. It truly was a collaboration. Glenda and I worked together chapter by chapter. She allowed me so much creative freedom which is any commissioning artist's dream. As we moved from chapter to chapter, our creative chemistry blossomed and was unstoppable! We found that we kept concluding to the same ideas for each illustration which made our meetings so fun and exciting.
Most books about Style stay within the subject of sartorial choices. Was it challenging to illustrate a book about style that views style outside the norm?
It was but for good reason. You'll find that this book guides its readers to do the hard work in self-evaluation, self-love and embracement, and self-expression. With this comes endless possibilities of style. It was important to us to represent a wide variety of women and styles in the book's illustrations.
What inspires you?
If it isn't already obvious, FASHION. It's always evolving yet always recycling itself, just like history, right?
Where do you see yourself in your career in 5 years?
Since I am about to be a first-time mommy, I really have no idea! Graduating college 6 years ago, I would've have never anticipated my life as it is right now so I don't really know how I see myself in the future. I just want to enjoy the ride and take life as it comes. It's worked so far, right?
Anything else you would like the So What to Twenty community to know about you and your gift?
My ideal setting is simple: drawing while cuddling on the couch with my pup, hubby by my side, glass of red in hand, and with The Real Housewives of Beverley Hills, New York City, or Atlanta on the TV. Any day now, just add baby to the equation!
How can my readers get in touch with you?
Hit me up on Instagram at @ataylor_illustrations!
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