By Caroline Vazzana
Jul 03, 2015 @ 7:00 pm
Courtesy of Karen Dudziak

With the rise of technology and all things digital, it’s hard to imagine doing anything by hand. That's why fashion illustrators who create with pencil, paint and watercolors are such a rare breed. You may already know about some of this industry's biggest players like Donald Robertson (@drawbertson) and Jamie Lee Reardin (@jamieleereardin), but who are the latest talents bubbling up to the surface? Here, we spoke with five up-and-comers you need to know (and follow) now.

Rongrong DeVoe (@rongrong_devoe_illustration)

Age: 30

Hometown: Qingdao, China

How did you get into fashion illustration?
"My mom bought me my first fashion magazine when I was very young and I fell in love with drawing, the beautiful models, and the clothes. I had no idea there was a profession such as fashion illustrator until I was 24, so I decided to move to New York City to study illustration at the Fashion Institute of Technology."

Dream commission:
"There are so many! If I had to pick one, I would say Sarah Jessica Parker. I have already drawn her a few times. Every time I see her she always looks amazing!"

Has worked with:
Viktor & Rolf, Giorgio Armani, Neiman Marcus, Tanya Taylor, Scholastic, Gilt, and Zulily.

Mats Meyer (@matsmeyer_illustrations )

The Woman 💋 Lately I've developed a keen interest in the wonderful "Sherlock Holmes" novels. For those of you who are familiar with the books, Sherlock develops a love obsession with Irene Adler, a female hustler known for her dark side. She is always referred to by Sherlock as "The woman". This is my personal interpretation of that woman. The woman who stole Sherlock Holmes' heart ❤️ #fashionillustration #illustration #instagood #watercolor #art #fashionart #drawing #sketchoftheday #fashiongirl #illustrationoftheday #ink #instafashion #color #fashionsketch #fashionillustrator #skapesandskirtsnyc #nyc #newyork #calligraphy #calligrapher #handwritten #blackandwhite #couture #sherlock #sherlockholmes #holmes

A photo posted by Fashion Illustrator | NYC (@matsmeyer_illustrations) on

Age: 25

Hometown: Antwerp, Belgium

How did you get into fashion illustration?
"My dad is a painter and my mother has always been huge in the fashion industry in Belgium. I thought about embarking on a career as an artist when I was a teenager, but when the time came to go to university, I went with a safer option: law school. This granted me the amazing opportunity to move to the States in order to obtain my Masters in Law, so I could practice in New York City. For my 25th birthday, my boyfriend gave me my very first professional watercolor set. He insisted that I must start painting—he knew I would feel bad not using his gift. I started an Instagram to display my work to my family overseas. I was astonished by the loving response!"

Describe your style:
"I like to say my work is sensually minimalist. I love to depict the natural beauty of a woman with simple black and white watercolor."

Has worked with:
Rodial Cosmetics, PREP cosmetics, The S Collection, Hunter Rose Sleepwear, and Chichi Castelnango Paris.

Zoë More O'Ferrall (@zoemof_ink)

Age: 30

Hometown: London, England

How did you get into fashion illustration?
"When I was little, I loved to draw fashion shoots in magazines, so that inevitably played a part in how my illustration style developed. After art school, I signed with my agent and I've been lucky enough to work for a wide range of clients."

Thing you love drawing most:
"I love to bring objects to life, anything as ordinary as a Tabasco bottle to the grand architecture of the V&A. Being playful about how to depict something reminds you how the everyday can be interesting."

Has worked with:
Topshop, J. Crew, Mr. Porter, and Harrods.

Karen Dudziak (@pocketheart)

Life has been tough lately but it feels so good to finally draw again. #warmupdoodle

A photo posted by @pocketheart on

Age: 25

Hometown: Neu-Ulm, Germany

How did you get into fashion illustration?
"I’ve loved drawing since I was a kid. When I got older, I developed a great interest in fashion, not just in the garments, but also the industry. That’s how I discovered fashion illustration, and knew that it was what I wanted to do. It’s the perfect way to combine two of my favorite things."

Describe your style:
"Most of my work is done in pencil, mixed with some colorful accents in watercolor or ink. I think my style is simple, but I put a lot of focus on details. When I draw women I always want to have a sense of femininity surrounding them, but I never want them to look too polished—that’s why I tend to leave parts of my drawings unfinished or add some kind of imperfection to them. At the moment, I’m drawing a lot of hair, which sometimes can be challenging because it requires a lot of patience. It can be really relaxing, though."

Austen Claire Clements (@austenclaire)

@hallacore When you're done with Paris or whatever, there's always Jersey #dior

A photo posted by @austenclaire on

Age: 25

Hometown: Santa Fe, New Mexico

How did you get into fashion illustration?
"I've been drawing for as long as I can remember, but when it came time to focus my talent, there wasn't much of an illustration market, so the logical pursuit was fashion design. I started designing in college, but found that I was always more fascinated with the illustrating of the garment than with the construction of it. I was a beauty intern at a few fashion magazines in school and after gifting my boss a portrait for her birthday, I was met with astounding support."

Favorite thing to draw:
"Definitely portraits. There are so many subtle things you can do with a portrait to create some type of narrative or personality. I love that challenge. I would love to do an album cover for Jack Antonoff's band Bleachers. The first album is so dynamic—it's nostalgic but hopeful, tragic but redemptive."

Has worked with:
Christian Dior Fragrances, Maybelline, and Show Me Your Mumu.

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