Brooklit January 2014 via Instagram

Since life seems to look best through Instagram and I'm a self proclaimed insta-addict, I've decided this year I'd start a monthly feature of my favorite and most liked photos of each month. Fortunately I've been super busy illustrating my next 4 books, and sketching up a storm for both clients and myself. The top row shown above are my three favorites, starting with a white charcoal sketch I was drawing for new "Will you be my Bridesmaid?" cards for Brooklit Bride. (There must have been a lot of New Years Eve engagements this year because this month I've sold out many of my designs!) The top-middle is a shot of my apartment, and the top-right is the Empire State Building as seen from the penthouse of the Bryant Park Hotel where I spent a day live-sketching for a press event.

For a closer look at these photos and more of my daily Instragrams you can follow me @Brooklit.

Zooey Deschanel & Tommy Hilfiger Sketches

My favorite girls girl and America's sweetheart, Zooey Deschanel has teamed up with fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger for a capsule collection of sixteen vintage 60's inspired dresses. I of corse was thrilled to see that the press release included these fun fashion illustrations of the designs in addition to photos! I've always been a fan of Tommy sketches, and think these Zooey inspired illustrations are adorable. I particularly like the way the illustrator showed movement in the shading of the garments and the full bodied penciled hair.
This collection seems like a perfect combination of Tommy's preppy all-American esthetic and Zooey's quirky retro vibe. Its due to hit Macy's and this spring.  For more info on the collaboration check out this WWD article.

(Photo by: Carter Smith, and sketches by Tommy Hilfiger Group)

Fabulous Doodles Inspiration No. 1: Renaldo Barnette

With the start of the new year I've decided to kick off a new series called Fabulous Doodles Inspiration featuring illustrations and artwork that inspires me. Like most artists I'm influenced by the work of others and one of my biggest influencers is designer Renaldo Barnette, my longtime dear friend, former FIT professor, and outstandingly talented fashion designer. These sketches are part of a collection Renaldo worked on for Ralph Lauren, and happen to be one of my favorite projects in his portfolio. I asked if he had a preference of which group to feature and he chose the three above since they form such a nice mini collection of eveningwear, cocktail, and sportswear. No matter the designer he's working for Renaldo's work always amazes me. His illustrations are flawless, the girls exude personality and they're always rendered to perfection, never overdone or too stylized. Needless to say I'm not only a friend, but a huge fan, and after you check out his site I'm sure you will be as well.

(Illustration: Renaldo Barnette) 

Customer Service Rep Fashion Illustration

A few months ago I was hired for a unique illustration project, and not by my typical fashion and beauty clientele, CapWest Mortgage asked me to illustrate "the face" of their customer service department. Anytime someone uses any of their customer service tools, reads their blog, or contacts them via social media, they will be greeted by the smiling face of my illustrated "Cathy West." She's a blond haired blue eyed woman reflecting the company colors of yellow and blue, has a big friendly smile, professional glasses and is sporting a monogramed polo. I hope CapWest Mortgage clients and potential clients enjoy my little customer service rep fashion illustration.

(Illustration by Brooke Hagel for CapWest Mortgage)

Blow Bar Hair Sketches

Today I have some fun new hair illustrations to share. These beauty sketches were commissioned by a wonderful client, who opened a new blowout bar called Blow In Blow Out. The head shots shown here, along with a few full fashion figures, are used as a visual style menu in their New Jersey salon as well as on their website. The illustrated blowout styles include: Glam Girl with smoothed out tresses, Bay Head, featuring of soft be achy waves, and My Little Pony (all shown above.) Below is the voluminous and curly Jersey Girl, and the super sleek and shiny Straight Edge style.
These sketches for Blow In Blow Out are just one project of many from the past few months that I completed but didn't get the chance to post about until now. Over the next few weeks I'm going to try and play catch up and share more of the projects I've been working on and events I've been live-sketching for.

A Fashion Illustration Hello to 2014!

I want to extend a fabulous and fancy hello to 2014 and wish everyone a beautiful and inspired new year! Thank you 2013 for the lessons because now I'm ready to take on 2014!

This gorgeous fashion illustration is not one of my own, its by illustrator David Downton and adorns the cover of 100 Years of Fashion Illustration which I just so happen to receive as a gift from a dear friend two days ago and I'm obsessed! The book is full of stunning inspiration from iconic fashion illustrators including Downton, René Gruau, Mats Gustafson, Ruben Toledo and even my former professors Steven Stipelman and Gladys Perint Palmer! I've only perused the book so far but this weekend I plan to dive in and soak it all up because this one's a treasure. (Thank you Jamie!!!) Its so important to stay inspired both in life and work and I hope this year I can inspire some of you here on Fabulous Doodles.

(©DavidDownton 100 Years print, and 100 Years of Fashion Illustration book by Cally Beakman)