Four Illustrator Tools to Make Your Fashion Sketching More Efficient

We all know the fashion industry is fast paced. Heck, for many of us, fast paced describes our lifestyles. So as we continue to evolve and learn to keep up, we also need to find the tools to help us adapt to that crazy pace.

For fashion designers who use Adobe Illustrator, not only does that mean drawing in an efficient manner, keeping your skills up to date and making use of the existing shortcuts, but it also involves using Illustrator’s panels and functions in a more effective manner.

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The Art of the Fashion ‘Hustle’

Woman scratching her head and looking at job search sketch

I recently had the opportunity to meet with one of my former students who had just graduated from FIT. As we caught up, she asked me a series of questions about working in the industry. One of them was (and I’m paraphrasing somewhat), “How do you ‘hustle’?” We both chuckled, but I knew what she was talking about. I recall watching a talk hosted by FIT with designer and self-proclaimed hustler, Dapper Dan, and costume designer for the Netflix series, “The Get Down”, Jeriana San Juan who also referred to herself as a hustler. Both recounted stories of their unusual paths into the world of fashion and how they leveraged their resourcefulness to create a lane for themselves that would help advance their careers.

Today’s fashion job search (any job search really) can sometimes feel like a hostile environment if you don’t learn to embrace it, be flexible and become a bit of a hustler. More importantly, you have to get creative with searching for a new gig, as creative as you would be in your work because these days, opportunities lie in some unexpected places.

So how does a newbie get their hustle on in this new-fangled job market? Here are some tips that I find have worked (and still work) for me. Continue reading “The Art of the Fashion ‘Hustle’”

My Top Five Methods to Reduce File Sizes in Adobe Illustrator

How to Reduce File Size-01

“My files are massive! Why are they like this?” 

“Our files are so hard to manage. What is making them so big!”

“Is there no way to make my file smaller?”

I get these questions all the time, often from fashion designers in areas like intimate apparel where they use intricate designs and embellishments like scanned laces, pattern brushes and pattern swatches. Brushes and pattern swatches are two of the most memory-heavy functions or tools you can use in Adobe Illustrator (especially if they’re very intricate). Add in a few detailed raster images, and your file can easily go from a very manageable 1 or 2MB document to a 10 or 20+MB nightmare!

Sometimes, it really just ‘is what it is’. But most of the time, these issues can be managed, and larger files can be reduced. It starts with smart, efficient drawing techniques and a few helpful Illustrator tools and options.

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How to Use Symbols to Save Trims in Adobe Illustrator

Symbols can be tremendously helpful to save trims and create trim libraries. They also make it very easy to update an item that is repeated multiple times within a document.

So, what is a Symbol? A symbol is an art object that can be reused in a document. The other symbols reused on the page are called instances, and they’re all linked to the original artwork. They can be created using vector or raster artwork, and symbols can save time and reduce file size. Continue reading “How to Use Symbols to Save Trims in Adobe Illustrator”

28 Days of Black Fashion History: Bethann Hardison

As one of the first Black supermodels, Bethann Hardison paved the way for future models of colors in the fashion industry. Today, she continues to be a pioneer, activist and advocate for more diversity on the runway. A native Brooklynite, Bethann attended New York University Art School and the Fashion Institute of Technology. After working sales in the garment industry in the 1960s, she was … Continue reading 28 Days of Black Fashion History: Bethann Hardison