What does it take to make it in the world of fashion illustration and how can a bride incorporate such fanciful artworks in her wedding day? The gifted artist behind our gorgeous New Zealand Weddings Collection Fashion Week invitation, Nicola Kimpton (find her online at nicolakimpton.com or follow her on Instagram at @nicolakimptonillustration) explains.
When did you first realise you could draw?
As a child. I enjoyed drawing at school, at home, in my spare time, on the bus – anywhere really, I just had that instinct. My teachers and family and friends would compliment me on my drawings, which gave me confidence and inspired me to continue. My dad was also a draftsman, so that was an early influence – I can remember going to his workplace and being fascinated by all the people busy sitting drawing.
Did you have any formal training or are you self-taught?
A combination of both. I’ve studied graphic design, photography, fine art and fashion illustration, and I also enjoy working independently on different personal projects to expand my skills and try new approaches. This keeps things fresh and exciting.
Where do you find inspiration for your illustrations?
From many places! I’m inspired by fashion designers, fashion magazines, runway looks, fashion editorials, street style and my imagination – to name just a few influences. I love to creatively interpret images and bring my own unique look to them. I love many designers, and am particularly inspired by elegant looks, feminine takes on masculine style and designs with interesting details or a playful twist. I’m also inspired by classic fashion and movie icons such as Audrey Hepburn and Grace Kelly – their timeless style speaks to my aesthetic.
What attracts you to bridal imagery?
I’m definitely a romantic at heart! I’m drawn by the beauty, elegance and romance of bridal imagery. It’s a wonderful world to live in and I love illustrating this. It’s all about love.
What can you offer brides to be who are planning the details of their big day?
Services I provide include creating a beautiful illustration of the bride in her wedding dress, a sketch of her dress or of her favourite accessories… I’m open to ideas and what a bride wants. A custom illustration is a great way to commemorate her special day and is a unique memento. It also makes a lovely one-year anniversary gift.
What mediums do you work in?
My approach depends upon the nature of the project, however I love using traditional media such as pencil, pen and ink for my illustrations. I feel this gives a personal and unique look to artwork that’s so valuable in this digital age. I typically just use digital techniques to add a touch of colour and for image processing: making small tweaks and tidying.
What do you love most about your work?
I love creating! I love the magic of breathing life into characters and transferring ideas into reality. I also love it when people express their joy at my creations – it’s very satisfying. I love to feel as if I’m making the world a happier place with my artworks.