Event Entertainment: Live Fashion Illustrations

Move over photographer and hello fashion illustrator...! We've found the ultimate gift to treat your special guests. These Vogue style sketches will have your guests looking oh-so-glam and as if they'd been sketched for the next Chanel fashion collection. The perfect talent for the job is Illustrator, Emma Ferguson, who can sketch your wedding guests in a bespoke, timeless and extremely charming form. 

Kisses & Cake asked Emma to briefly explain how she works and what a couple can expect when working with their own live fashion illustrator. And, we are just completely in love with the stunning designs below that Emma has created exclusively for Kisses & Cake. 

If you missed our last article with Emma, click here to learn about her bridal illustrations.

Live Fashion Illustration

A new and exciting wedding activity is live fashion illustrations of wedding guests in their stylish outfits. I thought of this as a type of original, fun and creative entertainment for guests at your special event. It is a great party favour that everyone can take home and enjoy for years to come. The creation process involves each guest who desires a personal illustration to pose as I quickly sketch and paint them in their outfit. 

I create these on A4 paper with watercolour and ink. Being a quick fashion sketch, each one takes only 5-10 minutes depending on the detail of the outfit which means the guest can then take their custom illustrations home with them. I am usually hired for 5-7 hours, which seems to be a good amount of time to get through as many of the guests as possible. But, you'll need at least a minimum of 3-hours to have live fashion illustrations at your event.

My live fashion illustration service does not usually require consultation with the client prior to their wedding/special event, as most communication is done via email. If my client specifically requests a consultation, I am of course more than happy to do so and meet up in person to talk over the running of the day, what they require from me and any special requests. Preparation time before the event should be about 2 weeks notice. In general, I find most people have never had their illustration done, so it is always an exciting new type of entertainment for them to enjoy and to be able to take home something physical from the day is a very special reminder for them.

When I am doing my live illustrating at weddings, my colour palette is made up of very bright hues, this seems to be a trend for most of the fashions worn at Sydney weddings. I also make sure I have a generous amount of black and dark blue paint on hand (for all those suited up men who want to get involved in having their fashion portrait done).

Inspiration for my live fashion illustration comes from many aspects. Firstly, from the ambience and location. This definitely sets the mood for my illustrations. I also draw inspiration from the people around me. I look for physical features and attributes of their personalities that really stand out to me, for example interesting hair, beautiful, charismatic eyes and a great smile. And of course the fashions! The outfit that each person is wearing should really shine through in the illustration, so I try to illustrate the fashions with flair, creativity and accuracy. I can usually do 12-15 illustrations per hour, but this obviously depends on the detail and extravagance of each guests' outfit. Couples can request copies of each illustration in digital form or physical prints at an added cost. I also include a complementary bridal illustration for the couple in the Live Fashion Illustration package.

A favourite past wedding I worked at was for a lovely couple that got married at Vaucluse House. There were about 70 guests attending and I was hired for 6-hours. I started off illustrating at a little table positioned near the edge of the outdoor ceremony in the beautiful gardens of Vaucluse House. I started drawing excited guests during the outdoor cocktail hour straight after the ceremony had ended. I was immediately flocked by a group of stylish looking ladies, each of them keen to be illustrated. I was then moved into the reception area inside a beautiful tearoom on the grounds. My illustrations were a big hit with the guests and I was painting away until 10pm in the evening.

Other past events that I have illustrated at have been the Christmas High Tea for Fairfax and Roberts, where I illustrated their elegant guests amongst the glittering jewels of this upmarket boutique. The GPO Grand Melbourne Cup event was another stand out day where I was part of the entertainment for their Melbourne Cup party. I definitely felt very lucky to be surrounded by lovely ladies in such beautiful and vibrant race day dresses.



Emma Ferguson Illustration

I am a Sydney based Bridal, Baby and Fashion Illustrator. I have had a passion for illustrating beautiful gowns from a very young age and have always been inspired by the enchantment of weddings, especially the beauty and extravagance of a glamorous white wedding gown. As a part of my Diploma of Fashion Design that I completed at East Sydney Tafe, I was originally trained in fashion illustration.  I also studied classical drawing and painting skills at the Julian Ashton Art School and the Waverley Art School. 

Starting out solely as a fashion Illustrator, I then branched out into bridal illustration. It all started when a close friend of mine got married and requested that I illustrate her in her beautiful gown so she could hang it on her wall. We both loved the finished product and she suggested I make a career out of it. My bridal illustration days started and I love every moment of it.

I work from home in a small, brightly lit studio, where inspiration always finds me.  My main mediums are watercolour, white acrylic paint and black ink. This combination of materials allows me to accurately and creatively render beautiful wedding gowns. I love the ethereal fluid transparency that can be created from watercolour paints, contrasting to the vibrant and highly saturated effects that can also be attained through watercolour. This, in my opinion, married with a fine black line of ink, makes for a stunning bridal artwork.

If you'd like to get in touch with Emma for your wedding or next event, visit www.emmafergusonillustration.com

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