We spent the weekend at Capsule, the roving independent designer-focused trade show, in New York, joined by some pretty choice company. Along with our curated community of indie designers presenting their spring/summer 2018 collections, we had the pleasure of working with six talented illustrators on some pretty special giveaways. Throughout the weekend, the artists spent hours drawing on exclusive Garmentory tote bags for anybody that stopped by our booth and wanted one, with no limit to their creativity. From self-portraits to animals of all kind, each drawing was one of a kind. We wanted people to leave Capsule with something unique, something memorable, and that’s exactly what these ladies delivered. Their stories, inspirations, mediums and aesthetics are all remarkably different, adding to the uniqueness of their canvas bag creations. Scroll on to get to know the six illustrators and rad women we now happily call our pals.
Designer, stylist, and fashion illustrator Gina Schiappacasse, has been obsessively drawing all her life. Originally from Minnesota, she holds a Bachelor of Science in Fashion Design from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, as well as an Associate’s Degree in Fashion Design with an emphasis in illustration from the Fashion Institute of Technology. Gina has now spent nearly a decade living in Brooklyn with her boyfriend and dog, Thelonious.
Living in New York, Gina finds herself inspired by the fashion world: photography, icons, and the city’s stylish denizens. With influence from the style of children’s books and Japanese comic art, Gina’s work is fashion-focused with a playful slant.
WHO ARE YOUR MUSES? “I’m a huge fan of Björk and her constant ability to blur the lines between fashion and art. I also have always loved Alexander McQueen’s dark beauty and the women he dressed, including Daphne McGuiness and Isabella Blow. I’m in love with the photography work of Tim Walker and Sølve Sundsbø, but I also really enjoy drawing my friends and Instagram acquaintances. There’s such an incredible plethora of imagery online that it’s easy to find muses everywhere.”
French illustrator Youloune is the kind of artist who carries their sketchbook everywhere they go. She grew up in Normandie, France, lived in Paris for ten years and in January of this year moved to Montreal with her boyfriend to experience somewhere new. Hélène loves to draw what she sees out and about, whether that’s at a concert, sketching the musicians playing as her pencil follows the drum rhythms, or details in jewelry, sculptures, and embroidery shown in museums she often visits. Her illustrations are mesmerizing as she draws as if she is pulling thread from a spool to make silhouettes and stories appear on paper.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE THING TO DO ON A NIGHT IN? “I like reading comics, listening to old vinyl records, and trying to catch my neighbor’s cat! I also take the time to upload all the pictures I took during my daily walks onto my Insta stories.”
Gabriella Cetrulo grew up in a the suburbs of New Jersey before moving to New York City to earn her BFA in Illustration from Parsons. After spending many years working for a tech company as a web curator — her drawing falling wayside — Gabriella is now a freelance writer and illustrator living in Manhattan.
She draws inspiration from old films and photographs, idealizing people from the past and bringing their stranger moments to current time. Once described as “ominous posing as innocuous,” by a close friend, Gabriella’s illustrations embody a strong sense of nostalgia. Through character details such as a hair style or vintage silhouette, she brings decades of the past to the paper in front of her.
ARE YOU A MORNING PERSON? WHAT’S YOUR ROUTINE LIKE? “I’m definitely not a morning person. I could easily sleep until noon if I don’t need to be anywhere. I usually hit the snooze button at least three times, read some things on my phone, check social media, and then get out of bed to make myself tea. I try to meditate in the morning but usually end up doing that before bed because if I’m still tired in the morning, I’ll just fall back asleep!”
Lindsey Balbierz is an illustrator whose work lives in many mediums: magazines, book covers, newspapers, as well as live events. She’s the talent behind the cover of I See London, I See France, a book published by Harper Collins, The Boston Globe’s illustrated Sunday real estate section, a custom pet portrait on a Louis Vuitton dopp kit for a long-time loyal customer, and so much more. She also runs an Etsy shop, where she sells pins, patches and stationery adorned with her illustrations. There are no limitations to where Lindsey pulls inspiration from. Seriously, anything from maps to dogs in bags and farmers markets to snow cones, influence her work. All of Lindsey’s illustrated objects, people and environments are friendly and whimsical. Her distinct aesthetic of hand-drawn, brightly, graphic colors is to say the least warm and welcoming.
IF YOU HAD TO PICK UP AND MOVE, WHERE WOULD YOU CHOOSE AND WHY? “My top three would be: 1.) Somewhere outside of Portland, Maine. I’ve always had a dream of buying a farm house and renovating it. The coastal surroundings are so pretty. The lobster is also a bonus. 2.) Maui. I went in 2015 and enjoyed the lush greenery so much! It would allow a slower and more relaxed lifestyle that would be a good change from urban living. 3.) Japan. I have visited Japan twice, but I think moving would allow for a complete immersion of the culture. I’ve taken Japanese classes, but I think moving would force my brain to think in Japanese and therefore force me to speak the language more.”
Danielle Kroll is a textile designer, ceramicist, and — of course — illustrator. She is also the co-founder of Beech Hall, a multi-disciplinary artist collective she started with two university friends selling handmade and one-of-a-kind items such as paintings, ceramics, jewelry and home decor. Inspired by everyday life, childhood memories, objects from the past and nature. Danielle’s illustrations are colorful, painterly and playful but not childlike. Think a skinny pineapple ceramic or quirky depictions of ladies at the beach. Her pieces encourage her viewers to experience a more playful look at life – to always look at the bright side of things.
WHERE DO YOU LOVE TO SHOP IN A CITY FILLED WITH ENDLESS CHOICES? “I mostly shop at vintage stores. The pieces are unique, affordable and it’s really fun for me – I like a good treasure hunt! Dusty Rose Vintage in Greenpoint is my spot in the city: They have a whole room of boxes labeled with specific categories like ‘jumpsuits’ and ’80s high-waisted pants’. “
DC-born, Brooklyn-based fashion designer-turned-illustrator Lily Qian has been drawing, painting and sewing since childhood. With her inspiration sparked by artists and entrepreneurs, Lily reflects the beauty of everyday life in her work, which is stylistically informed by cinematography, literature, and fashion history (particularly the 1960s and ‘70s). In her 12 years as an illustrator, Lily has worked with fashion and beauty brands ranging from Sephora to OBEY, sought after for her experimental techniques and loose, romantic style.
DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE PLACE TO ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK’S CRAZINESS? “My favorite places to escape NYC’s craziness is going hiking in Harriman State Park, visiting Storm King Art Center, Dia Beacon, and long weekends in Montauk.”