10 Questions with Fiona Luciani
With a background in fashion styling Fiona Luciani followed her heart and became a fashion illustrator. She finds her inspiration in fashion and French poetry. "Illustration helps me everyday to become a woman and each emotion that I feel has a real impact on my work".
1. Hi Fiona great to have you here! Tell us something about yourself.
I am a Fashion & Beauty Illustrator based in Paris. I work at my place wich I love to call home. Originally from Corsica, I go back every summer to take a shot of the local fauna’s smell called macchi. It's been 28 years now and I’ve never got tired of watching the mountain flow into the sea. I like Corisa’s wildness nature and that every sunset has a different color.
2. How did you get started as an illustrator? education etc.
It might seem cliché but as far as i can remember I’ve always been drawing. Growing up I was more interested in fashion itself. That’s why I naturally decided to learn stylism in a Parisian fashion school. I’ve created 3 collections and I learned a lot about clothes and women who wear them. After graduating I’ve worked in different creative studios. From Haute Couture to Ready-to-Wear and even jewelry, my eye became sharper. Last year i went back to illustration with fashion silhouettes from runways. I felt so fulfilled that I decided to make it my full time job!
3. How would you describe your style?
As a stylist, I consider fashion as a means of expression. The way to mix shapes, colors and patterns reflects your identity. That's how I would describe my style: i try to translate each woman's personality through her clothes or her face's expression.
4. What’s your technical/creative process?
First ? Coffee ! Then, I always start drawing with graphite pencil. I like to use markers for my fashion illustrations, they emphasize my love of colors and textiles. For portraits I prefer watercolor touch and add some botanical illustration to always stay poetic. As a designer, rendering fabric and textures is very important to me, i have plenty of tips. Coloring using the wooden veines of my desk is one of them. The sensitivity of working by hand is incomparable. Then I use photoshop because scan weakens the vibrant colors and sometimes I also use it to make collages with other elements that I drew. I put my signature and VOILA !
5. Who or what inspires you and your work?
I look at life with a curious eye that constantly searches for inspiration in everything I see. Fashion is my favorite subject of all, it’s constantly renewed. French poetry is an endless source of inspiration too, « Les fleurs » of Stephane Mallarmé, Jean Cocteau and his entire work. A feminine icon Simone de Beauvoir and her statement “One is not born, but rather becomes, a woman”. Illustration helps me everyday to become a woman and each emotion that I feel has a real impact on my work.
6. Which brands do you work for or do you love to work for?
Working with fashion and lifestyle magazines, amazing brands like Zimmermann, Leonard Paris, Nina Ricci, Temperley for London, Delpozo. I think illustration can be used almost anywhere and that's what makes it so interesting. Beauty and cosmetics would be a great adventure too! I also like personal commissions like portraits, collages, patterns, it’s all about understanding the customer’s wish.
7. What is your favorite thing in the world to illustrate?
I thought it was obvious ! Everything in a woman is beautiful, her eyes, hairstyles, freckles, attitude with clothes, … We are at the dawn of a significant change in women's history. Speech is free and clichés established for a long time are no longer actuality. I think someway i am a little bit feminist but isn’t it THE modern way to be feminine ?
8. Name 3 things you can't live without
Good question … I would say a good sens of humour, my childish side and my little herbarium thats follows me everywhere.
9. Any new creative plans for 2018? expositions? books? collaborations?
First, 2017 was an incredible year: I worked hard on my technique and i found my balance. I’d like 2018 to be as strong in terms of challenges and surprises. My dream is to have a column in a fashion magazine. I would illustrate the women I love and some of my favorite runway looks while trying to decipher the modern way of being a strong and confident woman.
10. Any words of wisdom to aspiring artists?
Someone said one day that artists are tortured people. I think it’s true but it’s ok, it helps us create. Listen to your fears but don’t let them lead the way. This is what i am trying to do everyday. As the famous singer Jacques Brel said « "Talent doesn't exist. Talent is having the desire to do something. […] I believe that talent is the will to reach a dream. Everything else is sweat. it's hard work, it's discipline. »