Q & A with illustrator Karlie Rosin

We sat down with Illustrator Karlie Rosin to chat about her career in special effects, content creation, and fashion illustration. Karlie will be working with Vancouver Fashion Week for to create live illustrations of some of the most captivating designs!

Copy of jasonSiu_Gown_VFWFW18_001.jpg

Karlie Rosin

Fashion Illustrator

MM: Hi Karlie, tell us a bit about yourself and your background as an Illustrator.

Hello!

To start off, I’m originally from Montreal, I now live in Vancouver, Canada. I’m trained in traditional art, illustration & design, as well as Matte Painting for the VFX Industry. I studied traditional art ever since my mom put me in classes after seeing me draw a recognizable Lisa Simpson at 4 years old. I continued these classes and also went to college to study Illustration & Design, and then to University in Computer Graphic Design for Visual Effects, specializing in matte painting & environment design. After art school, I became a freelance illustrator and worked on various types of creative projects, which I would do part time. Meanwhile, I also started my career as a digital matte painter in the visual effects industry. Since then, I’ve worked on blockbuster movies such as Godzilla 2, Justice League, The Mummy, and Suicide Squad to name a few.

This exciting career experience taught me to work quickly and under pressure, and learn the skills necessary to build a business. It helped me expand my ability to be versatile and blend traditional and digital mediums to create the best quality work. I currently work as a freelancer taking on commercial illustration and painting contracts, and once in a while I will still take on another movie contract to do matte painting as this is also a passion of mine!

MM: As an artist, what draws you to fashion illustration in particular?

I have always loved fashion and used to work as a makeup artist. I really enjoyed working on creative photoshoots and high fashion runway makeup. I think fashion illustration taps into the feminine side of my art and I really enjoy blending imagery of the body and fabrics with different silhouettes and fabric movement. I see myself as capturing the moment, kind of like a photographer, but with my own perception and my own creative flair added to it through illustration. It also reminds me of figure drawing which I absolutely love doing. So, live sketching at fashion shows really helps with focusing on the main shapes and gestures of the look. Starting with a sketch and absorbing the energy from the show (lights, crowd, music, etc) then, going home and creating a final rendered illustration from that creative energy is one of my favourite things to do.

KarlieRosinIllustration_GFC-NYFW_FAUNbyMarisa P.jpg


MM: What was it like - transitioning from working in special effects in film to starting your own business?

Starting your own business is always a challenge, but it’s very exciting! I’ve always worked freelance, so it felt natural to start my own business in Vancouver. The hard part was moving here and not knowing anyone- starting a whole new business from scratch and building up a reputation and clients here. I am still taking on visual effects contracts though because I am really passionate about my work and career as a matte painter. These are similar contracts to what I take on as a freelance illustrator but the main difference is that I have to do the work in-house because of the high security involved with blockbuster movies. I do appreciate having the flexibility of which contracts I chose to work on and the mix of going in an office and also working from home creates a good balance for me.

MM: What do you think it is about Vancouver that brings out the creative spirit for young entrepreneurs?

I think we live in such a beautiful city that everyone inevitably has their muse. For me, personally, it’s the mountains and the beach in the same place. All you have to do is look up to find inspiration. I am 100% inspired by the nature in Vancouver and I’m sure that this plays a huge role in bringing out creativity in the community.

KarlieRosin_BloomiesVancity_01-web.jpg

MM: What do you have planned for 2019? - We hear you're launching a creative agency!

The beauty of freelancing is that you never know what you will be taking on next! But I am definitely excited about this year. I’m currently working on a movie that will come out in September doing matte paintings, and I have a set of 48 fashion illustrations that will be licensed out to a greeting card company which is launching in spring!

And yes, I will be launching an Agency! I have noticed an incredibly high engagement rate when I use motion graphics in my images as well as for my clients and this is definitely a growing trend, along with illustrated content for digital marketing in general. Image Fatale Creative Agency will focus on creating mesmerizing content that differs from traditional photography. This will include illustrations, mixed media, photo manipulations and moving images. You can visit imagefataleagency.com or instagram @imagefataleagency for more info. Stay tuned!

Erxi0007_NYFW_GFC_001.jpg

MM: Last but not least, what are you most looking forward to for this F/W19 season at VFW?

I can’t wait to see the talent on the runway this year! I am definitely excited to attend, do some live sketching as mentioned above, and create some of my own artwork from that inspiration. I love illustrating for Vancouver Fashion Week and can’t wait to be doing it again this season. Discovering new talented designers as well as meeting people in the industry is energizing and I am looking forward to all of it!

Thank you for telling us about your journey into fashion illustration. We can't wait to see your illustrations for the Vancouver Fashion Week F/W19 season and hear more about Image Fatale Agency!

VFW-AtelierVC_02.jpg


You can find Karlie on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter or on her website www.karlierosin.com.

The New Meaning of 'Made in China' - 2025

In 2015 Chinese President Xi Jinping announced a new ten-year economic plan called ‘Made in China 2025’. This plan is modelled, in-part, after Germany’s Industry 4.0 plan and is focused mainly on technology and robotics. A wider part of this initiative is the rebranding of Chinese industries from imitators to innovators. What does this have to do with the fashion industry? Well, it’s news to no one that China is infamous for their knock-offs. Simply search Beijing’s ‘Pearl Market’ and you’ll find hundreds of Youtube videos dedicated to finding and bartering for the best designer knock-offs China has to offer.

That reality has been shifting in China over the last ten years. There is a new generation of designers creating clothing for the insatiable and growing Chinese market. Initiatives like this one, which are only tangentially related to the fashion industry, help the global perception of China’s fashion goods shift from low quality clothes and high quality knock-offs to China as a new creative fashion hub. China’s designer fashion market is a Blue Ocean ready for fresh talent to wow the awaiting consumer.

As China’s fashion industry grows, the West can take note. China’s lateral movement into the open world allows for innovation not tethered to current practices or traditions. Chinese talent who in past have moved west to practice their skills are now staying in the mainland and flourishing in hubs like Shenzhen and Shanghai. These Creatives are starting their own labels and magazines. They’re designing for a Chinese consumer base that is ready to embrace and curate niche brands and smaller designers.

New projects like Rouge Fashion Book (a bi-annual coffee table fashion book) and established fashion houses like EPO Fashion Group (Home to Mo&CO and Edition) alike are able to find a home in southern China. Companies like EPO have been around for over a decade, but they’re recently getting the recognition they deserve. They play an important part in the rebranding China as a place for creativity and innovation. 

In addition to designers, Chinese editors and influencers are also making a stand in defense of Chinese creation. Leaf Greener a former editor for Elle China and founder of a WeChat based magazine, LEAF is among many whose work displays China as a place of creativity not just consumerism. As she covers fashion weeks around the world, she continues to defend China among them as a cutting edge player in the fashion world. 

We’re almost to the halfway mark of Made in China 2025 and what do we have to show for it? I can’t speak on robotic technologies, but we can see the fashion insiders of the West paying more mind to the rising giant in the East. More and more western publications are covering events like Shanghai Fashion Week. The Business of Fashion dedicated almost nine pages of their 2018 State of Fashion (only a 45 pg. document) to addressing China and the overall Asian market. The public won’t be far behind these insiders as they realize their favourite brands are not only being made in china, but also designed in China. 

Indeed, China based brands continue to grow in popularity both in China and in the West. Additionally, as events like Shanghai Fashion Week continue to grow and gain global attention, so will other Chinese designers and labels. Personally, I look forward to watching as the Chinese creative community shows the world what this part of the East has to offer. Enriching their designs with Chinese culture and tradition juxtaposed with a fresh perspective that remains unbound to the lines the West has been drawing within for the past hundred years. 


A day is coming when ‘Made in China’ will mean something much different than it does in the west today, and that day is coming soon.