So much, then, for the financial aspect of the profession. What of the other tangible considerations ? First, fashion drawing offers every opportunity of arriving at that desirable state of being one's own employer; and this without the necessity for investing capital in premises, and the rest. Secondly, if she really is going to make good, the fashion artist can climb to the top in a comparatively short time. Since her earnings are not regulated by age or length of service, but are what she is worth, the successful artist is able to save enough capital to retire, if need be, at a reasonably early age. For it should be mentioned that unlike some successful people film stars, for example an artist, however celebrated, is not compelled to spend the bulk of her income in keeping up appearances. Apart from her clothes, which, if not sans pareil, must at all times be sans reproche, her obligations are just what she chooses to make them.

Then there is the question of marriage, a question which must eventually concern every woman engaged in earning her own living. Fashion drawing is one of the few professions in which marriage is not at a discount; indeed, many of the best known artists, both in and out of studios, are married, although like writers, artists generally cling to their single names as long as they practise their craft. Undoubtedly it is the fascination of drawing which holds so many married artists to the easel even when the necessity for work has passed; but if the extra income enables them. to be relieved of less attractive domestic duties, and at the same time enjoy a better standard of living, so much more readily may the married state be entered.


There is a good deal of false glamour attached to the life of any sort of artist, and despite the brave warnings of all professional

artists who have ever written on the subject, the uninitiated continue to believe that an artist has a gay and easy time. The truth is that no artist worthy of the name ever has an easy time, more especially those who must live by the brush. Nevertheless, their life is undeniably one of colour and variety. The modern world of Fashion is peopled with the giants of academic and commercial art, famous cutters and dress designers, and the great national advertisers. Working in this stimulating world, the fashion artist is in daily contact with people of taste, culture, and, above all, brains. And she meets them, moreover, with none of the feeling of inequality which in other professions exists between the great and the not-so-great. The expression "brother brush" has real meaning for every worth-while artist. It is a life, too, in which there is little or no routine. No two days are alike, and whether free-lance or studio artist, one enjoys a healthy freedom from red tape and restraint. For those who care to take it there is also the opportunity of travel. Paris is still a principal centre of fashion, and an artist on the staff of a big fashion paper or working for a premier model house is frequently required to attend pre-views of Paris models.

The purely social compensations, which need no particularizing, will appeal more or less according to the personality of each individual. One point only does deserve special mention, and that is the advantage deriving to the fashion artist in regard to dress. In constant touch with the ways of fashion; informed of what is being worn to-day and what will be worn to-morrow; familiar, moreover, with the constructional details of good clothes, the fashion artist enjoys a dress advantage which must appeal to any woman. She is able to be well dressed at all times with the minimum of expense, to the benefit of her work, and to the satisfaction of her feminine soul.


At the commencement of this chapter it was suggested that there was another side to the question of what rewards may be expected for one's labours. The expression "spiritual" was used in

its widest sense, to express all those imponderable things which one feels about work which is not a task but a joy; and which makes the difference between a life of meaning and purpose and one of drab indifference. Success, finally, is measured by achievement in these things of the spirit; and in drawing one finds a particular satisfaction because it is the exercise of a natural human impulse. Man has ever yearned to express himself in drawing. Every child betrays the urge, though Life, for most of us, quickly overlays it with other cares. The artist alone retains the joy of pure creative work which lies in the act of self-expression. Every line, every brush stroke, is an individual and personal touch, the finished thing an embodiment of all one's own taste and feeling. And just as a painting by Turner, or one of Whistler's etchings, speaks aloud of the artist, so the work of a good fashion artist is a part of its creator. Like her speech or her clothes, it is an expression of her personality. That is why, seeing a drawing, or even a half-finished sketch, the discerning may say with certainty, "That is a so-and-so." Of course, other forms of work, too, afford their satisfaction. But because drawing is such a natural thing, and perhaps because the finished work is such a tangible reality, accessible to the eye in its entirety, there is undoubtedly a special sense of satisfaction in a drawing well done.

One last point. The cultivation of any of the liberal arts develops the capacity to apprehend the things of beauty. Concerned with beauty of line and form and colour, the fashion artist inevitably acquires a cultural appreciation she might otherwise not possess. To this extent her whole life is deepened and her outlook and her vision are widened. Instead of merely existing the practising artist acquires a knowledge of the greatest art of all, the gentle art of living. And to know the art of living is to live.

Fashion Drawing Sections

Part-1 Part-2 Part-3