The beginner in fashion drawing would be well advised to commence her first serious work in a business studio rather than to attempt to free-lance. First, because it is difficult, if not impossible, for a beginner to obtain sufficient work; secondly, because some knowledge of studio technique is essential to every fashion artist. Free-lances almost invariably are mature artists who "know the ropes," and may be relied upon to get a job through to the printer's hand properly and to time.

There are two ways of setting about obtaining a studio post. One is to call and ask for it; the other is to write. Undoubtedly a personal call is the better. Personal contact is always preferable to the impersonal method, and even if unsuccessful at least one has the benefit of knowing why.


In calling at a studio it is essential to take specimens of one's work. This may seem an elementary instruction, but numbers of young artists do attempt to get work without any sort of recommendation beyond their personal appearance. Should a prospective employer suggest that something more indicative of their ability is desired, they will cheerfully refer him to their late schoolmaster, perhaps adding that they were second in such-and-such an examination. That sort of recommendation does not carry any weight. Examples of work done say far more for an artist than any words can.

Now there is a good deal in the way specimens are presented. The customary batch, when any at all are offered, is an assortment of rather thumbed drawings, carelessly arranged, and done up in much paper and string. Studio managers are busy folk, and they

are not pleased to have to unwrap and rewrap a badly made-up parcel of drawings; especially if they are uninteresting. The specimens should be in a decent portfolio.

The drawings should be chosen and arranged with care. First, they must be fashion drawings; not drawings of pansies, or geometrical patterns. If flowers must be included, as examples of still life, the pansies need not be on the top! Arrange the sketches, and there should not be too many of them, with an eye to the psychological effect. Let the second best, say, be first; then another fairly good one; then the best about third. Thus the interest of a person looking through them is sustained and whetted, rather than caused to flag after the first good one has been seen.

A sketch-book should also be taken, as that will show how one draws casually. A sketch-book gives a much truer impression of an artist's capacity than laboriously-finished drawings, and if each sketch is dated, as it should be, it also shows how the artist has progressed. Remember, one should endeavour to be completely honest about one's work. At the same time, it must be shown to the best possible advantage.

Some young artists like to consider themselves "modern" in their style. Exactly what "modern" may mean, artistically, varies with the times, as does the appeal which modern treatment makes. But definitely, in showing specimens, the modern touch must not be overdone. A little goes a long way, and it is very easy to give the impression of being just a cheap little imitator of the real thing. Let the modern drawings be in the proportion of one to three straight drawings.

The method of approach to an employer is highly important. The artist may be fortunate enough to have a friend "in the game," in which case an introduction may be effected which will smooth things out a little. But one should not rely on introductions of this sort. Indeed, they are not infrequently a definite handicap, as some people ride that horse to death. But it is always advisable to ascertain, if at all possible, the name of the individual responsible for engaging artists. Sometimes it is the head of the firm, or a

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Fashion Drawing Sections

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