principal; or it may be the studio manager, or a managing artist. Whoever it is, obviously he is the man who matters, and to him one must get through. Having obtained the name, the next step is to obtain an interview. That may be easy, or it may be difficult. A possible plan is to get into a telephone box near to the studio, armed with a portfolio of specimens and the determination to wait all day, if necessary, for the interview. Ring up the "victim," and when the appointment is secured, be there to the minute. Quite possibly one may be kept waiting an hour; on the other hand, one may be seen at once. The applicant must be punctual.

If for any good reason an interview cannot be secured, application must be made by letter, accompanied by a few good specimens. The letter must be concise, yet sufficiently informative. Age and experience or training should be stated, and an indication of the salary desired may be given. A straightforward photograph is useful, as are names of some really sound referees. Schoolmasters' and clergymen's "characters" are not greatly esteemed. The specimens should not be all one's best. They might be lost. Sufficient stamps should be enclosed for their return; even the most prosperous studios dislike paying postage for the return of drawings.


Much of a fashion artist's work involves personal contact with fashion-house buyers and other clients of the studio; and these people, moving in the world of dress, are naturally critical of the artist's own clothes, and more so with her way of wearing them.

There are, it is true, artists who draw clothes well enough and yet seem not to know how to wear them. But they are exceptions, and quite needlessly disadvantage themselves. Obviously, an artist with style in her own appearance is more likely to get style into her work than if she were indifferent to appearances. Employers are well aware of this, and, other things being equal, the applicant showing some clothes sense is inevitably given preference.


All fashion drawing falls into one or other of four main groups, and most successful fashion artists eventually specialize in one of these divisions. The four groups are: editorial drawings for daily newspapers and the illustrated periodicals; drawings for manufacturing, wholesale, and retail drapery houses (mainly illustrations for catalogues and press advertisements); drawings for the purely fashion publications, such as McCall, Mob's, and Leach's; and general fashion work for printers and advertising agents. A studio generally sets out to cater for a particular market. Moreover, each studio aims at a certain standard and quality of work, according to the particular price requirement it chooses to meet. Thus every studio has, as it were, its own peculiar atmosphere, and expects certain things of its artists.

The beginner, however, need not be concerned too much with the finer distinctions between studios. In seeking her first job she should simply present herself as a keen aspirant with possibilities, amenable to training and capable of development. Nevertheless, the broad differences between one sort of fashion work and another should be borne in mind, so that studio training, so far as choice is possible, may lead in the desired direction. Obviously, a studio specializing in catalogue work would not be the best place for a beginner whose ambition is to draw fashions for the newspapers.


The question is sometimes asked whether it is better to commence in a large firm or in a small one. Generally speaking, the good, big studio is much to be preferred. It has its drawbacks, certainly. The beginner is treated very much as a junior, and some persons may feel in that a certain loss of dignity. On the other hand there is the advantage of seeing more of the processes of commercial art, and the various ways of tackling a job. Furthermore, in a big studio one comes into contact with more artists, sees a greater variety of work, and generally better work. Consequently,

a beginner may model her own work on good drawing, instead of being influenced, at a susceptible period in her career, by the

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possibly mediocre and limited work of the one or two artists of a smaller studio.

Fashion Drawing Sections

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