A Look at the Portuguese World


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Luxury brush strokes

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António Soares is considered one of the best illustrators of fashion at the european level by having started to illustrate national designers. He is currently highly demanded globally by the major luxury brands and specialty magazines that order his exquisite and glamorous illustrations.

I know you have a degree in painting from the Porto School of Fine Arts, but how does the fashion illustration come into your life?
António Soares: The opportunity came a few years ago after finishing the course I taught painting classes in an atelier and techniques of illustration of CITEX, the current Modatex and I decide to begin to illustrate Portuguese fashion designers.

But was it at the private level or not?
AS: Yes, it was just an escape, the opportunity arose after an invitation from Nuno Baltazar to illustrate his collection for Moda Lisboa. Then orders began to emerge.

But did you leave the painting?
AS: I continued with the atelier, but at the moment I dedicate myself exclusively to fashion illustration.

But there are two kinds of illustrations I as far I can perceive.
AS: Yes, I have drawings that are my clients' orders and the illustrations reflect the collections and then I have my personal projects that I present on my Tumblr page.

I noticed that they are very ethereal, but blond women.
AS: Blondes? I do not think so, because the women I paint the mostly from Africa and Asia and I have some men.

Yes, in fact I have noticed thar, but in the more recent illustrations. Also noticed that you use watercolor in detriment of the pastel, or other paints, why?
AS: Yes, because it's easy to carry, I can draw anywhere, not just in my studio. There is another aspect, which is that it is easier to use than pastel, a watercolor illustration takes less time and has another effect.

But how long does one of your illustrations take?
AS: It depends, a single illustration can take an entire night, or just an hour, depending on my state of mind, the kind of details that need to be entered and whether it is a full-body order or not.

But is there a distinction?
AS: Yes, I have two types of projects, the personal, where I draw according to my inspiration and personal taste and the commissions for the clients. The illustrations that are ordered take precedence.

Let us approach the colors, I notice that you use a very restricted pallet, it is basically black and skin color and in others there is an explosion of shades.
AS: In personal projects I use black a lot, it's true. I really like black.
It's because?
AS: I do not know.

And the rest?
AS: The remaining ones that have more color are the commissions. I illustrate according to the specifications of the customers, it is they who decide which pieces that are part of the illustration. When they are private projects, that choice is mine alone.

According to a Spanish fashion magazine, Vanidad, António is one of the top ten illustrators in Europe.
AS: I did not know that, but it has no weight. This is a very competitive world at the professional level because there are a lot of talented people in this area and I always try to maintain a high level of demand for my work in order to continue receiving orders. At this moment it is my profession, I live exclusively on fashion illustrations.

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