Words on… Fashion Illustration by Jarno Kettunen
A couple of years ago I created a special about fashion illustrators for a Dutch fashion trade magazine. One of the featured artists was the Finn Jarno Kettunen, who has a different approach to fashion illustration comparing to what we often see. More abstract and imaginative, is my opinion. Every now and then Jarno keeps me posted about his latest projects and he often amazes me. So I decided to ask him some questions.
Are you still living in Belgium?
“I am currently based in Atlanta, USA but my work is also presented in Benelux by my manager Arne Rombouts from Brussels, Belgium. Atlanta – the home of The Coca-Cola Company and the laid back southern culture – is a wonderful place to start my American adventure and a creative hub with great connections across USA and beyond.”
What project are you currently working on?
“I am illustrating for NYLON Guys Magazine making celebrity portraits with a new piece coming up in the next issue.”
Do designers ask you to come drawing backstage, as commissioned work, or is it mostly your own initiative?
“It happens both ways. Kris Van Assche, for example, asked me to draw at the backstage of his own show and at the same time granted me access to draw his collection for Dior Homme as well. Mostly it is my own initiative though and I call it my ‘Backstage Action Drawing Project’. It is about capturing a moment in time and an artist’s expression of the mood of today’s pop culture as voiced through the current most relevant fashion collections.”
Did your technique evolve during the last years and how?
“My style is in constant evolution as my arsenal of techniques expands and I get more familiar with the materials. I spend a lot of effort in choosing the best materials and techniques for each project. Sometimes these can be unconventional materials, such as make-up – introduced by Chanel – or spray paint, that I haven’t tried before and learn to use them at the moment as I go. As I keep using some of these techniques again my style becomes more refined and solid. I have also started producing more refined and ‘worked out’ atelier work while keeping loyal to the spontaneous feel of my action drawings.”
What is the position of fashion illustration to other media these days?
“It is impossible not to notice a certain coming back of fashion illustration if not exactly in the same way as before. I see that fashion illustration nowadays is often used to compliment photography and evokes more moods and fantasies than only being realistic. Recently for example I had the honor of Manish Arora selecting a few of my backstage drawings I did at his spring-summer 2013 show for editorials alongside photographs. There even seems to be a small movement emerging around live drawing in fashion shows and events with websites popping up promoting it and many great illustrators doing it. There’s also many opportunities for fashion illustration in digital media and web where more and more illustrations and animated moving images are needed.”
Check out Jarno’s website to find out more about his work: www.jarnok.com.