We wanted to mark this hugely important week in the Fashion calendar in our own socially-distant yet very Bluebella way…and who better to walk our runway than our lockdown superstars, Blue and Bella?
Bok: I’ve always drawn, and I’ve always worked in fashion – design, sales, marketing, a bit of everything really! I’ve spent the last twenty years working specifically in the lingerie industry, mainly doing design and development. Illustration is something I have always done and I’ve been fortunate enough to work with some amazing brands and great publications. Illustration isn’t something I’ve really pushed - I’ve been lucky enough that people have seen my work and asked me to do something for them.
Bluebella: What is it about fashion that you enjoy as an illustrator?
Bok: I love fashion! I love colour (despite always wearing only black myself! I’m stuck in time warp I think!) and I love how possible everything is with fashion. I don’t get much time to draw for the sake of it, but if I ever do, it’s lots of splodgy watercolour and ink in lots of colour! I’ve always worked in fashion and been surrounded by it, so it feels comfortable to look at all types of fashion. Fashion is my happy place.
Bluebella: Where, who or what do you draw your inspiration from?
Bok: Sorry to be so obvious, but everywhere! I often see people on TV and in my head see them as an illustration! If I’m doing work for a brand the inspiration comes from the product. When I work for Bluebella I feel like I know and love the brand so I already have a feeling for who the ‘Bluebella girl’ is and I work with that as inspiration.
Bok: It totally depends on what I’m doing. The illustrations I’m working on for Bluebella at the moment for the animated catwalk are all done on the computer, which usually takes me longer than a watercolour illustration for example. Sometimes one illustration could take me a whole day because I keep going back to it, and sometimes I could get ten done in a day – it totally depends on what it is. I don’t illustrate realistically, everything is a little exaggerated and loose so I have a bit more freedom than if I was trying to recreate something realistic which would take me days probably!
Bluebella: Have you worked on animated projects before? How is it different to static illustration?
Bok: I’ve done a couple of things for Bluebella that have then been animated – cut out dollies and Pride banners, but it’s not something I do often. The main difference is producing multiple poses of the same girl in the same garment so that animation is able to be created. So it’s quite a time consuming process to create something for even a very short animation.
Bok: So, I don’t actually listen to music when I’m trying to concentrate on anything, because I find myself concentrating on the music more than what I’m doing and singing along (I’m sure to the dismay of anyone who happens to near!) and an hour has passed without me doing anything! I do listen to podcasts though – anything true crime or drag queen related usually does the trick for me!
Bluebella: Do you ever get creative block? What do you find helps reignite your creativity?
Bok: Often. There’s nothing harder than trying to start an illustration – staring at a blank piece of paper or computer screen is daunting sometimes. I usually leave it and come back to it or draw something else to try and get going – I’ve got so many paintings and drawings of my dog that I’ve started because I couldn’t get going on what I was supposed to be doing! I am usually on a dead line for work, so even if it’s difficult to get started I have to push through it and start something or I’d never meet the deadline. I do a lot of late nights!