In NYC | BPL Presents…
On September 6th at 6:00-8:00PM I attended an exhibit – the largest American showcase of established and widely published fashion illustrators in over a decade. It was held in the Brooklyn Public Library which is by far the most sophisticated and beautiful library I’ve ever seen. Once I move to New York, I swear I will live in there. Books, coffee, fashion exhibitions – I’m in love. I’m so in my element here.
My friend and I caught the subway, had to ask a few people directions but for the most part we totally rocked NYC’s public transit system. So not like my bus trips at home – I still manage to get lost in my hometown. We got there and I totally died once I saw Jennifer’s work in the front lobby. I had to do a little mentor-bragging and tell people I intern for her. Oops, I’m just so proud of her, and honored to have worked together. Jennifer’s sweet husband ran and got my business cards and I fell in love with them the moment I saw them in person. I ended up handing out 47 of them at the exhibit, and I can safely say that I adore networking – it’s like making new friends in my opinion. I met a lot of lovely creative people and felt so inspired at the end of the night. We browsed around, talked, were in awe of the beautiful work and unique outfits, etc. Towards the end we were escorted into an auditorium where things really got amazing. The illustrators who were featured are as follows; Carlos Aponte, Marcos Chin, Samantha Hahn, Richard Haines, Anja Kroencke, Antonio Lopez, Jennifer Lilya, Don Oehl, Sara Singh, Autumn Whitehurst, Izak Zenou, and lastly Selina Alko a fellow Canadian!!
I was so inspired and overwhelmed with everything that was happening that I got tears in my eyes and goosebumps during the meeting. Some of the illustrators whose work was shown in the exhibit went up to speak, including Carlos Aponte. He is such an amazing illustrator, and a wonderful person. I had just seen his work for the first time at the exhbit and I fell in love. He’s not just an excellent artist though – his words are so moving, at least I thought they were. He got up to speak, and I immediately thought he should be a motivational speaker. What his main message was that you have to work for your dreams, but you have to help others follow their dreams too, and if you do – it will come back to you. His story was about when he met Antonio Lopez. He was basically working in a sweat shop/factory, had a “dream wall” of his favourite illustrations/photos from a magazine and one day he heard that Antonio Lopez was going to be in town. He desperately wanted to go and meet him, but he didn’t have the money as it was an expensive event. So he waited until the last minute and was working when his boss came up to him and gave him a ticket to the show. (I would have died) He flew out of there and began to head over to the event. Once he got there, he realized he didn’t have the greatest seats, so he made eye-contact with the lighting staff and they let him sit up there with him. Finally he was able to scope out where his biggest inspiration was. He found him and made his way towards him after the show. When he caught up to Antonio, the first thing the famous illustrator said to him was that he recognized him!!! How? Well, a while ago Carlos had helped a friend get into Parsons – and this friend had met Antonio Lopez along the way and told him about the friend who had helped him get into his dream school. Isn’t that awesome? It just shows that if you’re nice in the fashion industry you won’t necessarily get walked over, but it might just help you out in the long run. My fave work from Carlos is shown below.
I was so teary-eyed at this point, that I wiped those tears and forced myself to talk with him after the meeting, and give him my business card. Guess what happened? I cried. To the point that I couldn’t explain why I was. His words just resonated with me so much, that I just had to try and tell him and thank him. While I was blubbering like an idiot, I think I turned fifty shades of red – but he was so nice, that he hugged me. Fashion Illustrators are just awesome. I hope I didn’t freak him out. Jennifer thought it was adorable and so did my friend. But I felt silly. This still doesn’t compare to when I met Fern Mallis! But that’s another post. ;)