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Nicole Jarecz / Women's Health Magazine / Pennsylvania

How to adopt the best posture at your workstation? Here are some tricks for you not to have backache anymore. Discover the article illustrated by Nicole Jarecz in the magazine Women Health of May 2015.

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Nicole Jarecz / Creative capsule / USA

This is our sixteenth Creative Capsule. This month, we invite you to meet Nicole Jarecz who lives in Detroit spending a year in Paris. Her delicate and feminine illustrations are the result of a subtle blend of graphite, ink, watercolor and digital textures. She finds inspiration in everyday events and fashion. Nicole has the elegance of her characters and she's passionate about fashion and all that attracts the field of beauty. Advertising, showcases, packaging, dlive drawing, contact us for any project.

Describe your creative lab quickly?
My studio space is an extension of myself. It is the place where I love to begin and end my day. The walls are covered with mood boards of my work and other artists who inspire me. My space never looks the same. The art on the walls are constantly changing depending on my mood. The only thing that stays the same are my tools: a large desk, a multitude of mixed media art supplies (I use everything from gouache, ink, pastels, colored pencil, charcoal and colored pencils), IMac, Wacom tablet and tons of paper. 

In two sentences, how would you describe your work technique?
I am very traditional and digital artist. I always start with a pencil sketch for the overall figure but I like to ink my faces on a large scale so that there is a lot of detail when I size it back down. I put the drawings of faces into Photoshop to clean up the line work and print it on my final paper. I go to color with watercolor, gouache or any other supply I see fit for the rest of the figure. I always end in Photoshop to clean up the illustration, to exaggerate proportions or tweak the color. 

What is the project you are most proud of?
The project I am most proud of were three illustrations I created for Roger Vivier. They chose me to make three digital cards. It was an honor to work for such a prestige luxury Parisian brand. It wasn't just about the client but I was proud of the execution of the project as well. 

What are your favorite colors to create?
I have always used very feminine and soft colors for my illustrations. Recently, I like working with touches of bright red on a white background. I always preferred black to any other color! I really enjoy black line work to create bold contours around color or when creating face and hair.

Why did you become an artist?
Since I was a child I always excelled in the arts. I was meticulous with art projects in school. I never thought about pursuing a career as an illustrator until a high school art teacher told me I should pursue art school. I'm so happy I took her advice. I can't imagine doing any other job!

In four words, how would you describe your style of illustration?
Feminine, vibrant, whimsical, detailed

What is the project you dream about?
It's always been my dream to work with luxury Parisian brands but if I could pick one brand in particular it would be Dior. Dior makes my heart skip a beat which is motivation enough for me. I would also love to see my work on posters in Paris, especially for Galleries Lafayette or Printemps. Another goal of mine is to do live fashion sketching at PFW or NYFW. Illustrating for a magazine or advertising project is a completely different experience than sketching on site. I love both but with live sketching there is so much more freedom. I feel in my element when creating gestural fashion figure sketches. I really want to do more of this type of work.

What does a typical day look like in Nicole Jarecz's life?
Busy and unpredictable. Not only am I a full time freelance illustrator but I am a stay at home mom. Both require a lot of time and attention. My days start early preparing my oldest daughter for school. I stay at home with my little one so I usually don't have much time to work during the day. When I really need to work my youngest will come into my office and play games or draw and watch me draw! My kids definitely see me drawing a lot and tell others that mama's job is to "draw people". Most of my work is done at night time when my kids are in bed. So, on a typical day I will really begin working at 8:00 in the evening. Honestly, I hate working at night time. My favorite time to work is early in the morning with a big cappuccino on my desk. That's when I produce the best work. I think that being a stay at home mom has really taught me how to manage my time and be more efficient in my work. My style has evolved because of that. It's helped me be the illustrator that I am today.

What inspires you?
I am always very inspired by traveling. I grew up in Detroit and hardly ever moved anywhere until I finished my studies. After, I lived in Paris for six years. Everything around me was beautiful. I fell in love with the city, the people, the food and the fashion. I am living in Detroit again but continue to travel to Europe every year and across the United States. I think it's important for artists to see the world and how others think and live differently from them. It definitely keeps me going. 

As for artists, my favorite fashion illustrator is Rene Gruau. He is the original master in this field. I recently started collected some of his books for my office and they are my favorite pieces. I always look to him for inspiration whether it's composition, line work or color...everything he does is beautiful! I hope to be a tiny percentage as good as he was one day!

Do you have a website?
I am always on my Instagram page, @nicolejareczillustration. I try to update a few times a week. It's been quite a surprise to how it's turned out. The more I posted, the more followers I got. I've made some truly amazing connections through Instagram. It's a very important tool if you are an artist. Another website I always visit is Pinterest. It's easy to make lots of mood boards with different images that inspire me. It's another very valuable tool that I don't think I could live without!

Nicole Jarecz / Event evening: Chandon / Canada

Nicole Jarecz created the illustrations for two postcards distributed during a Chandon event.

Nicole Jarecz / Book updated

Illustrated scenes for the monthly newsletter of the perfume brand Les Senteurs Tropéziennes, produced by Les Récidivistes; accompanied by two silhouettes inspired by the fashion shows and a product illustration for the Avantages magazine. All done by the talented and determined Nicole Jarecz.