Above: Exclusive Illustration by Dear Giana for BlackBook
A young artist is blazing new trails in fashion imaging these days, taking both critics and galleries by fashionable storm. And when we say young…we mean young.
Illustrator Dear Giana is positioned perfectly at the intersection of art and fashion, and has, at just age 10, already received numerous accolades. No surprise, she’s also already inked collaborations with high profile brands, Nordstrom x Nike, for instance. But she has absolutely earned it.
This Filipina-Mexican-American artist has become known for recreating high-end fashion ads using freehand drawing techniques, with various mediums outside of color crayons. Her mother’s extensive collection of books, and numerous old print issues of Vogue, I-D and Harper’s Bazaar had provided with Giana no shortage of references and subject matter to influence her singular style.
Indeed, her work is a tour de force, that innovates even the most established logos and looks, infusing them with a distinct new life. Just when you thought a Nike swoosh was a Nike swoosh, or perhaps you were eagerly awaiting the next release of Jordan or Kyrie high tops, you will be dazzled by something dynamic, yet organic; urban and sophisticated…yet youthful and playful. That’s the magic of Dear Giana, or as her family calls her, “Lil G.”
We recently had the pleasure of meeting Dear Giana at her first show in New York at the flagship of discount fashion retailer Century 21, where she led a customization workshop sponsored by the Levi’s X Crayola collaboration. She was invited by Executive Vice President Isaac Gindi, who discovered her through Instagram and was instantly enamored.
Congratulations on your first show in New York. Your work is really exceptional and looking at your portfolio, we see that you’ve used several media in your work. What is your favorite medium?
I don’t really have a favorite. When I start to work on something, I usually make half drawings. So if I am using paper, I divide the paper in half and then to sketch out half of the image first, then work on the other side. I pay close attention to textures, and that helps me choose a medium. And I try to find a texture that best matches the crayon or the marker or whatever I am using to create the image. I always want things to match.
Are there any people who in particular that inspire you as an artist? Who are your influences?
Well, I really look up to my mom – but as an artist, I would say that Frida Kahlo is someone who inspires me. Even when she was sick, she stayed dedicated to her art. She continued to paint and she still held her shows. She had a passion and she carried on, which I think was amazing.
Do you listen to music when you work?
I listen to classical music when I work. I enjoy Mozart very much, it’s at the right speed for doing my work. When I am not doing my art, I really love to listen to Gwen Stefani. I like all of her music.
So now that you have held a successful event in New York City, what city would you now most want to show your work and share your talents in?
That’s a really hard question! I want to get it as far as it could go. I want to get it everywhere.