Spotlight On: Cassandra Rhodin

Firstly, I’d to explain that I’m not really that into fashion in terms of clothing and what I wear. It’s just the illustrations of fashion that fascinate me, and I have a feeling that it’s due to the heavy amount of stylized features they use, especially the legs and faces.

Cassandra Rhodin is a Swedish fashion illustrator whose name is more or less known in the fashion world. I, myself, have never heard of her name and only came to know her through research on generic fashion illustrations.

Though I know I mentioned previously that I tend to be drawn to stylized and elongated arms, fingers, legs, etc., Cassandra Rhodin’s figures seem to also emit a strange emphasis on facial features in the head, whereas the elongated figures seem more of an side-effect than a main feature in her drawings.

They eyes are gigantic, of course, and the eyelashes and makeup is considerably drawn out and abundant. Even the hair is stylized and the lips drawn fuller than normal.

Though different, her artwork gives me a strange feeling, sometimes humorous, other times creepy. The clothes, which are (I assume) the most pivotal point of a fashion illustrator’s work, are designed with mainly neutral colors, none too vibrant. Though I understand that skin for fashionable subjects or figures should be pale, she rarely seems to use any color on her figures, only their clothes, which gives the viewer a more focused look on the clothes and accessories they’re wearing, I suppose. Her compositions also incorporate, on the most part, a sense of symmetry or pattern. I think this is why sometimes when I look at her work I get a strange, creepy feeling because it looks somewhat unnatural.

She also draws these really bizarre animals, such as rabbits, ostriches, cats, dogs, etc. in her work. It almost seems to be incorporating a personal fetish of hers into her work. One of the other noticeable contingencies in her work is the fact that all of the eyes in her figures share the same design. Though I realize all the works are by the same artist, I’m trying to say that there is little differentiation between them.

I regard eyes in an artwork to be the drawing point for viewers. Personally, I start drawing a character with their eyes first (after drawing the general outline, of course), and then I work from the eyes to the rest of the body. I try to make them to most detailed of all – this, I think, is one of the main points that sets manga apart from other comics. The lips, on the other hand, are not as prominent a feature in manga (unless you are a mangaka interested in fashion like Ai Yazawa).

Though she isn’t as influential an artist to me as Zarina Liew or Natusme Ono, if you guys are interested, check her out!


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