The very talented illustrator ad creative Erika Rivera has created an amazing rendition of her favourite pieces from our Handsome collections. We caught up with Erika and she told us all about her love for drawing, illustration, design and everything beautiful.
We adore your renditions of our swimwear. Tell us a bit about yourself. Where are you from and what is your background?
Well, I’m originally form San Diego, California where I went to school at FIDM for Product Development. I recently moved to Syracuse, New York to be with my soon to be husband. Moving from the West Coast to the East Coast was a huge change for me especially climate wise. This was going to be my first winter ever I I’m glad to say I’m still alive. Since moving I have really focused on the basic skills for my drawings. During winter I stayed inside most days due to the winter but I found it as a blessing in disguise. I was able to sit down and draw until my little heart was content. I’ve always loved fashion and my friends would always want to pick an outfit for them.
Since I wanted to do something with my fashion background I knew drawing illustrations would be perfect. I get to look at outfits pieced together by bloggers, runway shows, and many brands on the market. I decided illustrating was my way to express myself and put a fun spin on clothes. I get excited whenever a new project lines up because I’m able to share my passion with others. Plus, I love getting the client’s reaction once they receive the final product.
Many artists draw on the elements that surround them for creativity, what are some of your inspirations?
For me to be inspired it starts with a simple walk outside. Just taking in a breath of fresh air gets my wheels going. I try to take in as much nature that surrounds me and then I find that my mind starts creating. Another way I get inspired is to be by the beach. When I was in San Diego the beach was my safe haven from anything that was happening in life. I loved listening to the waves, feeling the sand, and that powerful sun. Even imagining that I’m there will do. Then I start sketching and figuring out the movement of a garment when looking at photos. Earth is my muse.
When did you first discover you had this creative talent? What made you pursue this?
The very first time I found myself intrigued with art was 3rd grade. We had to draw a picture of a how to get out of a house fire safely. My picture won throughout all the elementary schools and got recognition from the local fire department. This was a huge deal to me. Once I found my creative side I never wanted it to disperse. My dad is very creative and an amazing artist. He would draw my brother and I like it was second nature. He tells me I get my artistic side from him. I definitely agree. As I got older I started getting into clothes and fell in love with the concept of creating yourself from the outside. I was always checking out what the classic pieces were to have in a wardrobe and what to wear during the seasons. Whenever I would go shopping my dad would always be there. He has a lot to do with my artistry. Overall my family was behind my every decision.
How has social and digital media helped you to share your talent? How important has this been?
Oh my gosh!! Big time!! Social media is the main reason I’m able to share my fashion illustrations with the world. Instagram is my biggest help to show what I do. Being able to reach other all over is completely incredible. I’m very blessed to live during a time where technology is mainstream. I love having access to reach out to people in the palm of my hand. Literally. There is a massive support team through social media and reading the positive feedback touches my heart. I also stumble upon other artists and its life a family reunion where you have no idea who anyone is but can connect so easily with them. When I met new artists from any industry I embrace them. And stay connected is so important! I mean we have no excuse to send a thank you or a hello to someone anymore. I’m very thankful to have social media in my life. Sometimes I do need to put the phone down though and be present.
Do you have a favourite artist? If so who and why?
I would have to say Karl Lagerfeld and Stella McCarthy. Karl Lagerfeld has revamped Chanel and added a modern spin on every collection. I never get bored with anything he gets his hands on. He will mix the timeless classics with an unexpected twist. And come on, everyone loves a great plot twist to a story. Now Stella McCarthy perfectly captures what a women is all about…Confidence. The simplicity and femininity of her garments are flawless. You’re able to use a coat from a past collection and pair it with a blouse from her 2014 summer collection. She never misses a beat. I would love to wear everything she’s created.
Where to from here? What big plans do you have in the mix?
Well, I’m going to continue practicing everyday. I want to make sure I’m persistent in enhancing the basics of my skills. I want to work with other brands, designers, and fashion bloggers to create illustrations that will be very special. When I make my place in this fashion world I would be thrilled to work with magazines and have my illustrations hanging up in a museum one day. Could you imagine!? I want to show girls that dreams can come true with hard work and never saying No! Collaborating is what I love doing. I want to create, inspire, and imagine everyday.
From all of your renditions of We Are Handsome (all are amazing) which one was your favourite to sketch and why?
My favorite rendition to sketch was the Landing Scoop one piece that shows the backside. I usually illustrate forward and three-quarter poses but this backside is my favorite. It’s playful, sexy, and fun. The colors of that swimsuit were my favorite. The way the plane is about to land with the palm tress around it reminds me of home. You can pair this one piece with a fabulous floppy hat and look stunning by the poolside, beach, or relaxing in a hammock.
If you had to choose one print/design to wear from our latest collection what would it be and why?
Hands down the Aloha string bikini. Love the colors, print, and everything about it! I’m a bikini kind of gal and this screams Erika! It would be perfect for my honeymoon coming up in a month. Plus, I think my fiancée would love to see my strutting my stuff in this little number. Incredible!
How can we find and follow you?
My coming along website: www.erikalynndesigns.com
Follow me on Instagram: @erikalynnrivera