Fashion School: College for Creative Studies, Detroit, MI
Future Fashion Professional: Nicole Jarecz
Graduation Year: May, 2010
Hometown: Clinton Township, MI
NIF: Why fashion?
NJ: I love fashion because it keeps me motivated to be a better artist. There is always so many new things to discover. It influences my illustration work and just makes me excited to work as an illustrator and designer with all of the endless possibilities it offers.
NIF: When/how did you first realize you had a passion for fashion? How did you get into illustration specifically?
NJ: I became interested in fashion in high school when I started to read a few fashion magazines. I found the photography very interesting as well as how fashion was shown as an artform. At first when I applied to college I wanted to be in Advertising Design. One of my teachers in high school who also taught at my college told me I would be a perfect fit in Illustration. After taking a look at the student work, it really inspired me to become an illustrator as well…so that’s how I ended up in Illustration…and I love it!
NIF: What is your favorite element of the fashion industry? (ex: product, designer, career, store…)
NJ: I am very interested in the design aspect of fashion. I love to see the process of start to finish of a garment from the developmental stage to the physical design on the model.
NIF: What is your proudest accomplishment thus far in your life?
NJ: There isn’t one specific thing that stands out to me. But, I’m starting to feel like my work is finally coming together after four long years of college and I feel accomplished about that.
NIF: What are the top 3 reasons you chose to attend this school and would you recommend this school to someone looking to eventually work in the fashion industry?
- The classes are small and so is the campus. This makes it less intimidating and for more one on one time with your professor.
- In my opinion, the Illustration department is one of the strongest in the country next to Art Center, SVA and Parsons.
- It was close to my home!
I would recommend this school to somebody who would like to pursue fashion illustration. I’ve learned a lot from being in the department. I’ve also been able to branch off into fashion design since I’m so passionate about it and have pushed myself to learn more about it on my own. CCS also has a photo department where some students are pursuing fashion photography and there is a fibers department as well. If you just want to learn strictly about fashion design I don’t think that CCS is the right school for you.
NIF: What unique features does your school offer that other fashion schools may not?
NJ: I’ve really learned a lot from being in the Illustration department about figure drawing. This has really helped in my fashion illustration and design. I have spend so much more time drawing and really understanding the figure than those in other fashion schools, which is very important in understanding clothing and how it fits on the figure.
NIF: What can high school students do to prepare themselves to major in fashion illustration?
NJ: It’s always important to know your art history and see what the masters have done in the past. Look at artists who first did fashion illustrations such as Rene Gruau. Take a summer class on figure drawing, keep a sketchbook and look through lots of fashion magazines!
NIF: Besides your courses, what have you done to expand your knowledge and passion for fashion?
NJ: I started my own blog a couple years ago and now have a facebook fan page and it has really helped get my work out there. I’ve also connected with others in the fashion industry and have learned through them as well.
NIF: Does your school offer internship connections/ assistance in finding internships? Can you receive credit?
NJ: CCS has a career services center where you can receive credit for an internship. They offer help in placing students with internships, but in Illustration you have to be really aggressive in finding an internship that suits what you want to do.
NIF: Do you have any book/website/software recommendations that can help further develop illustration skills?
NJ: Adobe Photoshop is a must. I use it all the time. You are kidding yourself to think you will be a designer without using photoshop at some point in your career. A great website that anyone interested in fashion should check out is style.com. I would also recommend looking at street style blogs for inspiration. As for books, you can never have too many and I would recommend starting your own personal art book collection!
NIF: Can you tell me a little bit about what goes into your illustration/ design process?
NJ: I normally work with graphite on vellum and then mix this with a lot of other mediums. I always try to experiment with different techniques to keep my illustrations interesting and fresh. I also scan a lot and use photoshop A LOT.
NIF: What is the best advice you have been given concerning a future in the fashion industry?
NJ: Make connections. Talent and passion is only the half of it.
NIF: Does your school host any fashion events (fashion shows, networking conferences,etc.)?
NJ: Unfortunately, no.
NIF: What is next for you and what is your ultimate dream career?
NJ: I’m moving to Paris this summer to pursue my dreams as a freelance fashion illustrator and designer!
NIF: Thank you Nicole for sharing your experience with NIF!
**If you have any questions for Nicole, please leave a note for her in the comment box below.
To find out more about the College of Creative Studies fashion programs visit: CLICK HERE