Party Sketching a Beverly Hills Fashion Themed Bat-Mitzvah with Mindy Weiss

This weekend I'm excited to be working alongside Mindy Weiss again and it occurred to me I have yet to feature the last party I worked on with her! I primarily live-sketch for fashion and beauty brands but from time I do do private parties and this lavish Beverly Hills bat-mitzvah was one of them. Weeks before the event I created a custom illustration of the bat-mitzvah girl to be used on small guest placards. About a week before flying out to LA for the event, Mindy called and asked if I could send the art high res so they could also have it printed on the dance floor. I said absolutely, as they purchased the custom illustration with usage rights for the party and could print it on any and all party pieces they'd like! But when I arrived and actually saw the sketch blown up to about 30 feet I was floored! Pun intended! I've never seen any of my art on such a large scale before and it was surreal. It was nearly impossible to event capture! The photo above was taken by someone atop a tall ladder and its hard to even make out the full image.
In addition to the dance floor, the custom illustration of the bat-mitzvah girl was also pre-printed onto a large sign-in board, guest placards, and of course I was on-site live sketching all the girls for them to have their own custom fashion illustrations to take home. The party took place at the Regent Beverly Wilshire, which my Pretty Woman loving self loved and it was my first time working with and meeting famed event planner Mindy Wiess! She was utterly delightful to work with and get to know. Mindy joined me for dinner and we bonded over event stories and friends we discovered we had in common. I've been to my fair share of bat-mitzvahs but is one I won't ever forget and I can't wait to see what Mindy has planned for this weekends Manhattan fete!

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Burberry | Semi-Custom Fashion Illustrations

If you follow any of my social media you may have noticed over the past few months I've been working quite a bit with Burberry. I wanted to share one particular event we collaborated together on here on Fabulous Doodles. A few weeks ago I live-sketched semi-custom fashion illustrations at a private party for Burberry down in Washington DC. The party was the culmination of their annual general managers conference, where Burberry employees from across both North and South America gathered. Since Burberry has such a rich history and brand identity I suggested doing something a little different for this live-sketching event. Instead of full custom illustrations of each Burberry employee in the party outfits they were wearing as I normally do, I pre-draw fashion illustration bodies of Burberry beauties and beau's in the classic Burberry trench coat. They loved the idea and its exactly what I did!
I pre-drew a man and woman, both headless, and we pre-printed the illustration bodies on paper ready for their customized heads. Since all the party guests were proud Burberry employees and it was the culmination party of their conference, they were all ecstatic to have themselves drawn in a traditional Burberry trench! I have to say it was some of the warmest responses I've had at a private party in a while. Hugs, kisses, and tons of insta-love followed each semi-custom illustration!

I've only done this pre-printed body concept once before, for Viktor & Rolf where I illustrated four different couture looks from their collection and customized party guests heads atop them. Since I can spend time perfecting the illustration before hand, and not under the time crunch of party sketching it has such a nice outcome. And as I said, the guests and clients love it!

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Party Sketching for Gotham Magazine & Lands' End

Tonight I'm heading downtown to live-sketching custom fashion illustrations for Gotham Magazine and Lands' End at their new pop-up shop in Soho. I'll be sketching, while you can be shopping in support of a great cause, raising awareness for breast cancer. Guests will enjoy 15% off all purchases, free monogramming (as shown on my fabulous new classic tote pictured above,) cocktails and custom sketches of themselves! Speaking of the image above, If you follow me on social media you may have noticed I'm a little obsessed with drawing these tiny silhouette people. You can watch a video of this one being drawn over on my Instagram this morning. 
Back to business though, last week I got a sneak peek of the Lands' End pop-up and all the plans for the evening and I can confidently say this is going to be a fun event! I'm also pretty excited to sport my new head-to-toe Lands' End ensemble. (Confession: I've already been rocking the coat since it arrived early last week!)

November 1st, 6-8 PM

Lands End Pop-Up Shop
580 Broadway 
New York, NY

I hope to see and sketch some of you there. (And for you New Englanders, I'll be live-sketching again in Boston tomorrow.) 

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Brooks Brothers Boston Event

I'm so excited to be heading up to Boston again for the second year to live-sketch Brooks Brothers annual BCRF soirée. This time around I was asked to illustrate not one but two Brooks Brothers inspired fashion illustrations as the perfect preppy pair to adorn the invitation (shown above.) Guests will receive 15% off and proceeds will be donated to BCRF for Breast Cancer research.

Wednesday, November 2nd
6-8 PM
Brooks Brothers
46 Newbury Street

It was fun to draw this poised pair with their preppy pops of pink. (Try saying that one ten times fast!) I especially love how the man's suit turned out. I don't draw men too often as I'm quite self critical of how they come out but this one's a keeper.
Hope to see and sketch you there, but even if you can't make it be sure and follow along on Snapchat (@brooklit) and Insta-stories because as usual, I'll be sharing sketches in progress from the fabulous fête!

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Clinique Sketching Event at Bloomingdales

I'm live-sketching custom fashion illustrations today for Glamour Magazine and Clinique, again in celebration of the launch of their new Pop Matte lipsticks. Each customers custom illustration will be sketched in black this time and the only color will be on the pop of color in the lips. Appointments are encouraged but not a must so you can pop by at anytime but I suggest to come on the earlier side if you 100% want a custom sketch.

Wednesday, October 19th
59th Street on 1
1000 Third Avenue
RSVP: 212-705-2879

I've also sketched a special gift for customers who can't get their custom sketch drawn. Customers will receive a set of notecards featuring a few different sketches selected by the Glamour x Clinique team, one of which is shown above on this invite. 

Hope to see and sketch you there! But if you can't make it be sure to follow along on my Insta-story and Snapchat (@brooklit) to see sketches and behind the scenes from the event. 

Frida Phone Case | Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October is here, which means its Breast Cancer Awareness month and I'm so happy to share that the newest phone case in my collection, Frida was chosen for Casetify's Pink it Forward sale with 30% of proceeds benefitting the Susan G. Komen Foundation. The phone case is available for all iPhone models and with free worldwide shipping.
This fashion illustration is one of my recent favorites, and has been hanging in my studio since painting it last year but I only just scanned it and added to the shop last week! The flower crown braided beauty was inspired by Naeem Khan's Frida Kahlo inspired bridal collection which debuted this very week one year ago at Bridal Fashion Week. I'm looking forward to seeing if this season's collection is as artistically inspired.

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Custom Sketch for Heather & Terry Dubrow's Book

Being a fan of nearly all things Bravo I was excited to be asked to illustrate Heather and Terry Dubrow for their book Dr. & Mrs. Guinea Pig Present The Only Guide You'll Ever Need to the Best Anit-Aging Treatments. I previously worked closely with the publisher on a fashion illustration style guide for another book so when the idea of doing an illustration in the Dubrows came up they thought of me. When I initially sent the sketch Heather and Terry loved it and almost immediately Instagrammed it, (they asked permission first) which was wonderful! But it was still not 100% the illustration would make it into the book. Months later I was backstage at Watch What Happens Live with my cousin who was a guest on the show, when Andy Cohen mentioned the following nights guest would be Terry Dubrow. I went home and emailed the publisher to see if my sketch made it in after all. It had been months and I had forgotten about it, but to my delight she told me it was! They used it as the image on the books title page.
They kindly sent me an advance copy and we even attempted to meet up when they were in New York on their book tour but couldn't get it to work out with their crazy schedule and being crazed with New York fashion week events. The Dubrow's book is insightful and fun and I'm thrilled to have my artwork in it. (Fun fact for you: its actually my 18th book! Which happens to be a very lucky number in my religion. Too bad for me, this one was without royalties. Ha.)

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You're Invited: Sketching Clinique Mix and Matte Event with Saks and Glamour

Today I will be live-sketching custom fashion illustrations for Clinique. This is now my third consecutive year working with Clinique on their fall beauty events! This year we've teamed up with Glamour magazine and will be doing something slightly different to coincide with the launch of their new Pop Matte lipstick. Each customers custom illustration will be sketched in black and the only color will be on the lips, as I did with the illustration on the invitation shown above. I also drew a digital example on the plane last night (with Apple Pencil and iPad) which you can watch an actual sketch-in-progress video of on my Instagram today, here. The custom sketches at the event will be drawn with real art supplies on paper so guests can take them home, but its fun to see the whole sketch take shape from beginning to end. Appointments are encouraged but not required so you can pop by at anytime, but from experience of years past I suggest you come on the early side if you want to be sketched, as the last hour tends to be busiest.

Thursday, Sept. 22nd
Saks 5th Avenue, Clinique Counter
5th & 50th Street New York, NY 
RSVP: 212-940-2034

I do apologize for the short notice! It's been a crazy week with multiple sketching jobs in multiple cities. But if you can't make this one there will be two more similar Clinique events coming up as well, one of which will also be in NYC and the other as of now is Connecticut I believe. I've also sketched a special gift for customers who can't get their custom sketch drawn! I'll share what that is on my social media at the event! 

Hope to see and sketch you there! And if you can't make it be sure to follow along on my Insta-story and Snapchat (@brooklit) to see sketches and behind the scenes from the event. 

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Custom iPad Illustrations | Macys Front Row NYFW

I kicked off this New York Fashion Week by live-sketching Macy's Front Row party for the second consecutive year. This season however I used an Apple Pencil and iPad to draw custom fashion illustrations of party guests. Digital sketching is quite different from my traditional live-sketching with my actual art supplies on paper. I have to admit its a lot more challenging especially when trying to complete each sketch quickly and not make the illustrations not look too cartoony. The guests (and clients) loved them though and it certainly makes posting to social media quick and easy since digital files of the completed sketches are sent instantly.

Macy's upped the entertainment wow factor this year with surprise guest performances by Spinderella and Salt-n-Pepa! Sketching party go-ers while these women rocked the stage was incredible, and certainly took me back. (Salt-n-Pepa's Let's Talk About Sex was actually one of my very first CDs!) Their performance, along with spotting fashion icon Betsy Johnson, who I snapped a quick pic of and had to draw (shown above, bottom left) and meeting and drawing loads lovely guests, some of which were even sketched by me last year and came to find me again, made for a fun night and great start to my fashion week. You can check out Macy's Front Row fashion show which airs tonight at 8pm on E!

New Illustrated Books | Chloe by Design Vol.3

This past Labor Day weekend marked another "published day" for me with the release of the third volume in the young adult series Chloe by Design, Measuring Up! In this volume Chloe is visiting and applying to colleges and with that comes portfolio prep and college application art tests. My illustrations throughout this young adult series represent the main character Chloe's sketches. Being I myself was a fashion design student, having applied and attended New York's Fashion Institute of Technology, I also consulted on the story outline in the development phase of these books, speaking with the writer Margaret Gurevich, as well as the editor and publishers about my application experiences, art tests and the overall college search for a young student interested in fashion design. I even tutored high school students and helped them prepare their portfolios and fashion art tests for college applications and interviews before I became a full time fashion illustrator!
Chloe by Design Measuring Up is the "bind up" book, as the publisher calls it,  containing four books of volume three of the series. But as with the previous volumes the publisher has also printed four smaller books for the school library market. Books 9-12 of the Chloe by Design series are: Back to Basics, Made to Measure, All or Nothing and The Final Cut. I have to admit its exciting to have the books come out and see my sketches on multiple covers. The cute curly haired girl in the yellow jumpsuit on the cover of Made to Measure (shown above) and the redheaded sassy girl in a floral body con dress on the cover of The Final Cut are my two favorite cover girls.  
In this third volume of the series I incorporated many ethnicities as well as tried to illustrate many different fabrications, patterns, and design styles. Another fun fact and personal twist is since the author follows me on Instagram and has has seen the "visual packing lists" I often draw for myself when I travel she incorporated them into the books and made Chloe do the same thing! The image below is one of Chloe's casual-chic "airport looks." 
Volume 3 was released about 10 days ago and I've already heard glowing feedback from avid Chloe by Design readers in person and through my social media platforms! It's truly so touching to have my work resonate with young girls and feel their enthusiasm for this series I've spent so much time sketching. As of now I'm told this is the final volume, but you never know. As I've been told that before! 

Since the bind up and library market books can be very confusing I'm listing the books here clearly for you with links to Amazon to purchase. First up are the bigger hardcover "bind up" books of the three Chloe by Design volumes: 

Volume 1 - Making the Cut
Volume 2 - Balancing Act
Volume 3 - Measuring Up

Here are the smaller hardcover "library edition" books: 

Book 1 - Design Diva
Book 2 - The First Cut
Book 3 - Unraveling
Book 5 - Intern Ambition 
Book 7 - Runway Rundown
Book 9 - Back to Basics
Book 10 - Made to Measure
Book 11 - All or Nothing
Book 12 - The Final Cut

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Olympic Team USA Designs by Ralph Lauren | Rio

Ralph Lauren, the quintessential all-American design king has once again designed team USA's opening and closing ceremony looks for the Olympics and with the closing ceremony taking place later today what better time to feature sketches from the Ralph Lauren team of what we can expect to see the athletes wearing. If you've been reading Fabulous Doodles a while you know I'm a huge fan of Ralph Lauren fashion illustrations, and have featured them numerous times. The Olympic illustrations, especially the men shown here, are drawn strong and statuesque with beautiful movement and life to sketches. The color rendering is super saturated, almost like a digital illustration but I'm pretty sure they were illustrated traditionally on paper, as is standard procedure for the house of RL. I love the simplified stylized shadows throughout the skin and garments and am impressed with how many details are in each sketch, down to the intricate design of the boatshoes, the braided bracelets and tiny logos throughout the garments. All without making the illustrations appear overworked or fussy.
Shown above are the sketches from the opening night ceremony. Again showing only the men for two reasons; as odd as it is they resonate more with me than the women's this time around. And since this year they styled the men and women in identical uniforms, as opposed to years past where the women have had more feminine looks with skirts and dresses, you're not missing any opposing or complimentary designs. Its rare that I share male illustrations here but these are so well done I couldn't resist. I'll certainly be using these beautiful renderings for future reference for my own male illustrations, which I have to admit I find challenging.

I'm looking forward to tuning in tonight for the Rio Olympics closing ceremonies to see these sketches truly come to life on the athletes of team USA!

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Party Sketching for Brooks Brothers

Recently I sketched another Brooks Brothers event, this time live-sketching custom fashion illustrations of party guests at their Madison Avenue flagship here in New York. The event was a charity cocktail shopping party, and custom illustrations were given to guests as gifts with purchase. A few of the woman at the event were so excited about their new Brooks Brothers x Zac Posen designed buys that they chose to be drawn in them which was a unique aspect to this event. Some women even went back to the fitting rooms to model their new frocks for me to sketch! 
It was a really fun night working with the Brooks Brothers team again live-sketching, mingling with wonderful women, raising money for those in need. 

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Custom Sketching for Harry Winston

Last week I flew down to Miami to live sketch custom fashion illustrations at a private party for Harry Winston. The intimate affair was held in their new boutique in Miami's Design District. I live-sketched guests who upon entering were draped in diamonds from the House of Harry Winston's new Sparkling Cluster collection.
In addition to drawing custom fashion illustrations the team from Harry Winston asked if I could pre-sketch an organic champagne bubble design beforehand to be pre-printed on the paper along with their embossed logo (shown above left). They also sent the Glamsquad to my hotel for party primping! I travel often for work events and it was such a treat to have my hair and makeup done right in my room (above middle photo) instead of trekking to a salon. Traveling to Miami for this fancy fete was wonderful and I'm honored to have been a part of it and work with such an iconic brand.

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Brooklit x Burberry | Custom Notecards

Last week I worked with Burberry again, this time at their flagship Manhattan store. It was a unique job, and a slight departure from my typical custom fashion illustrations I often do at client events. I was asked to do calligraphy, writing personalized notecards as a gift with purchase. It was Mother's Day weekend and Burberry hosted their VIP clients, so needless to say most of the sales were gifts for moms and customers were excited to be offered this special extra touch.
Between clients I painted little fashion silhouettes (as I often do! Tiny doodles like these have been adorning my notebooks for ages) using white calligraphy ink atop textured tan and gold embossed Burberry notecards (shown below.) After spotting them on my desk a few customers asked if I could add one to their cards as well, which I was happy to do.
It was a fun two days working with Burberry again. As a life-long artist and eternal art student I truly love using my hands and continually experimenting with different mediums. And of corse its even better when I get to do it with such a renowned luxury brand as Burberry!

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Dove Love Your Hair Sketching Event

Dove is a brand I've proudly used for as long as I can remember so I was excited when they asked me to live-sketch their Love Your Hair event this week. This event was kicking off their campaign to empower women to love their hair so I decided for very first time at a live-sketching event to wear my natural curls! This may not seam like a big deal but I was genuinely nervous about it and its turns out I'm not the only one who has been conditioned to feel this way about their hair. At the event there was a discussion panel of influencers and every single woman spoke about the pressure to straighten, smooth, cut or tame her hair to be "professional" or socially acceptable. After listening to the discussion, which immediately put me at ease with my choice to go naturally curly, the panels lone male influencer celebrity hairstylist Mark Townsend came right up to me to say he was eyeing my gorgeous curls throughout the whole talk and had to know how I achieved them! I know Dove is all about making a woman feel good in their own skin but this was crazy, I was on cloud nine.
Since the event was about loving your hair the team at Dove asked me for sketch concepts that truly focused on hair. I presented a few ideas and the one we agreed upon was to color and finish the hair in the illustration only. I still drew full fashion illustrations of each guests look for the day but only in pencil, then rendered the hair and only the hair in color. Another unique element to this event and these custom illustrations was that I also included the New York skyline as a background to reflect the event which was in the penthouse suite atop Nomo Soho with sweeping views of the city. To make the illustrations consistent, and in the interest of saving time, as I have to move very quickly when live-sketching parties, I printed and cut-out the skyline and made myself a stencil (shown above with the actual city skyline behind it.) Once I finished each fashion illustration I placed the stencil over it and added a contour of the skyline. The sketches came out great and both the guests and the Dove team were thrilled with them. Everyone loved not only their hair, but their hair sketches as well!  

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Sketching for Jonathan Adler x Fisher Price

Last week I had the pleasure of spending my day custom sketching for Jonathan Adler and Fisher Price at New York's Museum of Arts and Design for a press preview event debuting their exciting collaboration of high contrast, high style baby gear. Since the collection is graphic and bold they requested I paint simplified monocromatic profile portraits. It was slightly different from my typical fashion illustration sketching event but it was success and everyone seemed to truly love their custom illustrations.
It was great to spend one on one time chatting with and sketching Jonathan. I've actually been a fan of his work since he opened his very first shop down in Soho in 1998. My dad is a potter so I grew up around potters wheels, kilns, and a house full to the brim of handmade pottery. I've also been collecting Jonathan's pieces for years and have loved seeing him grow the company to include all forms of home decor, furniture, lighting, fashion accessories and now baby gear (not that I have a use for this one just yet!) 

Spending the day illustrating atop a museum I've frequented for years was also pretty incredible. If only my studio desk had views like this! And although I realize its a stretch I'm thinking now I can say that like my cousin, renowned sculptress Louise Nevelson, maybe I could say my work has been in MAD!? All kidding aside though it was a great event to live-sketch and the collection (which I can't share photo's of just yet) is stunning. One of the editors I sketched said the Jonathan Adler x Fisher Price collab is going to be true a game changer within the baby market. 

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New Etsy Fashion Illustrations

I've finally added new fashion illustration prints to my Brooklit Etsy shop and I'm excited to share them all! Although I'm constantly illustrating and creating new work for clients, Casetify and Instagram I honestly can't remember the last time I posted new prints to Etsy. These new prints are groups of three girls, like mini fashion collections. I'm really happy with them and hope my customers so as well. The first new print (shown above) is three designs inspired by Rachel Zoe. Originally there were five illustrations in this group but I played around in photoshop and edited it down to three. Of all the new prints this is my favorite, as its the most my style fashion wise. I also love the stylized nature of the illustration not being too detailed in the faces and elongated bodies.
Next up is Lady Gaga in a white Brandon Maxwell jumpsuit at this years Oscars. As anyone who follows me on social media knows I often live sketch award show red carpet looks to share my favorite fashion of the night. Gaga outdid herself with this look and I think I captured the moment and look well. Its a fairly simple but strong sketch since the look was elegant and not overly embellished. I primarily used marker and pen with a few touches of white gouache to highlight the hair and earrings. I made a print of her solo, as originally drawn, then also grouped Gaga together with two other sketches of favorite looks from the night, Priyanka Chopra in Zuhair Murad and Olivia Wilde in Valentino couture. The sketches of Priyanka and Olivia are a little less polished and more stylized with unfinished faces, but I think the grouping works well and it makes a strong print.
And lastly I have three lovely ladies inspired by Giambattista Valli couture (shown below.) This collection, and the styling of this collection with oversized bow headbands and dramatic swiss dot veils was a fashion illustration dream. The looks were so beautifully embellished, girly and simply couture at its best. They're also a wonderful color palette with tiny floral details in pale pink and peach with pops of black.
My goal is to revamp the contents of both my shops Brooklit and Brooklit Bride over the next month or two starting with these four new prints.

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Inspired Weekend: Spring

Yesterday was the first official day of spring and although it was actually snowing here in NYC I had quite the spring inspired weekend. So much so I thought I'd write a new "Inspired Weekend" post, which I haven't done in ages!

1. Flower crowns have been on my mind the past few since live-sketching a Beverly Hills party where half the girls I drew were wearing them from the on-site florist. They were so pretty and really added to the illustrations and when I returned home I found myself drawing them over and over again. 

2. Saturday afternoon I celebrated my friend Joanna's birthday. Each guest was asked to bring a bouquet or two of blooms for a flower arranging party. To my surprise not only did we learn how to arrange flowers in antique teacups but we also learned to make our own flower crowns! I rarely post selfies but I couldn't resist once I had mine on! 

3. Last week Woops bakery reached out to me to share that in addition to being the first day of spring, Sunday was National Macaron Day and they wanted to print a box of custom macarons for me. I immediately thought portraits of some of my flower crown girls could be adorable on a set of french macarons. They came out even better than expected, tasted delish and although I wasn't sure at first, I ended up loving the sketch assortment I sent them of portraits from previous instagrams and client projects. (Modified this Dreamdry x Teen Vogue sketch with a flower crown, a Viktor and Rolf bowed beauty, and two Naeem Kahn/Frida Khalo inspired illustrations.) 

4. Last but not least, I finally added a bevy of new beauties to my long neglected Etsy shops! Even though I sketch new work constantly it had been forever since I added new prints to the shops. I decided to list some new prints with groups of three looks, like these pink, black and white embellished designs inspired by Giambattista Valli Couture.

Honest x Ladurée | Apple Pencil Party Sketching

Last week I flew back early from LA to join Jessica Alba and live-sketch custom fashion illustrations at her intimate affair for "Honest in Paris" at Ladurée Soho. The event was for select journalists and bloggers to give them a sneak peek at Honest's new Parisian themed products. It was my very first time drawing on an iPad Pro and trying out the new Apple pencil. I was quite nervous about it so I arrived an hour early in the hopes of getting some practice in and getting a feel for the program but the new iPad wouldn't acknowledge the new pencil! I ran to Apple and they got it working but it didn't leave me much time to get back and experiment before the doors opened. Jessica was my first sketch of the day (shown below) but in all honesty here, it took two tries before I felt I could share it with her!
Beautiful pastries and petals filled the party and both the clients and guests were trilled with their custom illustrations but being my own worst critic I do wish I had the opportunity to practice using the Apple pencil beforehand so my digital sketches were on par with my traditional pencil-to-paper fashion illustrations. If clients are going to insist on digital sketches I think its time I bit the bullet and invested in a tablet and stylus but now the question is Apple or Samsung? I'd love to hear opinions from those of you who have used them for creative work. Have you been able to achieve the same effects as with actual art tools and which brands and programs have you used?

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