Chic Sketch co-founder and lead illustrator Emily Brickel Edelson spoke with Wheretoget for a tell-all interview! Wheretoget is based in Paris, the fashion capital of the world! They talked about Emily’s inspiration, personal style, morning routine, and more! Continue reading for all the deets!
“Wheretoget isn’t the only forward-thinking company blending fashion and tech: Emily Brickel Edelson is the co-founder of Chic Sketch, an app that mixes art, fashion and technology in a completely innovative way. Stylish users submit photos that are then re-imagined by hand by a professional fashion illustrator. The personalized portraits can be downloaded digitally or printed as a hard copy – you can even have yours made into a phone case. It’s a whole new way to bring your #OOTD to life and add a new dimension to your Insta feed.
Becoming an artist and tech entrepreneur wasn’t always the path Brickel Edelson had in mind: with a BA in Fashion Design from the Fashion Institute of Technology, her drawings began as an integral part of the design process, a way of sketching out ideas for clothes before creating them. But now, she finds herself live-sketching all sorts of events, including the runways of New York Fashion Week and red carpet looks at awards shows. Initially, her custom illustrations were only available to celebrities and VIPs, but after seeing how excited people would get after receiving their sketch, her husband and co-founder, Jordan Edelson, saw the potential in creating the app.
We sat down with Brickel Edelson to talk personal style, entrepreneurship and what the future of fashion and tech might look like.
Wheretoget: Tell us about how you became a fashion illustrator.
Emily Brickel Edelson: I wanted to be a fashion designer! Fashion illustration was something I absolutely loved doing, and [I always] thought I was going to end up creating the garment I just sketched – which I did when I had my clothing line, Rock Hard Atelier. I never thought I could make a career out of illustration alone. Sketching is one of my favorite activities to do and I am so blessed that I can call myself a professional fashion illustrator.
WTG: What are your favorite events to draw, and what have been some of your favorite celebrity red carpet looks you’ve captured?
EBE: I love sketching the VMAs and Grammys because the celebs tend to pull out their more over-the-top looks. This is where you will see Miley Cyrus’ sixteen crazy hosting looks, Beyonce dressed as a golden goddess inspired by a mix of Cher, Byzantine Art, Hindu gods and African Queens. Let’s not forget Rose McGowan’s iconic naked beaded dress in 1998. I love sketching Rhianna. Her style is always so cool and daring, and she manages to pull it off so effortlessly. I especially loved sketching her at the 2015 Met Gala when she wore that massive yellow ball gown. I also love sketching Kim K in just about anything she wears on the red carpet.
WTG: The stereotypical look of an artist and a fashionista are vastly different: so what does a fashion illustrator wear to work?
EBE: When working from home I make breakfast, browse Pinterest, read some inspiring blogs and take time to ease into my day while applying Vichy moisturizer, dressing casually in my favorite sweats. If I’m going to be working from the office I definitely put on a full face of makeup on and get dressed in a business-casual look. If I’m sketching at an event or hosting a Facebook Live session, I really dress up and make sure I am 100% camera-ready. In terms of my personal style, it is very important to look on-trend and professional. I love finding a great items online from retailers such as PrettyLittleThing and ASOS, but I also believe in investing in luxury accessories like a great Chanel bag, [or a pair of] Jimmy Choos. Mixing luxury and fast fashion affords me lots of variety. And, because I am a nail polish fiend and I watch my hands sketch all day long, my nails always have to be colorfully manicured.
WTG: Do you find that fashion is well represented in the tech industry?
EBE: I think that technology insiders understand how big of a player fashion is in the global market, and know that its going to be an even bigger part in the future. Just take a look at how big Amazon fashion has become, and the rise of brick-and-mortar store closings due to increases in online shopping. I love that every day is different and that you really can create your brand in a way that feels genuine and inspired. With social media and other technologies, there are so many opportunities to connect and share art than ever before. I believe that this will only grow more over the next five years. I also think there will be exciting new mediums that we have never been seen before. With that said, fashion and tech go hand-in-hand since technology can really streamline the whole process of fashion from design to new ways of construction and production. Technology also makes it possible [for anybody] to see beautifully styled clothing on [social media] and tap to purchase [those] products in seconds. It’s truly vital that fashion illustration follows suit in making hand-drawn sketches more accessible and capable of being purchased with the a tap of a button. That’s a major part of what Chic Sketch is about.
WTG: How does it feel to be a published author?
I am very proud of my book Sketch and Go – Five Minute Fashion Illustration –
being published is a dream come true for me. I was writing a blog about being a fashion illustrator when a publisher approached me to write a book. This happened around the time when we were launching Chic Sketch digitally, and to develop a book based on the five-minute sketch was a perfect way to tie everything together. However, it was a daunting task realizing that all of the text and sketches had to come solely from me. It took about a year and a half to get published.
WTG: What are some of the downsides to running your own business? How do you beat stress?
EBE: Being an entrepreneur is not for the faint of heart! Only 10% is glamorous. It’s real work. If you do what you love then it makes it much easier. My husband and I work together 24/7 and on some nights are still discussing work at 4am. It’s all worth it when you realize that you are living your dream, inspiring others and reaching the end-goal. To get through the stressful days I try to find time to meditate, work out, do some personal growth work or go out outside for a walk. Being in the moment and just being appreciative of every single thing is really important. It puts the stresses into perspective.
WTG: Advice to women wanting to start their own company?
EBE: I’d say, if you think it’s something you would regret not doing when you’re 80, do it. Just know that it is blood, sweat and tears and wearing way more hats than you thought you could. Follow your heart, keep dreaming big, inspire others and never dim your light just because it’s shining in someone else’s eyes.”
You can read the full article, and shop some of Emily’s hand-picked style faves here: http://wheretoget.it/magazine/the-chicest-sketch-youll-ever-own#slide8