Artist profile: Fashion illustrator Malia Carter

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From the July 10, 2014 edition

Malia Carter may have switched from fashion design to graphic design while at CCAD, but her passion for fashion has still led to success. Carter’s watercolor-enhanced fashion illustrations have appeared in national magazines, and are a significant component of Stephanie Simons’ debut book “All’s Fair in Love and Wardrobe: A Fashion Editor's Rules on Shopping for Love,” which hits shelves July 15.

“Everything that I’ve illustrated has happened through social media. I would paint bloggers that I admired and followed just to connect with them … It was just painting them, uploading and tagging the blogger in Instagram,” Carter said during an interview at her home studio. “[Simons] found my illustrations through Pinterest and … told me she would love to have me illustrate for her book.”

Carter said she formed an immediate bond with Simons because she’s “got that personality that grabs you right away. You can just relate to her.”

The illustrations Carter did for “All’s Fair in Love and Wardrobe” are mainly celebrities and the garments and clothing the author is discussing. Carter said the original plan was to create around 30 illustrations, but by the end of the six-month process she had more than 100 that appear in the book.

“I love watercolors because you’re able to quickly create something and you don’t have to go back. Something I’ve been [adding] lately is scanning my own fabrics and collaging that into the illustration, which is also in the book,” Carter said.

Carter will continue working with Simons for her second book, “Chic-tionary: The Little Book of Fashion Faux-cabulary” with 75 more illustrations she’s created. “Chictionary” will be released this October. The pair’s currently creating a line of greeting cards, too.

“It’s going to be a fashion guide from A to Z,” Carter said. “It’ll have all the dictionary terms that relate to fashion and the same style of writing. It’s another hilarious book.”

A launch party for “All’s Fair in Love and Wardrobe” will be held from 6-10 p.m. during the Aug. 2 Gallery Hop. Carter’s illustrations can be found at her blog Deep Fried Freckles.

Photo by Maddie McGarvey