I am fascinated by clothes and fashion. The choices we make each morning when putting on an outfit to walk out the door reflect who we are, our personality, our mood, even our hope for the day ahead of us.
That first day at a new job when you want to put your best foot forward so you wear your most professional and capable outfit, the anticipation of a date and your hopes and dreams while you choose what to wear, getting ready for your big day and picking the perfect wedding dress as a reflection of who you are, and even the day-to-day clothes we wear when we think we're just gonna 'throw something on' to run an errand. From big life moments to daily routines, what we wear every day tells the story of how we feel about ourselves and how we see the world.
I love telling these stories with my illustrations! And this month I am kicking off a new project to help me do just that: '52 Live Fashion Stories'.
For the next year I will be illustrating one live fashion event each and every week. Some will be formal fashion events, and some will pretty casual, like sketching at the beach or in a coffee shop. And each week I want to capture real, in-the-moment experiences and emotions of the people I paint, their fashion choices and self-expression, their unique stories.
For the past five years, I have been sketching and painting fashion illustrations and portraits inspired mostly by two-dimensional images. I experimented with illustrating live a few times recently, and I found it to be so exciting! It gave me those stomach butterflies that I just know I have to follow. It's exhilarating!
It's also pretty unnerving. At this point, I’m most comfortable painting from still images, so it's scary to me to open up the imperfect side of my work and to take risks by moving into uncharted territory. I am uncertain. I am unsure. What if I suck? What if I fall flat on my face? What if I never become as good as I hope to be?
But then I think of what I heard Cheryl Strayed say on The Tim Ferris Show: 'Today I am surrendering to uncertainty'. And so I choose to surrender. I choose to let go of self-judgment and take the plunge into a new adventure, despite fear, despite uncertainty. To follow a new growth path despite not knowing where it leads. I choose to value my intentions more than the outcome. To just show up and do. To put paint to paper and simply enjoy the process.
Which, incidentally, also frees me up to have more fun along the way :-) And that's is exactly what happened today for my first live illustration week to kick off my exciting little project. My friend Natalie and I spent some time at one of the coolest gems in Pasadena, Jones Coffee Shop. We had a great time catching up, I did some warm-up painting, and then I finally mustered up the courage to ask a perfect stranger with a fun and colorful coat if I can sketch her portrait.
As it turned out, the person I asked was none other than Mireya, one of the coffee shop owners, who is a big supporter of the arts, and who gave me a very warm welcome to Jones. She wore her colorful coat today, on an unseasonably cold and rainy LA day, to stand out in a crowd so her husband could find her easily.
I feel like my first week of the project was a success: I showed up. And it was so fun to get to know Mireya and the coffee shop! All simply because I took that first step to surrender.
I'm Cristina Tudor, a Beverly Hills fashion illustrator. I paint live illustrations at fashion, retail, entertainment, bridal and lifestyle events for clients such as David Yurman x Galia Lahav, Badgley Mischka, Bloomingdale's, Warner Bros. Studios, Diptyque Paris, Ted Baker London, Eric Buterbaugh x Beverly Hills EB Florals, and Survey Monkey, among others.
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