Fashion Illustration as a genre of the arts, is beginning to flourish on the African continent. Gone are the days when it was seen as the exclusive preserve of your local tailor. As the fashion scene in Lagos, Accra, Cape Town and Nairobi have garnered global attention, so has the need for illustrators to interpret designs into works of art which not only communicate ideas along the manufacturing supply chain but also inspire a connection with the end customer.
There is still however, a lack of cohesion and community among the widely dispersed creatives who contribute to the illustration landscape on the African continent and beyond. This is a disadvantage not only for the artists themselves but also for the industry as a whole.
Fashion illustrators of African descent working on the continent and in diaspora are currently underpaid and as a result do not upskill as there is no financial incentive to do so. This creates a skill gap, or usually a proliferation of self taught artists who struggle to make a living out of their craft.
Fashion Illustration Africa (FIA) is a platform created to showcase African illustration talent and their contributions to the fashion industry. It is a tool for empowering creatives within the illustration sector through education, interaction and community-building. FIA will ensure connectivity between illustration and other parts of the fashion industry such as design, manufacturing and branding.
As the main focus is connecting sectors in the fashion industry with illustration, FIA will create opportunities for African illustrators to upskill and grow in their craft, empowering individual illustrators so they can have access to the best training and also foster community among the widely dispersed illustrators of African descent who currently have no platform for interaction.
Follow FIA on Instagram to get first hand access to all the opportunities, awards and competitions!