With technology advancing by the minute, many have chosen to follow trending moves in order to survive. In a society that lives on instant gratification, and were image is everything. Where we want our subscriptions by the minute on our computers and our clothes to be delivered overnight. It’s no wonder why many fail, and very few succeed. In a world where a company’s image is everything, how do you keep one’s eye from wondering to the next page? Well, here’s what you do. You enlist the likes of IllustratorRichard Haines is what you do.

Why Richard and why illustration when photography has been the mainstream medium for images, well, illustration possesses a much stronger hold and connection directly from the product to the buyers. Haines holds a strong power in his illustration that many houses want a part of. His illustrations have been featured inside numerous stores, magazines, and 100’s of blogs always gaining viewership which only asks for more; and at the end, isn’t that what every company wants? So let us get the scoop on what’s happening with Richard.

Fabio: Hello Richard , thank you for giving us an opportunity to speak with you today. We look forward to getting to know you, and hope you can educate us on the art of Fashion Illustration. Your illustrations are seen globally in the pages of GQ, J. Crew, Instyle, and you have worked amongst the industry’s most prestigious designers; like Bill Blass and Calvin Klein to name just a few. Many recognize you from your blog “What I Saw Today”. Before we get to the more technical aspects, tell us what exactly does a Fashion Illustrator do; and why did you choose Illustration?

Richard: Hello, and thank you for inviting me! So, to answer your first question, What does a fashion illustrator do – a fashion illustrator conveys a mood, a moment, to the viewer. A fashion illustrator engages with the viewer. We can eliminate some information, and emphasize others, and allow the viewer to choose to add and interpret. I always tell students to edit the information, chose what they want to say about a drawing. It’s very powerful because we determine the information; we determine how people see something.

F: If you weren’t a illustrator, what would you be and why?
R: Hmmm. I guess I’d be designing clothes, which I did for years. I liked that, but not as much as I love drawing.

F: Who or what brought you to the decision of working in the Fashion Industry?
R: I began drawing as soon as I was able to hold a pencil. It came naturally to me. And I loved sketching clothes before I knew what fashion design was, so what I do now is just an evolution of what I did when I was 5!

F: It’s no secret that Illustration and Fashion go hand-in-hand. Was this a natural Move? Or have your illustrations always been Fashion related?

R: I think they have always been fashion related, but what interest me are the people in the clothes. I think that’s why I like living in Brooklyn. There’s a real style here, or many styles, but the personalities are larger than life.

F: Do you have a process when choosing your subjects?
R: Ha, no. It’s totally organic and instinctual. If you look interesting, off beat, a bit messy-not perfect, I’ll probably want to draw you.

F: Technology is ever evolving, do you prefer to remain true to the original plain paper and pencil or have you found a common ground with changing times?

R: I love pencil on paper. There’s nothing more moving and transformational than putting a line on a sheet of paper. But I love technology too. And I love what people are doing with it, but I prefer to incorporate technology as a way of communicating, hence Blogspot, Twitter, Facebook and my new love Instagram.

F: Are there any illustration programs /applications you personally use and recommend?
R: Um, pencil and paper! I just got an iPad and I’m playing with “paper 53″ and I love it. I need to explore the apps more, there’s just never enough time.

F: What’s your funniest fashion moment?
R: Oh gosh I don’t know. They happen all the time. I love fashion week because it’s such a great way to see people and catch up. I love the comradery of it. There’s many lovely, and crazy moments, but funny doesn’t come to mind.

F: What makes you smile?
R: My daughter is very funny. She has my sense of humor, but it’s the 3.0 version-she has perfect delivery and a keen sense of observation. My friends, I have a lot of amazing people in my life. The streets of New York make me smile. The vitality, energy, the electricity in the air…I still adore it after all the years of living here, and of course a good fashion show makes me smile – I get a sense that all is well in the universe, although that can be fleeting!

F: Can you tell us something you’ve never told anyone before?
R: Haha. Are you serious? Er, no. We will have to at least meet for a drink for that to happen!

F: Do you favor any designer(s)? Why?
R: I like different designers for different reasons. I adore what’s being done at Prada. The level of commitment they bring to everything is amazing. I get very excited when I walk in Prada. I was in their shop on Madison Avenue and I walked into a room of about 8 mannequins in these print dresses and platform shoes, it was just heaven. So there’s an example of what makes me smile… and I love comme des garçons, acne, the beautiful Parisian dresses at Lanvin…

F: Pardon our typical interview question, but where do you see yourself within the next 5 to 10 years?
R: Let’s see in 10 years my daughter has graduated from college and is somewhere out in the world in a lovely way, and I’m in some amazing studio filled with light painting portraits a la Lucian Freud.

F: Which project have you favored the most?
R: I’m working on it now and it’s not public yet so I can’t say, but it’s a dream. Hopefully I can reveal it soon!

We wish you nothing but success in all your endeavors. Thank you for taking the time in your schedule to grant us this interview. We are R: Grateful to get to know you more and are honored by your expertise. We look forward to seeing your upcoming work this upcoming 2013 Pitti Oumo season.

Fabio Fernandez
Contributing Editor