PERUVIAN FASHION STYLIST and illustrator
Gerardo Larrea of The
Illustrator Files caught our eye with his whimsical drawings
of the latest fashion trends and collections.
His passion for art started young. As a child, his parents
would provide him with colored pencils and paper to colour at family
gatherings to keep him from getting bored. The result: Gerardo sketched
everything he saw and eventual enrolled in art classes such as drawing,
portraits, human figures and painting courses at school. At university,
he studied graphic design and put illustration on the back-burner
to launch a clothing line with an associate, a collaboration which
led to their creation of a styling team, Larrea
+ ChoyKay. Larrea has been working with his associate for the
past 10 years under the company, but when asked to illustrate fall
and winter 2011 collections, Gerardo realized his love for drawing
had been awakened.
What led to the start of your blog, The Illustrator Files?
In 2000, I started to illustrate again. My style was not very defined
but I was published in local magazines and worked with some clients.
I then set the illustrating aside, waiting for the right time as
I think I needed to mature a bit. A few months [later,] an associate
who has a fashion blog asked if I was interested in illustrating
the fallwinter 2011 collections and I said yes. I created
five illustrations and really loved how they turned out! I had never
tried to represent real collections before and while I found recreating
some textures and fabrics difficult, I enjoyed doing it.
At that point, I decided it was time to illustrate again
but with a more defined and mature style. Knowing that I really
enjoyed representing designer looks through illustration, I started
The Illustrator Files. I have had the files for some months
now and am very happy with the reception from inside and outside
of my country.
How would you describe your style of illustration?
I would describe my style as fun, colourful and sometimes a little
sarcastic. If I had to use one word, I would say dynamic.
I like to play with colour, using a graphic style with thick liner,
flat colours, and to just give detail or texture to some of the
fabrics. My characters features have a special shape of eyes,
nose, and hair. I like for them to always have a twinkle in the
eye, be very stylized and to interact with each other.
What is your creative process?
The idea of each illustration comes from a different inspiration,
sometimes from a song, a particular situation, something that crosses
my mind and sometimes the collection itself. I usually write ideas
in a notebook and then develop those ideas. But before that, I research
the collections, review the photos and look at the details of the
looks. Sometimes I spend hours deciding which look to choose. Of
course, these are my personal views but I try to respect and reinterpret
as closely as possible of what the designer has presented in the
I make the first stroke when I have a definite idea
in my head and improve on the illustration while working on it.
I find all the details such as the shoes, purses, and type of make-up
and hair to be important and am careful to keep those details.
How are you able to balance your styling work with time to illustrate?
Well, I wish I had more time to devote to both equally. Sometimes
I have to find the time to illustrate! The good thing is that both
my professions have to do with fashion. I do not like routine and
want to vary each day. I once read something that I always try to
apply to my life: Life is too short to live for two days the
Are you going to add more drawings of the menswear collections
to your blog?
Yes! I love to illustrate menswear! I like to illustrate both men
and women. I began the blog with the spring summer 2011 womenswear
collections and then decided to add some men. Right now, Im
preparing illustrations of the spring summer 2012 menswear collections
from Paris and Milan. Im developing sets of three or four
characters wearing different designers.
I also recently illustrated some of the beauty looks
from the mens Paris shows for my friend and renowned make-up
artist Sergio Corvacho, who does special grooming reports for a
blog in México.
What is next for Gerardo Larrea in 2011?
I have several projects that Id like to do but the immediate
one is to illustrate the mens springsummer 2012 collections
from Milan and Paris, and then the womens fallwinter
2012. I am selecting designers and looks to illustrate. I am also
working with a local magazine to illustrate their fashion section.
The interesting part of this is that the section is on the history
of fashion and my next project will be Queen Elizabeth, so I cant
wait to begin that one! I have several projects in my country but
I would like to start doing illustrations for other countries and
international magazines. In 2012, I would love to have an exhibition
of my work!