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Written by - Bluebella
Although London Fashion Week is planning on going ahead this September the programming has mostly shifted to digital showings, with over 50% of the participants this year working solely on digital platforms. This couldn’t be more different to Fashion Weeks of the past, when the capital was full of shows, designers, and those all-important influencers working their street style outside of the venues.

We wanted to mark this hugely important week in the Fashion calendar in our own socially-distant yet very Bluebella way…and who better to walk our runway than our lockdown superstars, Blue and Bella?

Blue and Bella, our cut-out-and-keep paper dolls, first came on the scene during lockdown way back in April. With their super chic lingerie outfits they were part of our #littlelifts project, helping to pass the time and bring some creativity into everyday lives narrowed by lockdown restrictions. Created by the one and only Bok Goodall, these gorgeous girls are now being brought to life to strut their stuff down the catwalk. So what are you waiting for? Pop that prosecco and take your front row seat for London Fashion Week’s hottest animated catwalk!

We’ve worked with Bok a lot, and not just on lockdown projects – if you follow us on social media you’ll have seen her wonderful images on the Bluebella Christmas card and our celebration of Pride 2020, not to mention all the dreamy product sketches that grace our Insta feed! We took the opportunity to catch up with Bok, talking about everything from what inspires her illustrations to the crucial role her dog plays in keeping her creativity flowing!

Bluebella: Hey Bok! Tell us a bit about how you got into the wonderful world of illustration!

Bok: I’ve always drawn, and I’ve always worked in fashion – design, sales, marketing, a bit of everything really! I’ve spent the last twenty years working specifically in the lingerie industry, mainly doing design and development. Illustration is something I have always done and I’ve been fortunate enough to work with some amazing brands and great publications. Illustration isn’t something I’ve really pushed - I’ve been lucky enough that people have seen my work and asked me to do something for them.

Bluebella: What is it about fashion that you enjoy as an illustrator?

Bok: I love fashion! I love colour (despite always wearing only black myself! I’m stuck in time warp I think!) and I love how possible everything is with fashion. I don’t get much time to draw for the sake of it, but if I ever do, it’s lots of splodgy watercolour and ink in lots of colour! I’ve always worked in fashion and been surrounded by it, so it feels comfortable to look at all types of fashion. Fashion is my happy place.

Bluebella: Where, who or what do you draw your inspiration from?

Bok: Sorry to be so obvious, but everywhere! I often see people on TV and in my head see them as an illustration! If I’m doing work for a brand the inspiration comes from the product. When I work for Bluebella I feel like I know and love the brand so I already have a feeling for who the ‘Bluebella girl’ is and I work with that as inspiration.

Bluebella: How long does it take you to complete an illustration? Talk us through the drawing process from first idea to finished piece.

Bok: It totally depends on what I’m doing. The illustrations I’m working on for Bluebella at the moment for the animated catwalk are all done on the computer, which usually takes me longer than a watercolour illustration for example. Sometimes one illustration could take me a whole day because I keep going back to it, and sometimes I could get ten done in a day – it totally depends on what it is. I don’t illustrate realistically, everything is a little exaggerated and loose so I have a bit more freedom than if I was trying to recreate something realistic which would take me days probably!

Bluebella: Have you worked on animated projects before? How is it different to static illustration?

Bok: I’ve done a couple of things for Bluebella that have then been animated – cut out dollies and Pride banners, but it’s not something I do often. The main difference is producing multiple poses of the same girl in the same garment so that animation is able to be created. So it’s quite a time consuming process to create something for even a very short animation.

Bluebella: Do you listen to music whilst you work? What is your illustration playlist?

Bok: So, I don’t actually listen to music when I’m trying to concentrate on anything, because I find myself concentrating on the music more than what I’m doing and singing along (I’m sure to the dismay of anyone who happens to near!) and an hour has passed without me doing anything! I do listen to podcasts though – anything true crime or drag queen related usually does the trick for me!

Bluebella: Do you ever get creative block? What do you find helps reignite your creativity?

Bok: Often. There’s nothing harder than trying to start an illustration – staring at a blank piece of paper or computer screen is daunting sometimes. I usually leave it and come back to it or draw something else to try and get going – I’ve got so many paintings and drawings of my dog that I’ve started because I couldn’t get going on what I was supposed to be doing! I am usually on a dead line for work, so even if it’s difficult to get started I have to push through it and start something or I’d never meet the deadline. I do a lot of late nights!
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