Aesthetics, Design, and Product Development

Illustrating Learning While Mentoring Teaching



Many universities offer design courses in illustration, fashion sketching or portfolio development, while some programs even establish a portfolio review as a screening to enter the degree area. An essential component of information transfer, designers communicate mood, detail and design aesthetic through their illustrations. Although fashion illustrators rarely find careers exclusive to drawing, illustrative skill is consistently required by fashion industry firms, and commonly used as a measurement for design ability and job readiness. Yang (2010) asserts that fashion industry professionals, when surveyed, viewed illustration skills as strongly needed by fashion design graduates (M = 3.95, SD = .95 on a 5.0 scale). Additionally, technical drawing skills were equally critical (M = 4.34, SD = .86). In design programs, students vary in their degree of expertise. Over years of teaching, artistically talented students appear and integrate through fashion design programs. For most students, illustration is a skill that begins with basic drawing skills that are more highly developed and practiced, until renderings become very realistic and representative of the actual design and fabrication. For some students, natural talent plays a part in skill development, and instruction simply includes exposure to new techniques and practices. For others, skill development begins at the most fundamental level of shape and line quality.

Keywords: illustration, practices, curriculum, teaching

How to Cite: Dragoo, S. L. (2012) “Illustrating Learning While Mentoring Teaching”, International Textile and Apparel Association Annual Conference Proceedings. 69(1). doi: