With the release of Japanese publication commons&sense issue no.13 just around the corner, we look to offer an exclusive preview to illustrator Tara Dougans’s seven-part animated illustration editorial of Prada’s 2012 fall/winter men’s collection. Originally beginning as a print editorial, Dougan’s added a further element with a series of GIFs. Below the Amsterdam-based artist uncovers her initial involvement, approach to said project and stance on the reemergence of .GIF imagery.
Can you introduce yourself?
My name is Tara Dougans and I’m an Amsterdam-based art director and illustrator.
What’s your creative background?
My background is in digital art direction (fashion) and illustration.
How did you get involved in this project? What was the goal commons&sense man wanted to achieve?
They contacted me out of the blue to work with their womenswear team for an illustration-focused issue in August. Pleased with the result of the first editorial, they contacted me shortly thereafter to collaborate with menswear. They (rightly) felt that Prada F/W 2012 would be well-suited to my style and their only real parameter was that I draw loose inspiration from issue keywords such as aristocrat, portrait, Edwardian, baroque.
How did you approach the project?
Understanding that their approach to fashion is something “…you feel by playing around and around and around…,” it felt like a natural choice to work with the hypnotic quality of the print. The editorial is (literally) a playful spin.
The GIF has reemerged in recent times, how would you define the medium?
The GIF is evolving. With so much “information-per-instance,” it’s a fantastic medium to tell a fast and effective story. It’s so well-suited to fashion because fashion is visual story-telling, and clothing is designed to be seen in movement. I think it’s a natural evolution to start to experiment with what that means within an illustration capacity. Digital is not just a means to present imagery, it’s also a tool that can provide a second layer (and meaning) to the traditional definition of an editorial.