Illustrator Spotlight: Danny Roberts of Igor + André

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Danny Roberts for Lancome

Artist Danny Roberts, the boy behind the mega-popular blog, Igor + André, is somewhat of a creative phenom: when he was just 13, he started a clothing company that he ran through high school, and now, at the tender age of 24, he can count collaborations with Gwen Stefani, Forever 21, The Sunday Times, Lancome and Chris Benz on his resume.

We caught up with the artist—who is first and foremost warm, friendly and open with his fans across his various portals of social media—to see what gets his creative juices flowing, and what we might be able to expect in the near future.

How did you get started as an illustrator?
Well, it all began when I started my own little clothing company when I was 13. I did that through junior high and high school, then ended up enrolling in Fashion Design at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. After my first fashion illustration cloass, my teacher asked me if I ever thought of being a fashion illustrator. At the time, I really didn't know that there was a career as a fashion illustrator. That is what I have been doing from that point on, and it has been the perfect career for me.

What inspired your sketches?
New experiences and people inspire me a lot. I would say natural beauty and women inspire me more than anything. I also find genuine innocence very moving. I would say romance is a real driving foce in my work, so when I see or feel anything like it, my mind goes wild with inspiration. Lastly, the 1910-1950s-era, with its "Leave it to Beaver" innocence, and the stern looks on people's faces due to hard times—there is something about that that inspires me.

Walk us through your creative process.
I usually do a concept, or thumbnail sketch. Then, I will find references or inspiration to cultivate the idea. From there, I will re-draft the picture and do the final draft. More than likely, I will scan it and then digital-image the picture.

How has fashion illustration evolved over time, and with hi-def/hi-res photography, what place does illustration hold in fashion/art?
I think the development of new technology has allowed for good photography equipment to be very accessible to anyone. I also think, with how much control we have in post-production processes, it makes it a lot easier to create near-perfect images. People are drawn more to imperfections, because this is something that mimics our lives. The more perfect the image, the less people can connect with it. This is what I think has left an opening for fashion illustration—though I don't think it will ever be as big as it once was. I believe a merge between photography and illustration as a new medium is the way of the future.

What can we expect from Danny Roberts and Igor + André in the future?
Well, over this year I've starting to branch out a little more in different art forms. I just released an EP for a music group my friend and I started called "The Dream Walking Society," and my brother and I have begun writing and illustrating a fantasy novel.

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