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men's

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Creativity and Fashion- Hair

I was 11 with hair trimmers in hand. My mother vehemently and vocally disagreed. The masterpiece she had been parting over the last 10 years was disappearing. The full, soft, curvaceous mop atop my head was now adorning the tile beneath my feet. Freedom. The tyranny was over. No person could control me any longer. My idols-a disobedient cousin, my father who liked to cause little mischeifs, the athletes on the playground- were now all knowable. I could truly understand them for the first time. I could feel the power. I cut off all my hair.

I was 17 with a paint brush in hand. The classroom bustle had lulled and all of the students were balanced upon their stools. My bristle top stood attentive as it had for the last 6 years, standing guard. This particular day it was given a new permission.

Change. The need for military grade hair-styling disappeared. The girls in the class expressed in resolute terms the attractiveness of long hair on men. Within 6 months I was a new man. My posture strong, my eyes seductive and my hair fell to the length of my shoulders.

Since those Sophomore grade-school years the cuts, lengths and styles have varied dramatically. I have grown it to obscene lengths and cut it back to nothing again.

I have shocked my friends with dyes, straightening, gelling, mohawks, near-mullets, corn-rows and at times a sheer lack of concern. Some members of my church even went so far as to scorn me for my erotically long hair.

The adventure of hair is fantastic if not at times controversial. If God gifts you with a full head of hair do not waste it. Enjoy it. Revel in it. Let the world see and marvel at it.

men's fashion illustration-hair

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Illustration Weekly, Styling Mike

Illustration Weekly 5

For the second week of the new illustration series at The Follow Fashion I give you Mike. Mike is one of the minds behind the success of The Follow Fashion Online Magazine which provides daily inspiration with links to designers and clothiers all over the web and the world.

The Follow Fashion

This new series will be capturing the fashion icons of our day such as Patrick Grant and  Scott Schumann and re-styling them through illustration. Submissions/suggestions of who you think should be included are welcome.

(Read more about this article at  TheFollowFashion.com)

-Sunflowerman

instagram- @sunflowerman

twitter- @sunflowermatt

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High Cotton Fabric Paintings

High Cotton is a new, local North Carolina high fashion attire company. James, one of the spokesmen (and son of the artisan who hand sews the bow ties) contacted me a while back about a possible collaboration for the brand. High Cotton makes amazing hand sewn, 100% cotton bow ties and cummerbunds. I particularly have my eye on the corduroy. When I tell you that James is one of the most passionate and genuine salesmen I have ever met I am telling you that I look forward to every phone conversation. One time his mother even joined in on a call. High Cotton to me has been the hospitality of the South and the sincere ambition of creating beautiful things.

You will find this following phrase on their website and it captures High Cotton for me.

'It is our hope that High Cotton Ties will be able to extend itself to our customers as a helping hand to properly reflect their individuality, in good conscience and in good style.'

We have a lot of plans in the works that make me giddy but I couldn't help but to share what has been produced to this point. We are focusing initially on the large Fashion Fabric Paintings (like the ones from the H.Stockton show) and some smaller book page illustrations.

[gallery type="square" ids="2269,2266,2267,2264,2268,2271,2272,2273,2287,2283,2282,2289,2288"]

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Milan Men's Fashion Week… Illustration Weekly 4

MIlan Men's Fashion Week 2013 Milan Men's Fashion Week ended early last week. It came bracing the heels of the London Collections: Men but quickly slowed its pace to saunter as the first collections took to the runway. In, what appeared to be a stiffened gaze on the acceptable and conservative dress, Milan began showing the colors of slumping sales.

The evident gray tones throughout the collections were a nod to winter and perhaps a suggestion that the economy takes creative license at times. Missing Missoni founders weighted the grays even more to all who were present.
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But in fashion a show without pizazz is no show at all. As the days lengthened and the collections began growing in number the bold and beautiful emerged. The controversial Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas designed a fantastic set for Prada, lacy men's lingerie was premiered by Versace and while many collections featured hand-bags Gucci stole eyes with gold-chained handcuff portfolios. Among the more implicitly traditional yet awesome in beauty were Canali, DSquared2, Burberry and Diesel Black Gold. (See the collections on Vogue)
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The Autumn/Winter 2013 collections in Milan did not turn out to be strikingly exotic or outrageous but once again the power house families and houses did not cease to amaze. Perhaps this year will see a respect for tradition and the burden of sales will give way to the freedom of creativity.
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-Sunflowerman
instagram @sunflowerman

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The Smokes Collection, Available Now

The Book Page Fashion Illustrations come out of a love for men's fashion and culture. The Book Page Collection Series is about knowledge, sophistication and originality. Each illustration is hand painted on a recycled book page using non-toxic india inks and watercolors. When you see a Sunflowerman Fashion Illustration you are always seeing an original piece of art. Each image is created to be a unique creation fit for any collector or casual lover of the arts. the smokes collection

The Smokes Collection is now available at the shop where you can see the whole series.

But if you don't have time, here is a little teaser.

On the Evening Pipe in Hand

'The Smokes" Collection

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Bow Tie, How-to...

Bow Tie, How-to [gallery type="rectangular" ids="2042,2041,2040,2039,2038,2037,2036,2034,2033,2032,2035"]

 

A few months ago I was approached by Q Custom Clothier in Dallas, Texas to do a Bow Tie info-graphic. As I am an avid Bow Tie wearer I jumped at the chance.

I began with some preliminary sketches and rough draft. From there I found some unsuspecting souls to test the usability of the graphic. There were several issues to work out and what came of it is what you see here.

Enjoy, thank the folks at Q Clothier, (qcustomclothier.com) and let me know if this works for you.

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Enter the New Year...

      A new year with a chance for a new breath, a deep breath and a resonant calm. Yet life moves forward, work must be done and new passions must be inspired. I say that this year is for following your fashion fancies. Don't think Peacock, think Lion. Think majesty and splendor.

The New Year

 This year is for experimenting with fabrics, styles and accessories. Maybe wear a boutonniere to that dinner party, or a tie clip to work. Step out of your comfort zone with a an exciting tweed or a bright color. Be emboldened with new ideas, stand tall on your creative initiative and plan for a few mistakes.
 This is a new year, a new breath and a new view on life.
-Sunflowerman

See this article on TheFollowFashion.com

And check back every week on theFollowFashion.com and Sunflowerman.com for more on this fashion series.

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Fashion Illustrations… Dictionary Pages

Here are more men's fashion illustrations placed on dictionary pages. It just keeps getting better!

 

This new collection takes the mastery of the ink and brush and highlights the great qualities of men's fashion. Sometimes the focus is on the cut of the jacket and sometimes it is on the color of the shirt and tie.

My goal is to highlight and focus on the spirit of men's fashion in an innovative and creative manner.

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Fashion Illustration… Dres Tha Beatnik

I was walking through Starbucks to see a friend. As I was walking this gentleman caught my eye. He was dressed very well and had this character about himself that was quite attractive. After grabbing my coffee I walked over to where he was seated and asked if I could use him as a part of my fashion portrait series. His name is Dres D-R-E-S (dr-ah-s). Can't lie, I struggled pronouncing Dres correctly.

It turns out that he is a local Atlanta musician, perhaps even a local celebrity. He handed me a copy of his recent album, I snapped a pic on my phone and we parted ways.

This is what came of that interaction. Also, check out his myspace and enjoy the mix.

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Fashion Illustration… Mikey and GQ

Mike McLaughlin is a good friend of mine. We graduated high school together and I saw him evolve in a way. I can't say that I have ever dressed 'better' than Mr. McLaughlin- No, he has always been at least one step ahead as far as fashion is concerned- but I did get to see a bit of a transformation.  After High School Mike began to see this dapper man emerging, not a different person but a different image. It was a more polished image, stylish one might say. Whereas before he was simply aware of his presence he was now taking command of it. This is something that will take him far when he is touring the world and orchestrating symphonies.

Mike is a good friend and well dressed fellow.

 

Here are a couple good links relating to this article Mikey Illustration Behance

 

 

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Fashion Illustration… Ken Tran

Ken Tran is this dapper fella I know. He has a style all his own and he wears it in the most impressive fashion. Not from Atlanta, but making darn sure that Atlanta stays chic in his wake.

 

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Fashion Illustration… Kamau and GQ

George is not an Atlanta native, but he is an Atlanta man. One thing that always strikes me about George is his sense of style, especially in regards to attending the Atlanta night-scene's dance clubs. Another thing about George is his keen entrepreneurial eye. He's got a knack for flipping shoes and perhaps a few other things that I might not want to share here.

Without further ado, George Kamau on the cover of GQ!!

If you missed it before I have linked here the first time we met George here on the blog.

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Exhibit the Fashion...

I have been looking for a place to exhibit these. Preferably I would love to find a Men's Boutique here in Atlanta. Let me know if you would like to collaborate with me. sunflowermatt@gmail.com

Linked below is a little proposal I put together explaining a bit about what I'm doing.

Men’s Fashion Proposal2

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Fashion Portrait…Cuni

Shawn Cuni is one of the coolest people you could ever know. I had the pleasure of being his roommate for a while and respect him as a person and a creative. Few people are as neat and organized, and few people have his potential.Check out his instagram @psjc and the website on flickr Shawn Cuni

All of that said his street fashion is what we are focusing on today. You might think 'hipster' upon meeting him- at least that is what comes to my mind- then you find out his love for PBR and Radiohead and you know that's probably a good assessment. During a night of chilling on the porch I snapped a few photos and brought them home to paint.

 

 

I started this painting by pasting pages from an old book onto hardboard with matte medium. Then I proceeded to sketch out the basic forms with a colored pencil. After that I go over the lines with waterproof india-ink. After that dries I pool in washes of watercolor and add highlights with white acrylic paint. Finally I add shadows and washes of other colors to bring out the form and it's complete!

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Fashion Portrait… Dapper Lou and GQ

I was going through the Dapper Lou the other day and doing some quick sketches. The one below was highly inspirational so I decided to do an actual painting of it.

The painting turned out great! The process is basically the same as the past few paintings. I start with an underdrawing then move to acrylic, india ink and watercolor. Variously throughout I use any of the mediums to make one part pop or to turn something down. You can see below how things change throughout the painting process.

For some time now I have wanted to get into 'real world' fashion illustration. Simply put I want to get paid to do what I do. A friend suggested that I might benefit from doing some mock covers for magazines that I am interested in illustrating for. The images below show what came out of that discussion. I hope you enjoy, and stay tuned for more to come.

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Redeemed Book! and the Dapper Lou...

I had some pages that fell out of a book I was reading and decided to have some fun with them instead of tossing them. It's one of the few times that saving useless junk came in handy. These pages can no longer be lumped in the same useless category as the slabs of dried acrylic paint in my drawer, or the oddly shaped scraps of paper cut from old projects, or the plastic scraps from the used, dried masking fluid. No, these pages have been redeemed! And special thanks again to the Dapper Lou. I was perusing the site again and found endless inspiration for sketching.

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Fashion Portrait… Brandon Sadler and the Black Goldfish

I did this Fashion Portrait of a friend of mine a while back now. I have mixed feelings about this piece. There is so much great about it and a few things that irk me. Things such as my lack of thought about the background. Overall the painting showcases the character and the clothes very well. Featured here is Brandon Sadler. He is a painter based in Atlanta, GA.  He has been involved in the growing street art scene with a mural near the Studioplex in the Old Fourth Ward and has shown his work all over the city including work at the ABV gallery.

Brandon allowed me to photograph him while he was painting so I could capture the moment as it would be in real life. I went home and compiled a series of images of him painting and several images of suits from the 1920's. I love the idea that someone would always dress so dapper even when painting and not give a second thought to where the paint might end up. Several compositional drawings later I began. I struggled with the placement of Brandon in relation to the fish and probably drew at least 15 18x24'' sketches to get it exactly right.

This piece was so much fun to work on. Despite my reservations about the background it came together beautifully and it is part of a progressive process in my own work.

 

Brandon Sadler. 18x24". Acrylic, watercolor and india ink on hardwood board.

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Fashion Illustration… Featuring Lushlife

My friend and I were at Java Jive on Ponce de Leon in Atlanta for brunch the other morning on the suggestion of a friend. The food ran the usual gamut of brunch and the atmosphere took on the nature of the 50's. They specialized in their homemade biscuits which were the defining note on the meal. As we were cleaning the debris on our plates and lightly sipping what remained of our coffee the corner of my eye spied something unique. I turned my head to see a gentleman wearing a red scarf and large hipster glasses. The ensemble was basic with a white tee and blue jeans, but the sense was that this carried character beyond early morning dress apathy. I knew that I had to illustrate this look, and not just the look because it was so simple, but the person who made it work. My friend Ruth had to be the courageous one and ask this gentleman if I could photograph him as I am much too shy.

He was gracious and soft spoken. As I was photographing, which lasted maybe 60 seconds, I was describing my work and the fashion series that has been progressing. We exchanged information and it turns out this gentleman had just played a show at the Masquerade the night before, promoting his latest album.

Raj (aka Lushlife) is a hip hop artist from Philly and you can find a great review of his latest release here.

Here is the final illustration and below is the process that it endured.

I start with hard-board such as masonite and seal it with an acrylic wash. Then I draw the image on and do an ink wash of some of the major darks. After this is dried I lay in all of the base colors with heavy puddles of watercolor. As the water is sitting on the surface of the board I start to lay in white acrylic to layer in the highlights. Again I wait for the board to be dry and I finish the washes of color with more solid/defining layers.

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