Belinda Xia Illustration x The Sleek Ave

Aki from The Sleek Avenue is one of those cool cats with cool hair, cool shoes and cool shots. 

When I approached her to do a collaboration, we were both like "YES, BUT HOW?!" (There's a lesson for you folks, have a game plan...)

I showed her a few images on my Pinterest board (this one, follow me while you're there!), and suggested a few things... (maybe add some typography? Some animals?) - all I really wanted was a beautiful image to layer illustrations over. 

A few weeks later, she sent over a beautiful image with a blank blue background - a blank blue canvas for me!

The original photograph, courtesy of The Sleek Avenue.

The original photograph, courtesy of The Sleek Avenue.

We discussed some ideas - I commented on (slash jealously eyed) her Gucci bag and she suggested using Alessandro Michele's work as inspiration. Immediate thoughts: Alessandro is a GOD - my work would be a pale comparison! But I'm going to bloody well try. 

I started off with some research - we'd decided to do a surreal forest-y vibe (similar to the Gucci motifs incorporating insects etc). Pinterest is usually my go-to when I need inspiration - I sourced some butterfly imagery from the Montreal Insectarium where my husband and I honeymooned, had a look at what lived on forest floors (spoiler: weird lookin' mushrooms) and went from there. 

I decided on a line illustration style so that Aki would still be the centre of attention, and wanted a bit of interactivity. 



THEN, to make it next level (and because I'm obsessed with stop motion at the moment), I made it come alive!

Shop her style below: 

I'm secretly super chuffed and happy with how this turned out. Let me know what you think! 


x Bel 

ps. If you're not already subscribed, please do! More exciting nuggets to come!