Story by Rachel Schwartzmann – Shop Jeanette’s Work here – Photos by Karen Hernandez for The Style Line
“My relationship to art is like most human
relationships,” says Los Angeles-based fashion illustrator Jeanette Getrost, “Some days are driven by inspiration and I feel this incredible desire to express myself. The process is really my favorite part because I feel most at peace when creating…” With this in mind, we’ve come to love Jeanette’s work for the very fact that it’s centered around these ideas. In our recent studio visit with the budding artist we had the chance to experience the magic behind her whimsical, stylized and detailed fashion illustrations – all of which have cultivated a loyal following and an impressive (and growing) client list featuring some of the most renowned brands in the industry. But beyond just creating beautiful things, Jeanette’s thoughtful approach to her work (and big picture plans) as a creative resonated with us too. As she mentioned in our interview with her below, “I’d like to think that this resurgence of illustrators and artists (thanks to social media) is having a social impact on how the world views creativity. More importantly, I would hope that this shift in thinking will trickle down into the education system and the arts will be considered just as important as the humanities and sciences.”
From Jeanette’s life in Los Angeles to her continuously evolving creative process, today we’re delving deeper into the life and style of this celebrated artist and sharing more from our morning together. In this exclusive interview Jeanette kindly shared more of her professional background, thoughts on the synergy between personal style and interior style and her creative ambitions outside of illustration. Discover the full conversation below which features beautiful moments from our visit captured by Karen Hernandez for The Style Line.
Hi. I’m Jeanette. I’m 28 and I live in Echo Park.
Outside of work, you’re likely to find me on a long solo walk around my neighborhood. I’m forever trying to find the proper balance between healthy eating, wellness, and the vices that a social life has to offer. I’m a lover of nostalgia, and I thrive on spontaneity. I value connecting with people over humor and conversations about goals and ambitions. I’m pretty fearless and have always believed that one should go after what they want in life. I think my mantra is, “What’s the worst that could happen?”
How would you describe your relationship to art and more specifically, how has fashion helped you find your creative point of view?
My relationship to art is like most human relationships. Some days are driven by inspiration and I feel this incredible desire to express myself. The process is really my favorite part because I feel most at peace when creating. I live for those moments. And then I have days where I feel creatively blocked and I find myself questioning everything that I’m doing.
[CLICK EACH THUMBNAIL IN THESE GALLERIES TO EXPAND IMAGE]
I think that that conflict is common amongst most creatives though and I’m learning how to live through it. I don’t know if it’s possible to have the highs without the lows. Fashion has always been a creative outlet for me. When I was old enough to dress myself I would change my clothes constantly until I felt that my outfits reflected my mood. I still am that way, and it’s sort of my relationship to the fashion industry. I’ve never been married to one specific designer, or have had a fashion-obsessed mentality. I’m more interested in personal style as a means of self-expression. I also watched a lot of classic film/TV growing up and was particularly enamored with the evolution of style. I think that is what propelled me to start drawing clothing at a really young age before knowing that fashion illustration was even a thing. Having a subject matter as broad as fashion has also helped me define my style as an illustrator. There’s so much content readily available that it’s given me some source of inspiration to draw from every day. Creating on a regular basis is the best way to grow and improve as an artist.
Why do you think LA is the best place to build your clientele, experience and businesses as a fashion illustrator?
A lot of the fashion community has shifted its attention to Los Angeles in the last few years so I’ve had the advantage of being both connected, and close in proximity to the industry. I’ve actually never lived anywhere else so I wouldn’t know otherwise, but I think having face time with future, or potential clients is super important. Being thought of as an actual person outside of your work will make you a better candidate when up for a job. On the flip side, a lot of my work is done remotely, and I’ve been sent to different parts of the world for jobs so I wouldn’t want to deter anyone from building their business elsewhere.
What is one question you wish people asked you more often?
“What is your creative process?” I think it’s more fun to talk about the creative process vs. questions like “Who’s your favorite designer?” or “What’s your favorite medium?”
My process changes depending on the project or piece, but I like looking back at a piece and see the evolution from inspiration, to concept to design. I once took a photo on a walk around my neighborhood that later inspired an illustration with the same color palette. The textile I created in that illustration then became a print that I hand painted onto some clothing. Each phase of the process came so organically and the end result was completely different from conception.
How do you think creativity contributes to some of the world’s bigger conversations and how do you think your work as a fashion illustrator/art in general is playing a role in this shift in thinking?
I’ll answer to one idea which is the stigma associated with the arts, or the mentality that being an artist is not a viable, or practical career. When I was in college, I dropped being an art major because of people asking questions like, “What are you going to do with an art degree?” It took me a while after school before I pursued illustration again and even longer until I felt comfortable sharing my work with the public. I’d like to think that this resurgence of illustrators and artists (thanks to social media) is having a social impact on how the world views creativity. More importantly, I would hope that this shift in thinking will trickle down into the education system and the arts will be considered just as important as the humanities and sciences. Young people need to be encouraged to pursue what they love vs. what seems more practical.
With regard to your studio, what are your thoughts on the synergy between fashion, art and interior style and do you feel you have a similar approach to all three?
I work from home so my interior space is pretty much indicative of both my work and fashion sense. There are elements of minimalism with a stark contrast of black and white, and then there’s also an eclectic, old-word, earthy vibe. I’m at a constant tug of war between the two and will especially notice it when scrolling through my Instagram feed. I’ll look and think “Oh I’m in a minimalist phase because I’ve worn black every day this week and my work lacks any color.” I prefer some vibrancy and color in my approach to all three though. I think that side of me comes out when I’m most inspired.
The Style Line was built on the premise of discovery, exploration and transit. With this in mind, what is your “the style line” in your wardrobe?
There’s still a lot of originality on the East side of Los Angeles. It’s inspiring to see individuals pushing the boundaries with an often times unconventional way of dressing. There exists this sort of effortless approach as in “I didn’t really try” vs. effortless in a “chic” way. My style can sometimes change on a day-to-day basis so I feel confident in embracing that change rather than fighting against it.
As an LA-based creative if you weren’t an illustrator what else would you be doing and generally how do you think LA fosters its creative community?
Costume and set design for film has always been pretty intriguing to me. I also love music. Is making personal playlists a job? I love many forms of creativity so I don’t think illustration is necessarily my end goal. There are a few project ideas that I’m letting percolate right now. I think they will come to fruition in the coming year. That being said, the creative community in Los Angeles is interesting because everyone appears to be isolated, but they actually thrive on collaboration and are really great at it. I think individuals here are incredibly hungry because everything feels slightly within reach.