Marcus Kan, founder of Draw A Dot @drawadot, one of the biggest fashion illustration online platforms in the world explained to us how he started this project and what made him do it, as well as where comes his love for fashion and more!
“I have been a fan of fashion since I was small because my parents love beautiful clothes. Even though I have a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Toronto, my heart still belonged to the creative field, especially fashion and art. In 2010, I started my first fashion blog called Fusion of Effects. Since then, I have been getting a lot of great opportunities because of blogging.”
In 2013, Draw A Dot was born as a blog focusing mainly on fashion illustrations. However, it is now one of the biggest fashion illustration online platforms in the world. It is now a community where illustrators can show their works and support each other. Marcus occasionally creates different open calls for illustrators to create artworks to build their portfolios. Having collaborated with Valentino, Versace and Mary Katrantzou to create special contests for the illustrators, he supports fashion illustration like no other, also being an agent representing some illustrators in North America.
Q: Can you tell us a little bit about your background and how did you start being interested in the fashion industry?
A: I was born in Hong Kong and came to Canada when I was 12. I have to say my parents have definitely influenced me to show interest in the fashion world. When I was small, I would always be going to boutiques with them to look at new collections and that’s how I started to gain fashion knowledge. I still remember back then Versace was the hottest brand in the world.
Q: How did you start in the fashion industry? Tell us about your first blog.
A: In 2010 I started a fashion blog called Fusion of Effects. At that time being a fashion blogger was a cool thing so I wanted to experience that as well. When I was creating that blog, I was thinking what I could write that could help me to distinct myself from other bloggers. Well, I love art and fashion, so I decided to have a section on fashion illustrations. Little did I know this niche became the key to unlock the bigger picture in my life.
Q: Which opportunities has given you your fashion blog?
A: Because of the blog, I was lucky enough to be scouted by one of the PRs from Dolce & Gabbana and they invited me to contribute articles to their online magazine. My job was to feature fashion illustrators from around the world and helped the magazine to curate some interesting fashion illustration projects. It was a fun gig and I am forever thankful for that opportunity.
Q: How did Draw A Dot start and what made you start it?
A: In 2013, I started Draw A Dot. At that time, I already had a solid fanbase because of the online magazine. Therefore, I decided to create Draw A Dot to just focus on fashion illustrations. I also thought it would be a good idea to showcase more illustrations that were inspired by other designers’ works.
Q: Did you spect that your project would become one of the biggest fashion illustration online platforms in the world? How do you feel about that?
A: To be honest, Draw A Dot is a passion project, so I did not expect it to become one of the biggest fashion illustration online platforms in the world! My original thought was to bring all the like-minded people together so they could support each other. I feel very proud of this achievement and am very thankful that everyone in the community is very supportive. The followers always give me suggestions so I can continue to improve the community.
Q: Tell us about your most important collaborations with brands.
A: One of the most important collaborations is the one I did with Valentino in 2015. That was the first time Draw A Dot collaborated with an international brand and the winner of this contest actually won a product from Valentino. This project also showed the community that international brands are definitely showing interest in fashion illustrations. I have to thank Caitlin Ni Chathain for trusting my vision. If not because of her, I don’t think I would be able to collaborate with more international fashion brands in the following years!
Q: How do you see yourself and your projects in a couple of years from now?
A: My vision right now is to continue building the community and discover more talents. I would love to use this platform to nurture the new artists and help them to get noticed by brands. Ultimately, I would love to have an expo and bring the artists and brands together for some fun lectures, exhibitions, and workshops!
Q: Would you like to send any message to fashion enthusiasts or art lovers who want to start a career in this industry?
A: My advice is that you need to be passionate about what you are doing. If you love to create, make sure you stick to your own style and do not let other people’s comments affect you. Eventually, you will find your niche market so make sure you continue polishing your skills every day. If you love fashion, make sure you do your research on different brands and know what they are known for. Last but not least, please don’t give up your vision. Keep moving forward and one day you will find the path to reach your goal!