Costume Design and Illustration (Anglais) Broché – 15 juillet 2014
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The good: all these artists are amazing. Their work is fantastic. There's a few step by step instructions, that typically start with silhouettes and enlarging to enhance detail. The book is printed on highly glossy paper and the print is large.
The bad: where do I start? The book is broken down in chapters. I'll pick on Carlo Arelleno. His chapter is 10 pages long. He wrote 7 paragraphs. 6 pages are full photos of his art. Dude, its gorgeous. But one paragraph devotes to his method of thought. The rest offers mere commentary of vague practices he uses that are so general, they are pathetic. Want vague? Except statement: "in the beauty and the beast design, my inspiration was Renaissance France. I used the slash and puff sleeve designs of that era." Well that's just fantastic, Carlo. But the why is nowhere to be found. What was the job? What about this job made you differ from Disney's rendition? You know, maybe if we knew what you created the $%#* for, it might give us some insight that explains why you chose Renaissance France to begin research! Much of the book discusses to research designers and fashion through out history. That's great advice! Why not tell a history major to study history? No mention of what they use. No examples. No websites. No book recommendations. No thought process. Just a book of pretty pictures, a vague sense of prioritizing each artist's first thoughts, and casual commentary of what they chose, with vague references of ideas.
In short. This book is terribly vague. Skip it.
The book description says "this book is an in-depth look at costume design and illustration. Showcasing an educational process breaking down the problematic areas of costume design for the film, video game and animation industries".
The thing is, this book is not that in-depth, and it most certainly does not break down the process for costume design. The featured artists just talk about what they do, but they do not address the why. There's no emphasis on explaining how they research, where they find their inspiration or reference, what are different parts of the costumes and why they are added and the function they serve, etc.
The only exception is Kevin Chen who actually talks about the design, explaining the design concepts and what to think about when tackling costume design, such as dealing with porportion, cutlines, materials and functionality.
There are a few step-by-step process walkthrough, and sometimes artists have helpful pointers, but most of the time they are just too brief or vague.
Overall, this book is not very insightful for those looking to explore the concepts and ideas behind costume design. The artworks featured are great though, coming from professional artists like Constantine Sekeris the author himself, Scott Robertson, Neville Page, Jerad S. Marantz and more.
I'm quite disappointed the book went in the opposite direction from what's advertised in the book description. This is more of an artbook rather than an educational or instructional book.
For the book that it advertises itself to be, I'll probably rate it 1-2 out of 5 stars. As an artbook, I'll give it 3.5 out of 5 stars pulled down by the content.
(See more pictures of the book on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.)
However, what the book lacks is specifics and depth. Most of the contributors talk about their process, what computer programs they use, and how they come up with concepts. For an illustrator like me looking for a shortcut into the costume design world, this book fell quite short. I was left only with a realization that I have a lot to learn about fashion and costume design. Best look elsewhere for that information.