Fashion / Lingerie Illustrator Karina Giada
Above: Elma Bra watercolor by illustrator Karina Giada.
A few weeks ago, as I was scrolling through Instagram, a beautiful bra caught my eye. Wispy eye lash lace radiated around each cup and a gold, front clasp adorned the front.
“It’s stunning,” I thought to myself and noticed that the photo was signed. Odd. So I gave the photo another look and realized that it was a watercolor painting of an Elma Lingerie bra!
The artist, Karina Giada, had grabbed my attention. Going over her posts, I knew that I had to share her work with the Lingerie Journal’s readers! In this Q&A, we learn more about Giada, her art and passions:
Q&A with Fashion/Lingerie Illustrator Karina Giada
Photo: Frank Fuhrmeister @StillUpMySleeve
Karina, in your biography you note that you started at a young age. Could you tell us what inspired you to put your creativity to paper?
Art has always been a part of my life ever since I was little. My mother and grandmother were extremely talented and I was inspired to paint very early on. I remember I would watch my mother sketching or my grandmother writing in her journal and I developed this drive to continue to experiment with my own art and be inspired by the world around me. I still have these little stick figures I used to draw when I was only a baby!
A Happy Medium
Do you have a favorite medium to work in?
I do, I absolutely love watercolor. I always had a certain love/hate relationship with it, however, because I used to try to control it so much in my paintings but we all know how unpredictable that medium can be. Just recently, I started to get out of my comfort zone and allow the paint some freedom on the paper.
What’s drawn you towards fashion (and more specifically) to lingerie?
When I was around 11, I fell in love with costume design and costumes in movies – a passion I still have to this day. My love for garments and, consequently lingerie, stemmed from that I think because of all the intricate details in costumes that I love so much and attempt to show in my work. I first attempted to paint lingerie a few years back because I really love black paint coupled with the intricate lace details. From then, I realized that I really enjoyed the process of drawing the lingerie pieces. Every time I paint a lingerie set, I am not only waiting for the finished product but I thoroughly enjoy the process to see where it leads me. The fun is also to see how much of artistic liberty I can have on a certain piece.
Lingerie as a Muse
What is it about the lingerie world fascinates and inspires you?
The fact that lingerie is so delicate and powerful at the same time. Lingerie for a woman is such a defining piece of garment – it makes a woman feel delicate and sexy, but also so comfortable in her own body. I love the feeling it gives to a woman – you see how she exudes confidence when wearing lingerie she loves. As an artist, I love the feeling that I get when I paint it and I hope eventually I can get even more creative with my interpretations of it and take it to a more abstract level.
Illustrator Karina Giada in action
Could you tell us a little bit about some of the lingerie clients you’ve worked with and what you’ve created?
Of course! One of the most memorable commissions I had was with I.D. Sarrieri, who requested I design some of their showroom invitations a few years back. I felt extremely validated as an artist and being able to be a part of their creative process was exhilarating. I painted an illustration of a model wearing one of their best selling lingerie sets. Looking back, its also amazing to see how much I have improved since then in my techniques and how much I have still yet to learn – a prospect I am so excited about knowing that I can continue to evolve and create new concepts.
the Creative Process
Could you walk us through your creative process as you work on a piece?
I tend to browse a lot of account of lingerie designers I follow for inspiration. When I see a piece I want to paint or decide on my own interpretation of it, I get this rush of inspiration and start painting it. Whether it is for a commission or simply for my own pleasure, I have to find an angle that I would enjoy creating because if I am not enjoying the process, it feels forced and unnatural – my heart would not be in it. But once I get lost in the details and the intricate lace designs, I can work for hours because I love it so much!
Do you have a current favorite lingerie brand? If so, what do you find inspirational about it?
I am still a huge fan of I.D. Sarrieri. They designers have this incredible way with the details that I really find inspiring – I wish I could paint them all! But for now, I really want to paint some of their newest designs of the “La Naissance D’Aphrodite” line because it is simply angelic. I’ve never painted green lingerie before so I am excited to see where this will take me.
How do you hope your fans react to new artwork that you share on social media?
At first, I was content to just put my work out on social media. To share it with my followers and the world to show the watercolor and ink work that I do on these art pieces. But lately I want to elicit a different reaction – I want it to be less about skill and more about how it makes my audience feel. Hence, I am hoping to take my art into a more abstract direction. I am not sure how it will look but I sure would like to experiment and see where it leads.
What are you up to when you’re not creating?
My other passions are traveling, reading, and going to the gym! Just recently, I got back from a trip to Portugal. (a country that I would move to in a heartbeat!) And I am so inspired by all the beautiful architecture there, especially their tile work called azulejos. Now that I think of it, that would be an interesting inspiration for a lingerie line to design….