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All you need to know about your Paper Fashionista #art #illustration #gift

Updated: Mar 5, 2022

I get asked a few questions about my fashion illustrations. Here are some answers.

Q. What are they?

A. They are a beautiful, luxurious and collectible piece of fine art. They are you looking your best. From a photo you sent me, it is then transformed into a bit of beautifully hand-drawn and painted art. Worthy of framing

Q. How big are they? A. They are usually 30 cm x 20 cm. Sometimes they are slightly smaller or bigger. I use really expensive art paper. It doesn't yellow, it's acid-free, and the paint pigments stick to it well. I don't do A4 or A3 because it's the wrong shape for a fashion illustration that needs to look elongated and elegant.

Q. What will I look like? A. All fashion illustrations are drawn on roughly the same sized body. It's about what you wear. It also makes everyone look like a model. The idea is from the images in the old Vogue dressmaking pattern books from the 1950s, where everybody looks refined and classy.

Q. Why are the poses and faces different? A. All images are drawn freehand. I don't use a template. You can't see through the expensive quality art paper I use. I love illustrating like this, as every one of my paper fashionistas has a different face and look. They are cute and quirky, just like people in real life.

Q. Why do you stamp them? A. I have a customised running horse stamp I designed for all fashion on the field outfits. I decorated the horse to match your outfit. One day I would like to use an embossing press.

Q. What do people do with them? A. I have many clients that like to collect them. It's an excellent record of their outfits, mainly if they have sold the dresses and millinery.

Framing is very popular, especially if more than one has been purchased.

Mothers and grandmothers like to buy them as gifts to daughters. It’s lovely to see a skill that can bring ages and generations together.

They make great Christmas/ teacher/wedding/ birthday presents for someone with everything.

Q. Will you send me a preview? A. I never know what they will look like until they are 100 per cent finished. I don't think it's a good idea to get too involved because a half-drawn illustration quite frankly looks poor. There has to be much trust that I know what I am doing.

I haven't had any complaints so far!

Q. What do you charge? A. I will be charging from $200 per figure.

I enjoy turning every illustration into the best version of someone I can.

This takes time and uses the best artist supplies I have.

What one illustration needs another will require a different technique.

This time-consuming dedication means every illustration is special and unique.

Q. Do you post all your illustrations?

A. All paper fashionistas will go on my social media unless it's a present, and then they will go on after the date of the event.

Q. I’m a repeat customer, so I get a discount?

A. I like to look after repeat customers. If you are a repeat customer, you already know I go beyond looking after you, such as personal delivery of illustrations (where possible). I will take extra photos at the event to send to you. Fashionistas come and see me, especially for my picture taking abilities.

They also know the camera I use takes fantastic photos. Sometimes a little extra in the illustration. It changes all the time, depending on the client, the outfit and what I see is required.

Q. Can I use them as my avatar or copy the image as my birthday invites, etc

A. No. Copyright will remain with Luisa Manea as the author.

A different price structure is involved if you want to use them for something other than framing or collecting (private use).

My little paper fashionistas are keepable and collectable. The last thing you or I want is to devalue my work or your collection.

Q. How do I frame my art piece?

A. I find frames from quite a few different places: early Settlers, TK Max, Myers etc.

There are cheaper places to find frames, but I find these scratch easy, and the hanging function on the back isn’t very secure.

Ideally, the product you buy needs to be acid-free, especially the mat board or anything sitting on the illustration paper.

If the mat board is the wrong size, I take the frame and the art to a picture framer, and they are often kind enough to cut you a new one.

It can cost anywhere from $20.00

You can also take your artwork to the framers, and they will help and guide you through all the different mats, glass and frame types, including advice on how significant each element should be. This kind of frame will last a very long time. Prices can start at $200 upwards and look very professional.

Q. I’m not ready to frame my work. How should I keep it safe?

A. Take it out of the cylinder and flatten it under some heavy books. Then take it out of the plastic sleeve (it keeps it dry but is not ideal for long-term storage). Then store in acid-free tissue paper. Try not to overhandle the image as your hands have oils that will transfer onto the paper and might be seen years later as smudges.

The paper and paints I use are of artistic quality and made to last a long time.


Q. I want to meet you

A. Send me your email, and I can send you messages when I sponsor an event. I usually have samples of my work on show.

My email is

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