I'm squealing with excitement over this week's guest blogger, Brooke Hagel. I had the pleasure of meeting her at Stitched Fashion Camp in East Hampton this Summer and she is such a doll and she is oozing with talent. She uses markers like no one I have ever seen and she was so sweet with all the little campers! Including my little Avy!  

Brooke is a graduate of the Fashion Institute of Technology, where she majored in Fashion Design with an Art Specialization. She has worked in the fashion industry, wardrobe for television and theater, styling, art direction and product design and development. She opened an Etsy shop a few years ago because fashion and drawing were passions of hers that she had not been doing enough of in recent years. Her shop has been successful and brought her many great freelance opportunities.

She started her blog, Fabulous Doodles to journal what she is working on, what inspires her, and to archive fashion illustrations, both from her collection and her discoveries.

Brooke creates fabulous custom wedding illustrations and today she's walking us through her enough gushing over's Brooke!

Once the custom illustration order has been placed (and the deposit has been made) through my etsy shop, Brooklit Bride, the first step is to email me wedding photos. Ideally a whole online album works best, if possible from the wedding photographer. Seeing an array of photos helps me capture the design and all the details of the dress in motion, from different angles, and in different lighting. The photos also give me a sense of the brides personality, like Jackie here who you can clearly see through her pictures is a casual and playful girl, as opposed to say, the fancy and more traditional bride.

After studying the wedding photos, for step 2, I come up with 3-6 very rough pencil sketches. From these roughs the client picks which pose he or she likes best and conveys any important details that they want to make sure I feature. They can also add or remove elements, by saying something like "I love the profile pose but nix the bouquet."

After the pose and details are clear I get to work on step 3, the polished line drawing. This will be the under-drawing for the final artwork. I again share it with the client and make sure every detail is there and the client is happy with the final design before color is added and it becomes extremely difficult to modify. This is the time for any final tweaks and balance payment is due.

Step 4 is the final color rendering, primarily done with markers and pencils but occasionally if the design calls for it I use a fine tip pen or one of my secret weapons. And after another hour (sometimes two or three!) the custom fashion illustration is complete. I then ship and pack the original artwork and its off to its new home.

if you're interested in a custom sketch of your own or would like to buy one as a gift, you can check out my custom illustration listings in BrooklitBride or email me with any questions.

Thanks so much Brooke! Don't forget to check out her blog, Fabulous Doodles and her Etsy shop.