An Interview with Fashion Illustrator Johanna Dziadkiewicz



It’s no secret that we love Melbourne based illustrator, Johanna Dziadkiewicz‘s work. We have been honoured to collaborate with her for over a year now and to celebrate this milestone we thought it was high time you found out more about her. We caught up with Johanna to chat about her artistic practice and about some of her favourite illustrations so far.


Leiden: How did you get into fashion illustration?

Johanna: As a kid I spent a lot of time drawing from magazines and photos to improve my skills. I always loved drawing people, and when I finished my studies I came back to that. Fashion-wise I’ve always been a little bit experimental (you already know how much I like colour and pattern), so I found myself gravitating towards fashions and images of people who I think look really interesting.


L: What do you love about illustrating?

J: There are just so many different people out there wearing creative things, and I do not have enough time to draw them all! Illustrating, for me, is a bit of therapy, I can’t think about anything else while I’m doing it, and I love being able to bring something new to an image or outfit by drawing it in a certain way.



Johanna: This illustration is from the first This is Canberra article Emma [Leiden editor] asked me to illustrate, and is still one of my best drawings ever!


L: How do you approach drawing? Do you like to draw mostly from photos or more from your imagination?

J: I always draw from photos, my imagination drawings are not great! I tend to take screenshots of things I find interesting in some way, then I have a big catalogue of things to choose from when I feel like drawing. I do practice drawing from my imagination often, especially if I dream up some outfit that I want see, but I don’t usually share those ones.


L: How have you developed your style?

J: Well, when I started drawing again I played around with a few mediums like watercolour, pencil, charcoal and so on, but I started using fineliner and really liked the bold look it creates. I always loved Lichtenstein and the pop artists who had a comic book style but I never felt brave enough to just draw straight on the paper in pen. I started with a more sketchy style in pen before I managed to get to the cleaner outline look I go for now.



Johanna: This is from same article as the Gucci girl above. This one was liked on insta by Roberto Cavalli (or their page) and generated a lot more attention for me.


L: Your day job is very different from your creative pursuits outside work, how important is it to you to have a creative outlet?

J: It is very different! I do really enjoy working in a more technical job, but I absolutely need as many opportunities to be creative as possible. It satisfies a craving that I can’t get in the office, and I actually think that using both the left and right sides of my brain is a good thing.


L: Where would you like to take your illustrating?

J: I would love to be able to share it with a wider group of people, and hopefully bring some more attention to emerging designers while I’m at it. If one day my drawings could be more of a side-business that would be really wonderful.



Johanna: This illustration of a look from Corr Blimey is from Fashfest last year. I did this on holiday (along with many others!) because I thought it was amazing, and this helped get me where I am today with Fashfest and Leiden


L: What will we see next from you?

J: You will see me drawing live at Fashfest this week! I’ll be exhibiting a small collection of illustrations at the National Convention Centre as part of the festival and will be sharing throughout the week. I’m so excited for this opportunity to work with so many amazing designers and photographers in Canberra, and it should give me lots more material to share with Leiden this year.


Our second Limited Edition print publication featuring artwork by Johanna will be on sale soon!



Johanna: This is also from Fashfest last year, modelled by Ameena Payne who was one of my earliest supporters on Insta. I had been following her back while she was rehearsing (which is actually how I heard about Fashfest to start with) and recognised her in the show so had to draw her!



Johanna: Cameron & james are back at Fashfest this year, I first saw his stuff at VAMFF for the Dress Collective Runway earlier this year, and love it!



Johanna: The Leiden Girl. This one is important for obvious reasons 😉

Emma Batchelor

Emma Batchelor

As well as a near obsessive interest in fashion, Emma is a former scientist, occasional contemporary dancer, avid reader and self-confessed cat lady (she has three). Emma lived in Leiden in the Netherlands as a baby and Leiden ought to have been her middle name had her mother thought of it at the time and not chosen Louise instead.

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