POST MOD­ERN Avery Ne­jam, Aaron Faval­oro, and Belle Lang­ford are lead­ing a new gen­er­a­tion of In­sta­gram il­lus­tra­tors. By Louisa De Kievit.

Harper’s Bazaar (Malaysia) - - The Culture -

In­sta­gram is train­ing our eye, mak­ing us more dis­cern­ing con­sumers of the vi­brant online gallery at our fin­ger­tips. Our screen­flick­ing thumbs are get­ting so quick that only the most al­lur­ing pic­tures now hold our at­ten­tion. At BAZAAR, we’re cur­rently lov­ing the ex­plo­sion of rogue il­lus­tra­tors who in­fuse their ar­rest­ing works with a tongue-in-cheek charm, such as US-based @AveryNe­jam, and Syd­ney’s @Aaron­Faval­oro and @Hel­laBlissed.

In Fe­bru­ary this year, 23-year-old Avery Ne­jam from Jack­son, Mis­sis­sippi, up­loaded to In­sta­gram a dig­i­tal il­lus­tra­tion of Lupita Ny­ong’o in a shock of green Chris­tian Dior (the dress she wore to the BAFTAs) set against a sea of red (car­pet). At the time, the ac­tor was on the brink of su­per­star­dom, with the world’s media keep­ing a close watch on her ev­ery fash­ion move, so when she re­grammed the car­toon­like por­trait along with a com­ment, “OK, this is HOT”, peo­ple took no­tice. US BAZAAR’s ex­ec­u­tive editor, Laura Brown, was charmed by the piece. “It was just so in­cred­i­bly graphic and con­fi­dent,” she re­calls, “and I im­me­di­ately started fol­low­ing [Ne­jam] and pounced on her to do il­lus­tra­tions for BAZAAR. Avery is a true orig­i­nal.” Now the artist works with Brown on Chic of the Week, an online col­umn in which she taps into the zeit­geist by lac­ing to­gether the top-trend­ing im­ages in our col­lec­tive psy­che with her own popesque touch, for ex­am­ple, Kimye’s wed­ding, posted at the peak of the hys­te­ria sur­round­ing it.

Ne­jam works around the clock, to en­sure her con­tent is up-to-theminute. “That’s what’s so beau­ti­ful about so­cial media,” she says. “If you’re go­ing to be a pop artist and you’re not keep­ing it cur­rent, then what are you do­ing this for? It’s a big part of how I work and how I gain trac­tion.” Ne­jam stud­ied il­lus­tra­tion at Par­sons The New School for De­sign in New York and is also trained in fine arts and screen­print­ing. She spent three years hon­ing her skills be­fore fall­ing se­ri­ously ill and hav­ing to give up the art­form. Then she took up the phi­los­o­phy “What would Warhol do?” Dig­i­tal art was the an­swer. In­sta­gram has en­abled her to not only cre­ate the work but also act as cu­ra­tor, dealer, mar­keter, and re­tailer, all online. Next up, she’s head­ing to Art Basel Mi­ami Beach with US BAZAAR for a spe­cial pro­ject. Watch her next move on In­sta­gram.

Aus­tralian artist Aaron Faval­oro finds that his most inspired de­sign con­cepts come to him when rid­ing waves at home on Syd­ney’s North­ern Beaches. That’s where his light­bulb mo­ment came for the Moschino girls styled as French Fries, which gen­er­ated huge buzz on so­cial media – adored by Moschino HQ, and re­grammed by its cre­ative di­rec­tor, Jeremy Scott. “Some­times I just know what’s go­ing to work and cause a re­ac­tion, and I’m out there in the surf talk­ing to my mates about fash­ion and they just roll their eyes at me,” he says with a laugh. Af­ter study­ing fash­ion de­sign for a year, Faval­oro left to work for David Jones, mov­ing into vis­ual mer­chan­dis­ing for its North­ern Beaches store, where he spent four years. When the pic­ture-shar­ing app re­ally took off in 2011, he spot­ted an op­por­tu­nity to de­velop a busi­ness. “I can’t be­lieve I’ve been able to run a com­pany through In­sta­gram,” he says now. “It’s the only source of busi­ness I’ve had, along with word of mouth, and I’ve been able to bring some­one in full-time off the back of that.”

Dries Van Noten Pre- Fall ’15 by Aaron Faval­oro Valentino Pre- Fall ’15 by Aaron Faval­oro

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