• Louma

June blog update: fashion illustration, baby keepsakes, and back to Pokidots full time!

It is so nice to be back to doing what I truly love.

Five years and two babies after my move to Seattle from Canada, I am refocusing on Pokidots! I left my corporate Creative Project Manager job, and I am ready to take on the self-employment challenge all over again, this time a little differently.

Pokidots! eh?

The Montreal Pokidots! was a little graphic design house that offered printing services as well. After many ups and downs and failures and successes, I can say that it was doing steadily well. I had many local clients, loyal and returning ones, and I had a couple of clients in the States as well.

Louma El-Khoury, Surtex show 2010, fashion illustration and patterns

When I moved to Vancouver, BC, I worked day and night to prepare for the New York Surtex show for May 2010, to license my fashion illustrations and design patterns. The show was successful and the future was bright, but shortly after it, I made the difficult (work-wise) decision to move to Seattle and be with the man I love, and to do that, I had to leave Pokidots! in Canada and put it on hold.

Until now!

In the last five years, it became clearer to me than ever that what I love to do is fashion illustration. This is my strength, the only consistent thing in my life since I was nine years old. Over the decades, I refined my fashion drawing style, through all kinds of media and inspiration sources. My drawings gained a technical element after the years of fashion school in Montreal, and my style is now defined, even though I will never stop evolving and improving.

Now I have the chance to draw every day, and I am very grateful for it. I will keep adding to my fashion illustration library and shop, while I look for opportunities to work with fashion designers or magazines.

The mama factor.

Another thing changed since the last time I was self-employed: I am now a mom of two girls; Laurie who is 2 and a half, and Leina, who just turned one. Being a mom is a beautiful thing, and it gave me the inspiration to create the baby keepsakes I have had the ultimate happiness and pleasure of creating!

As I was giving away Leina's baby clothes, I ran into a couple of pieces I didn't want to get rid of. I had done these artworks with my fashion illustrations wearing fabric dresses, and immediately thought that I could create them again using my girls' baby clothes instead. I made one for Laurie with a sweater I love, that she wore for a home photoshoot when she was 2 months old, and one for Leina with her newborn pajama (below); the first thing she ever wore when she was 7 pounds and tiny. I now have them displayed, and when I look at them, they immediately bring back each its own sweet memory. That's definitely better than keeping the clothes in some drawer or some box in the closet.

Pokidots framed baby keepsake with baby clothes, fashion girl, newborn

My idea gained a lot of interest, and sure enough, I had inquiries from mothers of boys, which led to the sailboat keepsake design.

These keepsakes give my work an important addition: a purpose, and what sweeter purpose than immortalizing the precious and unique memories we have of our children when they were little. I'm having the best time doing this.

I will be looking for Seattle bloggers to collaborate with on these, planning on trying local art markets in the end of the summer, and testing ways to spread the word about these keepsakes, beyond word-of-mouth (which is proving to be great right now, so please, don't hesitate to spread the word on your end!)

The new Pokidots! website was ready soon after I left my job, and I collaborated with Seattle photographer Linzy Witherspoon who took the most beautiful banner pictures on the home page (the better ones, like this one below).

Pokidots framed keepsake with used clothes, fashion girl, tulle

I am loving this new phase, and most importantly, I am happy and very optimistic about what's coming next. As long as I follow the only piece of advice my dad gave me when I started out in 2008, I am good ;) I can't wait to share more of my journey here, and I am very excited to be blogging again to be able to do that. ☮

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