Watercolors, Copic Markers + Fashion Illustration

Watercolors, Copic Markers + Fashion Illustration - offbeat + inspired

It’s been a bit crazy around here and a lot of exciting things are coming up (most of which I’ll be able to share with you VERY soon!), but I needed to escape for a few minutes, take a deep breath and share something that I have been obsessing over lately. Fashion illustration.

Watercolors, Copic Markers + Fashion Illustration - offbeat + inspired

My most recent, “Once Upon A Time”


If you’ve known me for a long time, you know I’ve been sketching little models and dressing them up since I was teenie. If I got a bad grade in school, it could usually be attributed to classroom hours spent doodling dresses in my marble notebooks instead of listening to a lecture. The notebooks were bursting with pencil or pen-drawn characters in an assortment of outfits — some of my own design, others straight from my real life wish list (probably Delia’s). I would share them with my friends and get excited about the idea of designing clothing someday. We would fantasize about creating our own wedding gowns and opening a shop with all the outfits we could dream up.


I honored my childhood aspirations in a somewhat strange way by getting into 3D clothing design when I was 19. This next part will probably require revisiting and further explanation, but in a nutshell, I made an account in a virtual world called Second Life and opened up a clothing store. Second Life is sort of like The Sims, only you can walk around and chat with other people who are logging in all over the world — and if you’re a 3D designer, texture mapping artist, etc., you can sell your creations to other users and make real money. This was how I earned part time income while in college (in addition to babysitting), and it has kept my love of fashion design/creation alive to this day.

Watercolors, Copic Markers + Fashion Illustration - offbeat + inspired

This is an ad for two 3D dresses my shop partner and I created for our Second Life store, Mon Tissu.


The coolest thing about designing clothing in Second Life was that I got to share my creations in a much more personal way than just sketching them out on lined paper. I was able to put them up for sale and other people could purchase them, wear them, and walk around a virtual world all dressed up in something I made. The sharing of creativity that takes place there is incredible.


After years of doing only 3D and digital fashion design, I decided to pick up a pencil again when I came across the blog of Katie Rodgers, who has become my all time favorite fashion illustrator. Her blog/business is called PaperFashion, and she focuses primarily on watercolor. I was so inspired browsing through her work that I immediately went out and purchased a rinky dink set of watercolors, some brushes and a watercolor pad. Consider my 2D fashion journey revived!

I took a class Katie was teaching on SkillShare about how to do quick fashion sketches and watercoloring based on runway looks. It was super helpful, a TON of fun, and I was able to broaden my technique horizons significantly with her instruction. My goal was to produce pieces that were good enough to sell, so I kept at it and eventually opened a little shop on Society6 where I could sell prints, stationary and iPhone cases. Society6 is so cool because I just upload my artwork, they do the rest, and I’m able to share my creations similarly to how I’ve been able to share them in Second Life.


Copic Markers entered the scene most recently, after I got lost on YouTube for 4 hours watching a slew of video tutorials featuring Copics used for anime illustrations and product design renderings. I was fascinated by the blending capabilities of these alcohol-based markers. I ordered a few at a steep discount on Amazon (they’re pricey), and put them right to work. I did some pieces using only Copics and really liked the results, but then I started blending Copics with watercolors and fell in love.

Watercolors, Copic Markers + Fashion Illustration - offbeat + inspired

“Sunshine Girl”, “Blue Girl” + “Seaside Girl” – These outfits were all inspired by Ruche and I was so excited to see them featured on their blog!


I’m now doing at least 3 new pieces each week, and I’ve really enjoyed sharing work-in-progress shots and finished illustrations on Instagram (@tifforelie). I can’t tell you how relaxing it is to wake up in the morning, get a cup of coffee, sit down with my blank paper and a room full of soft sunlight, and make whatever pops into my head come to life with some ink and some paint.

If you’re feeling inspired, here’s the full list of what I’ve been using in case you want to get started on some fashion illustrations of your own:

XL Mixed Media Pad by Canson - for Copic illustrations
Arches Watercolor Block 140 Pound Hot Press Paper  - for watercolors and watercolor/Copic hybrids
General’s Semi-Hex Graphite Pencils
Kneaded Eraser
Simply Simmons Brushes - my most used being #2, #4, #8 and #12
Reeves Gouache Paints - gouache is very similar to watercolor, though a bit thicker and more pigmented – but it can be sheered out with water the same exact way so I’ve been using these more often than my watercolor cakes. They also last longer and only squeezing out what you need preserves the original colors in the tubes.
Micron Pens - for outlining and detailing
Copic Sketch Markers
Martha Stewart Fine Glitter - for embellishing your colored work
Martha Stewart Fine Tip Glue Pen - for drawing out the area you want the glitter to stick to before giving it a light dusting.

In addition to the above list, you’ll need a cup of water, some paper towels for brush dabbing, a little watercolor palette (or waxed paper plate) for paint mixing, and your imagination!

Glitters were provided by CreateforLess.com — check out their site for more gorgeous Martha Stewart glitters and other crafting supplies!

All of the pieces I shared in this post are available as prints, stationary and iPhone cases on my Society6 page. If you’re interested in custom work or in purchasing originals, you can e-mail me here!

Do you have any artistic hobbies or passions that have been shelved for a while or that you’ve just been keeping to yourself? Why not share them? Let me know what they are in the comments below! I would LOVE to see your stuff on Instagram too! Hashtag your work (whatever it may be) with #oaibloginspired


A Beautiful Giveaway With The Young Aesthetic

A Beautiful Giveaway With The Young Aesthetic - offbeat + inspired

I’m so excited to share this giveaway with you guys today! I had the pleasure of e-meeting Laura Young of “The Young Aesthetic” a few weeks ago and getting to know her line of beautiful repurposed chandelier crystal pendant necklaces. I absolutely love the style and color range of her pieces. They’re the perfect blend of simple and statement.

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Tiffany’s Spring Essentials

I’m absolutely loving the warmer weather that has finally hit KY. I’ve been dreaming of cherry blossoms, hiking, night walks, picnics, cook-outs and every other magical spring activity since, well… New years. And although I’ve been teased for the last month with hints of my favorite season, the trees actually started blooming about 3 days ago, so I took that as my cue! It’s time for a spring essentials round up!

Spring Essentials - offbeat + inspired

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Free Ad Space for 1 Lucky Female-Owned Business in CAKE&WHISKEY Magazine!

I’m so excited to share this opportunity with you guys. CAKE&WHISKEY Magazine ”The sweet & spirited world of business” (print, quarterly) is running a contest on Facebook right now where you can nominate your favorite woman-owned business by writing up a little blurb about them and then getting votes! Anyone who’s tried to advertise in print knows how expensive a full page ad is, so this is a REALLY amazing prize! If you are a business owner and haven’t been nominated yet, simply nominate yourself and then get your customers and fans voting! Nominate here!

CAKE&WHISKEY Magazine "Pick the Ad" Contest! - Nominate your favorite woman-owned business and she can win a free full-page ad in the summer issue! If you own a business and haven't been nominated yet, simply nominate yourself and then encourage your fans and customers to vote! Enter here: http://bit.ly/14Et9o8

Pin this image and spread the word about the contest!


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Clean Eating | Quinoa Pilaf + Balsamic Roasted Kabocha Squash

Clean Eating | Quinoa Pilaf + Balsamic Roasted Kabocha Squash from offbeat + inspired

I think it’s fairly common to make healthy eating resolutions in January, and then watch in horror as they go down the drain when Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day and Easter hit. Those don’t seem like big eating holidays, which is why we all figure we’re out of the dog house post-New Years — but then the boxes of chocolate, fancy dinner dates, Irish soda bread, corned beef, Easter ham and everything buttery, sugary, salty and fried makes itself absolutely necessary… again.

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Spinach & Tomato Eggs Benedict

My youngest sister can cook. Truly. We’re out in Indiana for the weekend visiting her and her husband while they’re on spring break from college, and she’s already whipped up 2 delicious meals in their tiny (adorable) apartment kitchen. When I say tiny kitchen, I mean TINY kitchen. Here’s proof that it doesn’t matter how big or small your culinary workroom is, and it doesn’t matter how many fancy schmancy appliances you do (or don’t) have… you can still produce killer dishes on a budget that will give your favorite restaurants a run for their money. Case in point — spinach and tomato eggs benedict.

Spinach & Tomato Eggs Benedict - offbeat + inspired

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Going Sleeveless

I think we’ve been officially released from the greedy clutches of this frigid weather. I THINK! Last time I said that, I went to bed dreaming of summer picnics and woke up amidst the world’s most random blizzard. So at the risk of causing another freak snowstorm, I’ll venture to say that spring weather actually IS here.. finally — and I couldn’t be more excited about it.

Altard State Tanks - back in time - offbeat + inspired

Back In Time Lace Top by Vintage Havana – The flowing lace back is heavenly.


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Feels Like Spring

Feels Like Spring - offbeat + inspired

I had to make this post today because last weekend was the first consistently beautiful weekend we’ve had here since fall. Of course, when I woke up this morning there was a blizzard underway, but I’m willing to ignore it in honor of the 60 degree weather we’re supposed to have starting tomorrow!

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Spring Nail Polish Trend: Indies!

Today’s post is brought to you by my friend Danielle, an indie polish enthusiast and manicure guru who does the most adorable looks I’ve ever seen! I’ve been following her on Instagram for a while now, and I’m thrilled to have her on the blog! Grab a snack and get ready for some major nail-spiration…

Spring Nail Polish Trend: Indies! - offbeat + inspired

Hi, everyone! Danielle here with some nail polish! As a polish addict, I absolutely love supporting local and independent creators. If you don’t know much about the nail polish scene, indie polish is an industry that has really taken off in the last year. Most indies are handmade in small batches and sold online from various popular “e-tailers”.  If you go to Etsy.com and search for “nail polish”, you will get thousands of results! The color and glitter combinations that these shop owners come up with are just fantastic, and I have picked a few of my favorites to share with you guys today! Links on where to buy will be at the bottom of this post.

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Perfect Heatless Curls With A French Twist + A Video Demonstration!

Perfect Heatless Curls with a French Twist - offbeat + inspired

My lovely sister (R) recently relocated to the happy little city of Lexington, and I could NOT be more thrilled about it. She’s staying with us while she gets settled in, and clearly all we’ve been doing is our hair. That’s not entirely true, but whenever she’s doing her hair, I’m kind of hovering in the doorway asking her to explain her genius methods! She always has new tips to share about hair health and styling, so I asked her to demonstrate this great heatless curling technique, and she obliged. We even filmed it!

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