ITEM m6 is the fashion brand of medi, a high-tech manufacturer from Germany and one of the world’s leading names in the field of medical compression stockings.
ITEM m6 products are made from the same advanced polyamide and elastanes as used in quality sportswear.
The specially developed HIGH-TECH FORM-FIT YARN, adapts perfectly to the shape of a man’s and woman’s body, while the compression stimulates blood circulation to give an extra boost of energy.
The stylishly designed Collections from ITEM M6, are designed for people who care about their bodies, love fashion but also want their garments to be extremely comfortable. For this brand we asked the young illustrator Yara Ruby to share her vision on the brand:
“At first I took a good look at what the item in my opinion expressed and what ITEM M6 stands for. Like every project, I then started drawing and writing in my sketchbook. I wrote down some keywords that I associated with the brand and the item. Then I started making sketches. My sketchbook and me are inseparable; in there I develop, puzzle and play with ideas until I found something to work with.
I based my work on various pictures of ITEM M6. On these black-and-white pictures you can see a man who strikes diverse agile and active poses. I associated this with falling, for in every picture he seemed to be floating. The slogan of ITEM M6 is “Enjoy Your Flight”. For this project I imagined a story around the item, the model and the slogan. I thought up that the model jumped into a black waterfall, and gets out of it with black socks. The active poses of the pictures I assimilated into the jump that the person makes in my comic. As far as I know, not a lot of comics are made about fashion or fashion items, that’s why it seemed an appropriate challenge!”
An Artistic View: How did you start out as an artist?
Yara Ruby: Starting from a young age, I have been taking my mother’s art classes. My mother is an artist and teaches children as well as adults, in her atelier in our garden. I did not like anything better than drawing, and already back then I decided to make it my profession. I thought of becoming an illustrator because I was always making tiny drawings, and oftentimes hid jokes in them. Also, I loved reading a variety of books, and even when I finished a book, I kept fantasizing on what would happen in its sequel.
AAV: Where did you study and what did you major in? Why did you choose this direction?
YR: After primary school I went to the School for Young Talents in The Hague, where I followed classes at the Royal Art Academy next to the regular ones. Afterwards I was accepted at the Willem de Kooning Academy in Rotterdam. There I chose to specialize in illustration because it’s an applied art form, a true interaction with the world around me. I think I fit well into this environment because I like to base my work on a real life situation or assignment. At the moment I am working on my graduation project, and am looking forward to working as a freelance illustrator starting next year!
AAV:What inspires you, and how does this reflect in your work?
YR: People are the most inspiring to me, in all shapes and sizes. I am somebody who likes to observe people and imagine about them at the same time. When I am sitting across from you in the train, I will probably have already created a story around you, about what kind of house you live in, what you did during the weekend, and what you ate for breakfast this morning.
In addition, making small trips, like to Barcelona where I was this January, inspires me. There I made illustrations every day of things around me, ranging from beautiful plants to elegant women, interior design, food and funny-looking dogs walking by.
Moreover, I love going to exhibitions. For instance, a very inspiring one that was critical for my recent work is ‘Oases’ of Matisse, which is currently displayed in The Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam. Also, the Picasso museum in Barcelona has been very inspirational. This is not directly reflected in my work, for it is details, like a particular combination of colors, composition or ambience that I take away from these exhibitions.
AAV:How would you describe your style? How can we recognize a true ‘Yara Ruby’-art piece?
YR: My work is recognizable by my use of lines; I do not hesitate and usually keep drawing without lifting my pencil. I spend most of my time visualizing my imagination as well as objects from my surroundings. It is characterized by cheerful colors and a light sense of humor. I prefer drawing with pencil, in combination with Photoshop.
AAV: What is your added value to the art world?
YR: Illustration is the greatest profession because you can give people a certain feeling through your work. My goal is to let people experience happiness, to make them smile or to acknowledge their existence. In this way I hope to create a positive vibe that can be felt by others!
AAV:How would you describe your ideal art world ?
YR: That’s a difficult question. I think certain professions like illustration are undervalued because it’s an applied art form. People frequently think that illustrations only appear in children’s books, but the interesting thing about illustration is that you can go into any direction. Lately illustrations have been taking all kinds of forms, which is really great. It is being applied in a growing variety of ways, for various clients and purposes, like for the fashion industry.
AAV: What is your view on today’s Men’s fashion?
YR: Honestly I am not very familiar with men’s fashion, though I like it when men look sophisticated in a playful way. For instance wearing crazy socks with a suit.
AAV: Which (fashion) brand would you like work for one day?
YR: I did not think about working at a fashion brand before! For now my answer is the Dutch brand Vlisco, they design textiles for African consumers. In The Netherlands they produce the fabrics and designs, which go to Africa afterwards, where they are made into clothing. What I like about this brand is that the designs have a variety of meanings and stories, which is similar to what I do as an illustrator.
AAV: What projects are you currently working on and what are your goals for the future?
YR: At the moment I am working on my graduation project. I thereby research how I can acknowledge strangers’ their existence in public spaces, by making illustrations. I plan on doing this by going to many places (swimming pools, parks, zoos, libraries), to observe people, draw them and make photographs, to then use these as input for new work. For this project, I use my imagination and interpretation of people, and will see what that leads to. Right now I am only in the starting phase of the project, but it is already a lot of fun!
The most important goal for me at the moment is to graduate. Thereafter I want to work as freelance illustrator for a year, to see what more I have to learn! Once I know this, I might take up another course on it.