Nina Edwards, Fashion Illustrator and Pratt Professor, Discusses Her Inspirations, Passions and Career Achievements

Courtesy of Nina Edwards

Nina Edwards is a fashion illustrator based in New York City. She currently teaches Introduction to Fashion Illustration, Portfolio and Special Projects, and Creative Careers at Pratt Institute’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies (SCPS). She earned her BFA in illustration from FIT (Fashion Institute of Technology) and her MFA from California State University, Fullerton. Nina has been active in the fields of graphic design, editorial illustration, greeting cards, and social expression for over 20 years. Her expertise includes digital and watercolor illustrations and the integration of opposing elements such as traditional and modern, Eastern and Western, and art and technology into illustrations and designs.

Nina’s work has appeared in numerous publications, book covers, books and magazines editorials, licensing products, and art galleries. Her portfolio of clients includes: Art Hearts Fashion Week, Style Fashion Week, New York Garment District Alliance, Scholastic, Bridal Guide Magazine, Girls’ Life, Seventeen, and Cosmopolitan Magazine to name a few. Keep reading to learn about Nina’s inspirations, passions, career achievements and her journey as a Professor at Pratt Institute.

Pratt SCPS: What motivated you to pursue a career in the fashion world and where do you draw your inspiration from? 

Nina Edwards: My passion is to inspire and empower myself and others to live the best version of ourselves. I use fashion art as a vehicle to develop and elevate for excellence. I get inspiration from everything in life. Movies, music, museums, art galleries, other artwork, fashion shows, flea markets, magazines, internet posts, my children and husband, friends, nature, people walking down the street, my dreams, etc. I believe we don’t go looking for inspiration. It will come to you on its own, like happiness.

Courtesy of Nina Edwards

Pratt SCPS: What has been your greatest professional achievement and what would you consider the biggest challenge you’ve had to overcome in order to achieve it?

Nina Edwards: I was working full time as a senior graphic designer in a mid-size San Francisco advertising agency in the beginning of my career. My great professional achievement was to art direct and design collateral for huge brands including Starbucks. My biggest challenges in that position were my communication and presentation skills. To overcome my shortcomings, I joined a Toastmasters club where I learned and fine-tuned my public speaking and interpersonal communication skills, and gained many opportunities to network with professionals in the design and art licensing industries.

Pratt SCPS: When did your Pratt journey begin and what do you enjoy most about being an educator in this field? 

Nina Edwards: My journey at Pratt started in the winter of 2015, when I was invited to conduct an art licensing and intellectual property law workshop at Pratt. It was well-received and about 40 people attended. I enjoy sharing my professional experience with students from different countries and backgrounds and teaching and inspiring them to be better artists and designers. As a teacher, all my illustration, design, and communication skills are put into practice while I am teaching and guiding my students. I was born and raised in Taiwan and speaking Mandarin is an asset for me when teaching students from China and Taiwan.

Courtesy of Nina Edwards

Pratt SCPS: What advice do you have for creative professionals who desire to launch their own art and design careers in the future? 

Nina Edwards: Know who you are, develop clear art styles for your brand, think outside the box, networking constantly in person and online, and never stop learning. Know who you are, develop a unique art style for your brand, think outside the box, network constantly in person and online, and never stop learning.

This fall Nina will be teaching Intro to Fashion Illustration in the Creative Careers program at the School of Continuing and Professional Studies.

Make sure to follow Nina on social media to view her most recent portfolio work and to learn about her upcoming events and projects.

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