AS: In love of men’s fashion understood as an art form, Sunflowerman dedicates their day to day to gentlemen’s fashion illustration in different areas. And of course, we did not want to miss the chance to be in his shoes. Why ‘Sunflowerman’?
I had a dream one night. Everything in the world was in decay. Governments were falling apart, gun violence was on the rise, rights were being stripped from citizens, there was crying in the streets. I looked up to the sky and falling all around me were round objects. They seemed foreign, at first glance I thought of flying saucers but at closer inspection I knew them as the head of Sunflowers. As they landed on the ground they grew stalks and reached toward the sky. In the midst of the field of sunflowers I was safe and all was good in the world.
AS: male fashion illustrator for magazines, stores, brands and personalities is its leitmotif. Where does your passion born about men’s fashion?
It began as a bit of a mistake. I didn’t grow up in love with clothing or fashion. I was lacking even a remote awareness of an existence of fashion culture. Somewhere between painting and traveling I began painting my friends wearing suits and ties and from there it was off to the races. My time was immediately consumed with learning about menswear, painting menswear, becoming one with the movements of cloth on the body.
AS: You say that Atlanta will open the world of men’s fashion. What is that Atlanta has that no other place on earth have?
I’m not sure if I’ve said that and if I have I can’t remember why I would have. Atlanta is stuck for the most part in old style haberdashery. This is not inherently a bad thing, it is simply the place Atlanta fills in the world of fashion.
For me, Atlanta was a pivotal time for exploring menswear and becoming enamoured with the field. It was in Atlanta where I first started painting men’s fashion, where I first saw an interest in clothing have any reward for me and where I had my first menswear commission. Atlanta is a beautiful city, I love Atlanta and what it has given me.
AS: And from Atlanta to the rest of the world: Milan, Florence, London, Paris, New York. Any outstanding destination on your list of ‘fashion places’?
I have been to many places and destinations in these last two years but I still have yet to visit Milan, Florence, London, Paris, Hong Kong, Tokyo and even L.A. There is so much on the list and in due time I will hit it all.
In 2016/2017, my wife Ruth and I will be living a year in Italy. I know that I will be spending time in both Milan and Florence. The prospect of being immersed in Italian culture for a year is blowing my mind.
AS: What shoes go with you in these adventures around the world?
The shoe wardrobe is constantly evolving and slowly balancing. My ideal balance would be versatility in everything including a pair of sneakers, boots and monkstraps. I fear that even just traveling with 3 pair of footwear will be a burden on my luggage, and in the same thought I wish I could dedicate a single checked bag just to my collection of shoes, boots, sandals and museum pieces.
AS: How would you define your style?
Sunflowerman style is one part artist, one part haberdasher, one part tradition, one part rebellion and like, 10 parts of I have no idea what I’m doing.
My style is an ever present fear of failure, the crippling shyness of my childhood, jealousy of my friends, all with an eye for detail.
AS: Sunflowerman has also been dedicated to teaching art. What has taught you to yourself this experience?
I love to share my experiences with anyone who will listen. It fulfills my selfish desire to be noticed and respected. I find joy in having knowledge that others can learn from. A sense of obligation is also present in my dedication to teaching. I have taken the better part of the last two years not teaching but 2016 will see Sunflowerman giving lessons live online.
AS: If you were to illustrate your perfect outfit, what would it be?
I am committed to the idea that the process is more important than the final product. A little caveat here, I also love the final product. It’s really the process that describes the quality of a thing. Imagine a beautiful blue sky. Teals and ceruleans perfectly graduate across the sky. In short time, white puffs begin to streak across the blue. Some are large, some are whisps and most are irregular in shape. These clouds are the epitome of wander and lust and beauty. Your breath is stolen and your eyes well with joy. And then they are gone, lost to the west as soon as they appeared from the east. The beauty is existential, temporal, incorporeal, fleeting. And it was the process that defined it all. It wasn’t a painting on the wall, it was the movement of clouds over time.
That’s the perfect outfit. The beauty of styling a life over time.
AS: As a fashion expert man, how would you define the style of Andrés Sendra?
I am far from an expert, I am continually in process as I discover fashion every day. From the Sunflowerman perspective Andres Sendra is classically Spanish. They are for the warrior who cannot escape his romantic heritage. Not casual, but laid back. Not simple, but intuitively complicated.
AS: More than 29 thousand followers on Instagram you have placed as fashion influencer. Any objection to that?
Over time I have certainly garnered a following that cannot be scoffed at. Influence is a funny thing, though. Do people follow me at the drop of a hat? I don’t know. What I have found is that I make creative and sophisticated looks to give consumers a unique look at products, brands and personalities. Sunflowerman and the Daily Fashion Project are a place to see menswear from the point of view of an illustrator. The illustrations are an extension of the senses. Photography strips away touch and smell and sound, illustration adds the intangible sense of creative engagement.
AS: You are an inspiration to many of your followers. Do you have any blogger Sunflower, influencer, fashionistas inspiration?
My friends influence me. I’ve come to know some of the fashion bloggers, mostly in the New York scene. But the artists I have come to know push my senses and aspirations in new directions.
AS: Before concluding we want a confession: if we lend to you our palette, what color you paint the next Andrés Sendra’s collection.
It would be a dark, oaky yellow. Something that reads as orange and brown but is unmistakably Sunflowerman yellow at its heart. The tip of the shoe would be sprayed with dark umber and the sole would match in value but would lean more black and less brown. It’s construction would be clean and simple with just a cap toe for detail.