Dads Shin is an illustrator based in New York. Born in Massachusets, he attended the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) and has been freelancing as an illustrator since his graduation. I came across his work on his blog, where he posts a variety of material: works in progress, experiments, personal projects, and commissions. His work struck a cord for its composed quiet, the subdued hues, and a sense of melancholy and solitude that seeps into almost every piece. There is often some strangeness in the subject matter, or the angle he takes in his illustrations.
Shin has produced a considerable amount commissioned work. He is very skilled at editorial commissions in particular. Shin appears to have a strong intuitive sense for the multiple layers of meaning that can exist within an image. Often tasked with illustrating difficult subject matter –disability, depression, and racism in Hollywood are just a few examples – he handles the imagery with great sensitivity and depth. His illustrations truly add new levels of understanding and prompt further contemplation, instead of literally illustrating the article. As it should be.
Dads Shin’s portfolio is rich in material, and I would encourage you to visit his website, his blog, and his Instagram for more. I think it is more rewarding to view his editorial work in situ, rather than in a tumble of images. So, I have selected some of my favourite fashion illustrations to showcase here. This is ongoing side project of Dadu Shin’s. In contrast to his main body of work, these illustrations are joyously bright, with a focus on composition, balance and geometry. They must be a lot of fun to make alongside the more conceptual work, but they also pack a punch as stand-along fashion illustrations.