I have a client who has asked me to create a portrait for his profile image. He would like to be styled like Joseph Gordon-Levitt. I whole-heartedly approve of this choice. JGL is a doll and I feel a certain kinship to the man as we both rock the hyphenated last name. Endless DMV complications in the house!
I could use a large search engine for reference photos, but I have no intention of copying a photo verbatim (that's illegal ya'll). What I need to grasp is the essence of JGL's personal style (or perhaps his stylist's vision).
For this I turn to Tom and Lorenzo. They are fashion bloggers of the highest caliber (meaning they attend Fashion Week inside the big tent next to the other big fashion journalists). These guys do not traffic in hack jokes about celebrities or cruel comments about physical appearance. What they do (often hilariously) is break down the elements of an outfit as if they were costume designers. If they are too sleepy from hanging out with celebrities and avoiding carbs to write a detailed post I can always rely on the fan comments. The fans are referred to as the "Bitter Kittens" and occasionally the "Precious Unborn Fauns" and are mainly comprised of people who love clothes and sometimes are designers themselves.
So I can search for Mr. Gordon-Levitt and not only see images but read how the cut or proportion or color of his clothing conveys his enviable look. Those are things I can replicate in an illustration without stealing from someone else's photo and hopefully come up with a smashing image that will make my client feel like a real live Looper.