meet: jillian barthold of monster songs

i saw jillian's work at the portland renegade craft fair and couldn't stop thinking about it when i got home! jillian's fun style revolves around the best cult classics and other things that i obsess about (think: ice cream). she is all about the pins, buttons, patches and ribbons! the things that make life fun and that is something i support fully - and i'm sure you will, too!

monster songs 1
monster songs 2

what is your background?
when i was a little kid all i wanted to do was color and draw, so from a young age i was put into short term art classes and workshops. i ended up at an art school in chicago and had a few really incredible internships with some of the most lovely, hard working people (alyson beaton of grow books press, lille husset and jeremiah & michelle catalano-reilly of reuse first) who really inspired me to start making more work.

monster songs for everglow handmade

how did you start illustrating and selling?
i studied graphic design in art school, but even though i always using hand drawn elements in my designs, it took me years to realize it was okay to call myself an illustrator. at some point, i started making zines of my illustrations and tabling at zine fests, some screen prints of my work to sell at a local shop, and just kind of kept going and adding to what i was making. 

how did your style develop? 
i have always been really interested in a very whimsical and child-like aesthetic. i really love to draw literal things - plants, buildings, food, books, mugs, you name it! - so i spend a lot of time just drawing what i see. i am extremely inspired by the japanese world view or aesthetic of wabi-sabi, which is centered on the acceptance of transience and imperfection.

monster songs for everglow handmade

what are you currently working on?
i'm at the beginning of a bunch of new projects right now. i am starting to work on the second issue of my zine monster songs, which is a collection of comic short stories, some new screenprints with more color separations, and some new collections of watercolor and gouche paintings.

monster songs for everglow handmade

what are you looking forward to this year?
i am traveling quite a bit coming up, so i am really excited to get inspired by new places and draw my new adventures. 

jill4.jpg

what advice would you give to makers who are just getting started? 
be kind to literally everyone. i guess that's more life advice, but i think it is especially important as a maker and an artist. also, don't be afraid of getting started. 

monster songs for everglow handmade

check out more of jillian's work by visiting her etsy or tumblr. thanks for sharing, jillian!

photos courtsey of jillian barthold.