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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.