- Tell us about yourself. What are your two best characteristics?
I grew up on a fruit farm in the rural lands of north central Washington state. My interest in art has been as much a part of me as the color of my eyes and from an early age I developed a passion for illustration. When the time came I left my hometown and spent a lot of time traveling, going to school, wearing many hats, and moving boundaries. I now live in Portland, Oregon and although it is a completely different world from where I grew up, I feel like I have found a place that supports the child artist within me. I try to find amusement and wonder in everywhere I go. I don't take myself too seriously and prefer to be surrounded by people who are good at laughing.
- What do you do outside of Etsy-ing?
I spend a lot of time buying, listening, and talking about music. I am also a photographer so I spend a lot of time taking pictures as well as looking at other peoples photographs. I love that I stay at home with my two children who keep me on my toes and offer endless entertainment. I love being outside and am constantly trying to find balance between our urban surroundings and my desire to explore the natural world. Luckily, I can't think of a better place to live that offers the best of both worlds.
- Why "22pages"? What's behind the username?
It came to be out of a literary reference from one of my favorite books Catch 22. I feel that the paradox of being in a catch 22 is more revolving and frequent than people realize. I try to imagine moving through the paradoxes of my life as easily as turning the pages of a novel.
- What inspires you? What gets those creative juices flowing?
You can't live in portland without seeing somebody being successful at doing what they love. It is so inspiring to constantly meet people who are encouraging their creative sides. Lately, my inspiration has come from a mixture of many different things: being in nature, the re-use movement. I'm inspired by children and their beautiful little minds. Music, politics, human rights, and conscious living all have a hand in not only what I create but also the motivation behind what I do. I am inspired by people who put themselves out there because they believe in a greater good. Although my art isn't a political statement by any means, I do believe that our society has been set in "disposable" mode for far too long. I am at my most creative when I find something with potential that has been discarded.
-What is your favorite quote(s)?
"Do your little bit of good where you are; it's those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world." - Desmond Tutu
"The dude abides." - Jeffery Lebowski
- What's your favorite writer, musician/band, and artist?
Writer: Kurt Vonnegut Jr. is my favorite writer. I love early- to mid-century American writers like Steinbeck, Kerouac, and Brautigan. for the past year or two I've become obsessed with graphic novels, especially the works of Craig Thompson and Marjane Satrapi.
Musician: that's a difficult question! I listen to a wide range of music, I love old country music, gypsy folk, French ballads from the 40's and I can't seem to get through a winter without lots of Nina Simone on my playlist. The best way to answer this question is to maybe give an idea of what I'm listening to as of late: the Decemberists, Laura Veirs, M.Ward, Neko Case, Laura Gibson, the Octopus Project, Neutral Milk Hotel, Sufjan Stevens, Megafaun, and I can't stop listening to Alela Diane.
Artist: I'm crazy about the depression era photography of Dorothea Lange. I love illustrations of The Jungle Book by John Lockwood Kipling as well as the work of Sir John Tenniel and more recently Carson Ellis. I am fascinated by the ongoing works of James Turrell.
- What is your favorite part of being a handmade seller?
I love being able to create something one of a kind that will find its place in somebody's life. I'm also not starting at the beginning. My piece starts somewhere else, often times in another century. It will have traveled through the hands of many people before it finds me. Then I add to its story and pass it along, hoping it will pass through many more hands.
Thanks, Jillian, for sharing your life, creativity, and art with us. It has truly been a joy getting to know you!