We had the good fortune of connecting with Julia Hill and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Julia, what role has risk played in your life or career?
Risk taking is pretty important to me and has played a huge role in the aspect of my career. I’m an Illustrator with a degree from Art Center College of Design and the decision to take my artistic ability and transform it into a career was funneled through the risk I took applying for and graduating from Art Center. At the time I had heard about Art Center I was about 20 years old. I had a representative come speak at my community college about the school and what they had to offer which really ignited a spark in me to apply. I knew at the time the tuition rate was outside of my financial ability so I made a goal to apply for FAFSA at 25 and apply shortly after. The next few years was a lot of work and preparation to send in an appropriate portfolio and get together the things I needed. I took a huge risk in applying to an art school. I had several doubts and moments throughout those years where I thought I should put off my dreams of becoming a working artist and get something that was more financially stable. Will I make it post-graduation? Would I be able to afford it? Will a degree from an art college actually get me the career I want and need? What about the “starving artist” notion? I kept thinking about these questions for years. I didn’t come from a place where financial help was available and in my mind at the time I didn’t know if a career in art was going to be long-lasting. It was a huge risk for me but I took the risk anyway. I had an immense passion and drive to be a successful artist and I knew I needed to take the leap because what else did I have to lose? I’ve always thought about how taking a risk to better yourself is a risk well taken. If I hadn’t taken that risk back then, I don’t think I would’ve been the same person I am today.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I’m an Illustrator and Designer. In my illustration work, I work a lot with abstract portraiture to convey my story. I get really excited using texture and color in fun ways to explore the human form and tell my narrative through the use of color, shape and abstraction.
In my professional career I’m a Textile Designer where I create repeat illustrative patterns for apparel and lifestyle products. I started my work roughly 6 years ago working with a lifestyle company creating pattern designs for skateboard decks. Throughout the years of growth and expansion with the companies I’ve worked for, I’ve had to navigate several challenges along the way. It’s a long process of gathering inspiration for future seasons and finding new and exciting ways to come up with a piece of wearable art for the future consumer. While I did have the technical skill I acquired as an Illustrator from Art Center College of Design, I had little knowledge in the fashion world and how artwork flows on a garment. I worked hard to really grasp the tools I needed to continue to work as a Textile Designer. I had to learn flow and movement when it came to my illustrations on fabric. I had to work through different ways of creating repeat patterns. I also had to learn about color matching and the use of color when applied to a garment. On top of the technical side of the print world, I had to then reinvent the visual story the company was requesting and come up with something that would feel fresh for the future. How would the consumer feel about the print a year or two from now? Finding new and fresh ideas was difficult and navigating through the technical side of Textile Design was also really hard. The reward of seeing my artwork hit the shelves and enjoyed by people across the world was such an amazing feeling and all the hard work I had done throughout the years has definitely paid off. Not giving up on this dream of becoming an artist and using my skill to work with some incredible companies has been nothing short of amazing. There is some really interesting work I’ve had the chance to create and I can’t wait for everyone to be able to enjoy it!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I would start by taking them to some favorite restaurants to eat. One place I just love is Pura Vita in West Hollywood. It’s vegan Italian food and it’s to die for. If they had never visited the city before, I would probably drive them around to all the main spots, WeHo, DTLA, Venice, Malibu, Pasadena, Koreatown etc. The following days would most likely be spent exploring some amazing art galleries in the city and checking out any openings along the way. Some of my favorite galleries are in Culver City near Washington and La Cienega. It’s a fun place to explore while also engaging with beautiful pieces of art. I may drop by the Comedy Store for a night and watch some standup. They normally have some great comics come through. I’d also take them on a little trip down to San Diego which is where I was born and raised and show them around some of my favorite beach spots. Coffee would definitely be on the list as coffee is part of my daily routine. There are some delicious spots all around but one favorite would be Black Canvas in West Hollywood. The Hollywood Bowl or the Greek Theatre would be great spots to check out an amazing performer. Lastly checking out the beach cities along with a stroll around Abbot Kinney would be a fun way to close out the visit.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
To my friends & family who always supported me throughout my journey and helped push me to become the artist I am today.
Instagram: @juliahillart @cblt__