Today’s interview is with Jillian Bass of Jillian Bass Studio. I love Jillian’s weaves, they are so structured and she can go from colors to black and white and do an amazing job with both! I especially love that Jillian did 100 days of weavings! You really need to check out her Instagram to scroll through all 100 weaves. They are all so unique and fun! Ok, so now let’s learn more about Jillian…
How did you first come across weaving?
A little over a year ago I saw a creative that I’ve been following for awhile now, Kate Miss (http://www.katemiss.com/), post that she was was learning how to weave on a cardboard loom. It piqued my interest and I thought it looked like something I could do. I’m a graphic designer at a creative studio, and I had been looking for a new creative outlet that didn’t involve the computer. I’ve painted and illustrated on and off but I found that too messy, especially in a New York apartment! Weaving bridges the gap between art and design and I love the tactility of it.
What time of day do you feel most creative?
Early in the morning, I usually wake up at 6am and leave for work around 9am, so I have a good chunk of time for weaving. If I start anything at night, I risk falling asleep on top of my weaving. For my 100 Day Project (http://www.jillianbassstudio.com/100-day-project/) or (https://www.instagram.com/jillianbass/) I always try to do my daily weaving in the morning so I have a sense of accomplishment before I leave for the day.
When I weave in the morning, I always have to eat breakfast and drink a cup of coffee because I wake up starving. Then while I’m weaving I have Netflix (usually Gilmore Girls) or a podcast (usually Radiolab) on in the background. Or else I get lost in my own thoughts and have a hard time concentrating on weaving.
Are you a messy creative or an organized creative?
I try my hardest to stay organized, but when I’m working I just let it all go! There will be yarn cut up everywhere, balls of yarn rolling around on the floor, but after finishing I try to tidy up, as to not drive myself or my housemates insane. And I just put up some shelves for my yarn collection that I am really excited about.
First I pull inspiration, whether it’s from other fiber artists, designers, painters, or color palettes, then I like to sketch out what I’m planning to do. I haven’t been sketching for my 100 Day Project, but every 10 days I choose a different color palette, style, or technique so that I am giving myself some restrictions to work in. Because as a graphic designer I need to work with some self-imposed restrictions!
Do you have a preferred material that you like to use?
I really enjoy working with natural fibers, like wool and cotton. You can find really beautiful colors, textures, and it’s nice knowing that they are natural. I’ve found really great materials at some local yarn stores in Brooklyn, like Brooklyn General Store (https://www.brooklyngeneral.com/) and La Casita Yarn Shop (http://www.lacasitayarnshop.com/). When I first started learning and for the 100 Day Project I used the synthetic yarn that you can get at the craft store. Synthetic yarn is cheaper and there are a million color options so it really allows for experimentation before using higher quality fibers.
I cannot imagine a day in which I am not doing something with the creative side of my brain. It’s so integrated into my daily life and yet it feels so healing and rewarding, no matter how many times a day I’m creating. I have a hard time with the “maker” label though, it brings up an internal struggle of what is craft, art, and design and what category I fit into. I always feel like I’m crossing the line of two of those categories, if not all three sometimes! The thought, act, and process is what drives my work, and that’s what I really enjoy about being a creative.
What is your most favorite creation and why?
I think my favorite by far has been the piece I made with natural hand dyed fibers (https://www.instagram.com/p/98nIWrB3Gh/). I like it not just because of the finished piece, but because of the whole process of dying the fibers, experimenting, and researching techniques and dye materials. I’m hoping to do more holistic projects like this in the future!
Experiment and don’t overthink it! That’s one thing I’ve really gained from my 100 Day Project. Allowing yourself to play around with the medium, techniques, colors, textures and not being so focused on making finished pieces really helped creating pieces that surprised me. The pressure of thinking of new things to make every day helps too! I also set my expectations low, so some days I made pieces I wasn’t happy with that I’d later translate to a larger scale because I really loved them. Experimentation and play will for sure bring out a unique style.
|| Five mini questions to get to know you a little better ||
Are you a eat in or take out person?
Eat in. I really like cooking and making good, healthy things to eat!
If you could pick your last meal what would it be?
I’m from Texas, so it will always be chicken fajitas. It’s my last meal every time I end a visit.
What is your favorite color and why?
Seafoam/mint green. I think it’s partly because I love green mint ice cream and Martha Stewart.
Are you a book or movie person? And what is a good one you’d recommend?
Definitely a book person if it was between movies and books. Sometimes I have a hard time sitting through a whole movie, but reading is at my pace, and I can see things how I want to see them. I really love Gabriel García Márquez’s Love in the Time of Cholera, it’s one of the most surreal books I’ve ever read.
Do you prefer relaxing beach vacations or on the move sight-seeing vacations?
If I’m going to really travel somewhere (like abroad or to a new place) I prefer sightseeing. You have to mix it up with relaxing days, but I love seeing new places and people.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
I really enjoyed participating in this interview and thank you so much for asking me to do it, Kate!!
You can find Jillian Bass Studios at:
- Website: http://www.jillianbassstudio.com/
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jillianbass/
- Etsy: https://www.etsy.com/shop/JillianBassStudio
- And for those located in the NYC/Upstate New York area, you can see Jillian’s work in person at the Arts and Crafts Gathering at Dee Barn on August 19-21st. Check out the Facebook event here.
I really love Jillian’s advice to “experiment and don’t over think it” when it comes to finding your own style. It’s so true, working through the different techniques will help you learn what you looks you like to make and which you don’t. I would love to try a 100 weaves a day just like Jillian did sometime in the future, it looks so fun and I feel like it would give a freedom to experiment since you’re goal is to get a weave done for the day and not over think what you’re making.
Have you tried a challenge like this before, or are you thinking of trying one? Is there anything in Jillian’s interview that has stood out to you? I’d love to hear your thoughts.
If you’ve missed a weaver interview, you can find them all here!
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