An Interview With... Jilly P

An Interview With... Jilly P

With super sweet characterisation, layers of texture and a dreamy palette, there's no subject matter that UK based illustrator Jillian Phillips (aka. Jilly P Studio) can't make extraordinary.


 Can you tell us a little bit about your work and your journey to becoming a full time artist?

I always loved drawing. When I was 8 I decided I would either be a fashion designer or an Architect when I grew up. I studied fashion at college for 4 years and ended up working in Kids wear straight after college ended. I worked for a suppliers and retailers for many years and started selling my own print collection in 2007. It's been a long process of developing my own style and building confidence as I go. To be honest, I just love to create new work and see where it will take me. 


What illustrated children's books did you love?

When I was a child I was pretty obsessed with Richard Scarry books and illustrations. I had the colouring book which I spent hours and hours looking at and colouring, so much so, my Mum had to buy me two more so I could carry on once I’d finished the first one!


You cover no end of subject matter in your work, from landscapes to people, to florals and abstracts. How did you decide where to start with a new piece and is there anything you love to draw the most?

It really depends on my mood. I usually do a warm up painting before I start a days work. That's generally some form of floral painting. That is my go-to! I find they just come together really naturally, they are relaxing to paint and there are so many ways to create a floral piece! I never get bored of them. 


Was there someone you looked up to in your family who was also an artist?

My Aunt was very creative, she taught me to knit and sew, but I think my love of drawing started when I was little and wanted to be like my older sister who would draw at the dining table every day. She would draw rows and rows of girls with different hair and faces. I still love doing that now haha! I was really lucky to have a family that encouraged me to be creative. My Dad was a photographer so I think that was an influence on me.

We absolutely love your dreamy choices of colour. How big a part does colour play in the generation of your ideas and what inspires your palettes?

Colour is hugely important to me. I would be quite happy just developing colour palettes as a full time job if I could! I don't know how it started but I found myself cutting up paint colour chips and magazine cuttings and building colour palettes as that way. Now I do a similar thing by painting swatches by mixing colour myself. I find it really therapeutic. I'm inspired by nature, by artwork in galleries, vintage fabrics, all sorts of things really.


When did you know that you wanted to become an illustrator / artist?

I was about 8 years old when I decided I wanted to be a fashion designer, because I thought that meant I could draw all day. I’ve always had a love of fabric too. It wasn’t till after college that I realised I could be an illustrator as a career - I just didn’t realise it was possible to get paid to draw!


When and where do you feel most creative?

I feel most creative when I’m in a quiet house listening to a podcast, I couldn’t work in an office again! I would get nothing done!


There is so much wonderful texture in your work through visible brush strokes, line-work and collage. What materials do you love to use in your work?

I used to create all my artwork in illustrator many years ago. But I found the flatness too restrictive. I'd started to see more hand painted work coming through in commercial trends, and started working more by hand and scanning the work into Photoshop. I love the flexibility of it - I can change colours, edit paint lines, layer on different textures and play around with layouts more freely. I often use paper with particular textures, photos of tree bark, built up ink or paint brush strokes to add interest to an illustration. 


What is your favourite piece from your M i N i B E A U collection and why?

The piece I have done for Minibeau is a hand-painted floral, something I love to do and find very therapeutic to create. I’m really influenced by nature and although I’m not so good at detailed illustration, I love to paint loose, abstract style flowers, which hopefully appeal to people.


To view more about Jilly P's work,



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