Jillian Evelyn: Pushing Boundaries

Beyond Breaking the Mold: A Journey into the Artistic World of Jillian Evelyn


Monumental shifts are constantly underway, and as individuals, we find ourselves unwittingly swept up in the intersectional and structural changes happening around us. One such remarkable artist who has experienced a transformative journey is Jillian Evelyn. Just three years ago, she was immersed in the world of footwear design at Converse in Boston, making choices about aesthetics and designs for their extensive range of shoes. Fast forward to today, and Jillian has become a rising star in the LA art scene, with numerous solo shows and a growing buzz surrounding her name. In this article, we delve into Jillian Evelyn’s remarkable career, exploring her artistic journey, unique style, and the challenges and triumphs along the way.

Embracing Change and Pursuing Dreams

Jillian’s decision to leave the safety of a stable design job for a solo career in the art world required immense faith and honesty. While some may argue that she had it all meticulously planned, it is clear that her intuition played a significant role in bringing her to where she is today. Upon speaking with Jillian, we gain insight into her day-to-day hustle, as she navigates the demands of a fast-paced art career. Each morning, she wakes up with a list of goals for the day, focusing on one painting at a time, allowing her anxiety to dissolve and creativity to flourish.

A Unique Way of Seeing

Jillian’s artistic journey began long before her professional career. Her passion for drawing emerged at a young age, with her unique perspective catching the attention of her mother. Jillian’s approach to art defied conventions, showcasing a personal way of seeing and expressing herself. Encouraged by her mother’s unwavering support, she continued to explore her artistic talents, eventually finding her calling as a painter.

The Influence of Commercial Design

Before fully embracing her career as an artist, Jillian worked in the footwear design industry, an experience that would inadvertently shape her approach to art. Working for renowned brands like Converse and TOMS provided her with invaluable insights into brand DNA, product merchandising, and the power of storytelling. While she always felt a sense of disconnect from this world, her time in commercial design taught her valuable lessons that eventually fueled her artistic expression.

The Power of Personal Branding

As an artist in the contemporary world, personal branding plays a significant role. Jillian acknowledges that personal branding often happens organically as artists strive to develop their unique style. By defining their own aesthetic, artists create a recognizable brand that sets them apart from the crowd. However, she emphasizes the importance of staying true to oneself and avoiding the influence of external opinions, maintaining a strong connection with one’s own artistic process.

Exploring Femininity through Art

As a female artist, Jillian naturally explores femininity in her art. Reflecting on her upbringing in rural Michigan, with three older brothers and a mother who encouraged traditional femininity, Jillian recognized early on that her identity didn’t conform to societal expectations. In her paintings, she breaks down the body into shapes, blending curves and sharp edges to create a portrayal of womanhood that resonates with her own experiences. By challenging traditional notions of femininity, Jillian brings forth a diverse and empowering perspective.

Pushing Boundaries with Surfaces and Structures

Jillian is celebrated not only for her style but also for her versatility in painting on various surfaces and structures. This adaptability allows her to further explore the connection between physical and mental states, amplifying the emotions conveyed in her artwork. Moreover, her choice to paint on unconventional objects serves a dual purpose, both repurposing items and reducing waste in an industry often plagued by mass production.

The Symbolism of Cigarettes

Throughout her work, Jillian often depicts women holding cigarettes, despite not being a smoker herself. The inclusion of cigarettes in her paintings symbolizes fear and anxiety, an attempt to either calm these emotions or acknowledge their presence. Her personal experiences, growing up with a smoking mother, contribute to the deeper meaning behind this particular symbol.

Embracing the Unconventional

Jillian’s background in Michigan, with its blue-collar upbringing, instilled in her a strong work ethic and a sense of perseverance. While she initially felt excluded from the world of art, perceiving it as an exclusive club, she eventually realized that resilience and determination were more important than any perceived barriers. Her parents’ ability to weather financial storms and overcome adversity inspired Jillian to face the challenges of the art world head-on.

Lessons Learned in Art School

Art school provided Jillian with a solid foundation, but she wishes she had learned earlier on that finding her own style was intricately tied to discovering herself. Rather than trying to conform to established norms and expectations, she now understands the importance of embracing her own identity and artistic journey. Jillian’s art reflects the struggle to fit into molds and the liberation that comes with embracing one’s uniqueness.

Celebrating the Magic of California

Having moved to Los Angeles, Jillian draws immense inspiration from her surroundings. The iconic palm trees, the captivating mountains, and the vibrant community of artists and creatives that populate the city invigorate her artistic spirit. Los Angeles provides the perfect landscape for her self-expression and personal growth as an artist.

Challenging Assumptions and Breaking Stereotypes

Being a woman in the art world comes with its own set of challenges, including assumptions and stereotypes. Jillian finds excitement in flipping these assumptions on their head, challenging societal expectations, and empowering women in creative fields. By standing boldly in front of her own work, she defies preconceived notions and proves that gender should never dictate artistic worth.

Exploring New Frontiers in Art

Jillian expresses enthusiasm for the growing trend of artists utilizing film photography to capture intimate moments in their lives. In an age dominated by digital images, the unique and genuine qualities of analog photography breathe new life into art. She eagerly anticipates the exploration of emotions that arise from these honest snapshots of life.

The Dialogue between Technical Skill and Concept

Jillian understands the importance of technical mastery and appreciates the classical approach to painting. The meticulousness displayed by the Masters, their dedication to sketches and studies, resonates with her. She acknowledges the tendency to neglect these important steps in the creative process, but she is committed to reclaiming the joy found in the journey. Balancing technical skill with conceptual expression is a challenge she embraces, both in her own work and in the art she admires.

Finding Balance and Staying Grounded

To remain centered amidst the demands of her art career, Jillian turns to podcasts and audiobooks. As a busy artist, she values every moment, and Audible has become an integral part of her routine. Immersing herself in books allows her to continually learn and grow while enjoying a well-rounded life beyond her artistic endeavors.

A Bright Future Ahead

Jillian Evelyn’s journey has been marked by consistent growth and success. Looking ahead, she has numerous group shows scheduled, along with a series of solo exhibits spanning the next few years. Excited about collaborating with local artisans and possibly venturing into limited-run merchandise, Jillian envisions a future brimming with opportunities to expand her artistic horizons.


Jillian Evelyn’s story is a testament to the power of faith, perseverance, and embracing one’s uniqueness. Her art captures the multifaceted nature of femininity, challenges societal norms, and invites viewers to explore their own personal journeys. With every stroke of her brush, Jillian continues to push boundaries, leaving an indelible mark on the art world.


1. How did Jillian Evelyn start her career in art?

Jillian Evelyn’s artistic journey began at a young age, nurtured by her mother’s support and recognition of her unique perspective. While her initial career focus was in footwear design, she eventually transitioned to the art world, driven by a desire for self-expression.

2. What inspired Jillian Evelyn’s choice of unconventional painting surfaces?

Jillian’s choice to paint on a diverse range of surfaces and structures, in addition to canvas, stems from her exploration of the connection between physical and mental states. It also serves as a way to repurpose objects and minimize waste, a reflection of her commitment to sustainable practices.

3. How does Jillian Evelyn challenge societal expectations of femininity through her art?

Jillian’s art breaks down traditional notions of femininity, depicting women in a variety of ways that extend beyond conventional stereotypes. By blending curves and sharp edges to represent the female form, she emphasizes the complexity and diversity of the female experience.

4. What are some of the challenges Jillian Evelyn faced in her art career?

Jillian encountered challenges ranging from self-doubt and finding her unique style to navigating the art world’s expectations. She faced pressures to conform and struggled with feelings of not fitting into established molds. However, she persevered, embracing her authenticity and overcoming obstacles along the way.

5. What can we expect from Jillian Evelyn in the future?

Jillian Evelyn’s future is filled with exciting prospects, including upcoming group and solo shows. She also envisions collaborations with local artisans and the creation of limited-run merchandise. With each new endeavor, she will continue to push boundaries and expand her artistic horizons.