Red Cap Artist Spotlight: Jill Labieniec

May 1, 2013

Here at Red Cap Cards, we want you to get to know (and love!) our artists as much as we do, so we've put together a new little Artist Spotlight series. This time, we're interviewing Seattle-based illustrator, Jill Labieniec about her artistic process, upcoming projects, and adorably “drooley” St. Bernard.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your illustrations. What are you inspired by?
A lot of my inspiration comes from daydreams of adventures I would like to have. I really enjoy drawing partners in crime traveling the world by kite or simply enjoying a picnic.

A few facts about me.. I grew up on a dirt road in Connecticut. The serious dirt kind where I actually had to stop my car to let a reallllly slow cow cross the road.

I was home schooled up until the sixth grade, which I am pretty sure made my middle school experience ten times more awkward than the average kid's. In homeschool, my mom let us pick out our “first day of school” outfits which we wore excitedly while we did our science experiments in the kitchen.

I first attended college for costume design but after three consecutive New York blizzards, headed south to Florida where I took up illustration.

After college I moved out to Seattle where I currently live. We recently adopted a St Bernard named Truman. He drools a lot. You can see a million pictures of him on Instagram if you are the kind of person (which I am) who likes to look at way too many pictures of animals.

What is your artistic process like? What mediums do you use?
I adore my Gocco printer! Anything I can print with that little plastic box makes me pretty happy. Recently I have been learning all about letterpress, and while I am not very skilled, I am having a blast. Once I got over the fear of squashing a finger or two it started going along quite nicely 🙂

We've been noticing some books that you designed and illustrated here and there! What do you have published, and do you have any new ones coming out? What is the publishing process like for you?
About two years ago I started freelancing for Compendium Inc, where I now work full time, and got to design my first book, Celebrating You. It was definitely a learning experience! I recently finished the companion book called Lucky Us, which overall went a lot smoother. Another recent project is a guestbook called Celebrate. I was very excited because I got to use gold foil on the cover. I would probably foil everything if they would let me.

What is your favorite part of your work? The process, the outcome, or something else?
A little bit of both…is that a lame answer? They can be equally frustrating or rewarding. Sometimes you have an idea and the design process is smooth sailing but then you start printing and a million little problems pop up. There are prints I have made where I am lucky to get ten really good ones out of sixty pieces of paper. On the other hand, sometimes you hit a serious creative block, but you really have the desire to print, so you sit around for hours/days doodling before you finally have something worth wasting some ink and paper on. And fingers crossed, if all goes well, those prints usually end up coming out the best.

Who are your favorite other artists or designers?
Honestly, I feel really lucky to work with the designers that I do. They are all pretty awesome. Also, getting involved with Red Cap has opened my eyes to some really great artists and I still can't believe I get to be on the same label with them! All of those amazing people aside, I really enjoy the work of Jim Flora, M. Sasek, Leah Duncan, Grady McFerrin, and my big sister and her husband’s collaboration: Lab Partners. And a whole lot more!

View more of Jill's work on her website. Thanks, Jill!

Images courtesy of Jill Labieniec and Compendium Inc.