What I’ve been doing for the past (way too many) months!

Ahem.  Hello there everyone!

So…it’s been awhile.  A very long while, actually.  I’m sure some of you were wondering, “Where did Jillian go?  Is she alive?  Did she vanish off the face of the planet?”

The answer is no.  I didn’t.  But I did go to college, which is, I suppose, a similar experience, in some respects.  I’m currently sitting in my dorm room eating “Apple Crunch Trail Mix,” which is not as crunchy as one might expect given the name.  But it does include apples, so that’s something, I guess.

But why haven’t I been blogging?

Well…actually I have.  Just not here.  You see, my college now pays me to blog once a week about collegiate things, so I’ve been quite busy with that (among other things) and therefore haven’t had much time or motivation to write on this poor neglected blog.  Until now, when I actually have some free time!  What a concept!

If you’re curious to read about college-y stuff, you can check out my school blog here.  If you’re interested in other stuff…well, I’ll be posting some of that here.  :)

So, I haven’t done as much fancy fine art as one might hope.  I haven’t actually taken any art classes at college yet, so there hasn’t been much opportunity besides scribbling in the margins of my homework assignments.  But I have a work-study gig doing graphic design projects for the campus library, so I do a lot of crafty/illustrating stuff for that.  I’ve done a lot so far this year, so I think I’m just going to dump it here for you.  Feel free to click on any of the images for a larger view!

photo 1(2)

Cupcake Poster 2

cupcake flyer pic

LinkedIn Poster

photo 2(2)

photo 3

Frozen Poster

Let it Go bulletin board

Christmas Card

Zotero Option 1_copy


Suggestions Poster



Cocoa Poster

Finished Phish JPG


So that’s what I do for my job.  Gosh, I love my job.

Apart from my jobs of blogging and coloring (because let’s face it – they pay me to color!), I made the competitive ballroom dancing team and joined a club that brings together college students and kids from the community for fun mentoring events.  And, naturally, I’ve also been doing a lot of homework.  And next semester, I’ll be doing psychology research of some sort as well, so that should be interesting!

Overall, I’ve had a really great experience at college so far!  I honestly do enjoy it tremendously!

But I enjoy waking up at 6:35 am considerably less, which is why I am going to finish this post now so that maybe I can do some other stuff and get to bed at a semi-decent time.  Yay for sleep!

Until next time~

~Jillian :)



A Summer Post!

Hello, Internet Adventurers!

I hope you are having an awesome day!

So it’s been awhile since I posted, mostly because I spent a week volunteering at my church’s vacation Bible school, and then spent the next week having a terrible cold, and then spent the next week in Wisconsin, and then spent the next week trying to come to terms with the simultaneously fabulous and terrifying fact that I’m going to college this month.  (Oh, and also because my computer was being slower than a slug.  This has been remedied by a new computer.  Hooray!)

So it’s been awhile.

But I have done a bit of art since my last post.

Thing #1 is some artwork for the website of Hai Ngo, Photographer Extraordinaire.  My graphite sketches are featured on his “About” page, and you can see them all by clicking here!  Or you can see them right here:

Artwork by Jillian for Photographer Hai Ngo

Thing #2 is a GIANT dream catcher.  If  you are unfamiliar with dream catchers, they are a form of Native American weaving art.  Legend has it that good dreams will pass through a dream catcher’s center, while nightmares will be caught in the web.  I love the concept, and I think they look cool.  So I took an old kiddie hula hoop from the garage and some twine and beads and feathers and made a really, really big dream catcher.  Here’s what it looks like now that it’s finished:

Hula Hoop Giant Dream Catcher


I’m considering hanging it in my dorm room at school, although…it might be a little bit too big.  We’ll see!

Thing #3 is also a potential dorm decoration.  It’s made of old license plates, twine, and beads.  Hypothetically, it’s a wall hanging, although so far it hasn’t been hanging on any walls.  But one day soon, it can live up to its name!


License Plate Wall Hanging


The photo is really dark and the plates reflected the flash (oopsies!), so it’s difficult to see the beads, but they’re in super bright colors!

And finally, we have some KNITTING!

Yes!  KNITTING!  Bwahahahaha!

My mother taught me to knit this summer while I had the Horrible Cold, and I loved it.  I think it’s so fun to write my own patterns.

The first pattern I designed was this capelet.  Not exactly sure when I’ll wear it but it’s extremely warm, so it should be good for fall:

Knitted Capelet


And next we have some cabled legwarmers, also of my own design.  I had a ton of fun with these, and they are very, very warm, so they will be good for wintertime when everything is a snowpocalypse of doom.

Knitted Legwarmers

Note: taking a picture of your own shins at floor level is extremely difficult and not for the faint of heart.

And finally, I knit a hat.  This was not my own pattern; it is actually from the book Charmed Knits by Alison Hansel, but I had to post it because it is Hermione’s hat from the Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban movie!  Squee!

   <–Hermione’s hat

My hat –>  Hermione Hat Prisoner of Azkaban



And that is all I have for today!!

Have a fabulous morning/afternoon/evening, and keep on keepin’ on!



A Post! (In which I give mediocre excuses for my prolonged absence, shoot the moon, and dress up like a wizard.)


Well, obviously, it’s been quite a while since I’ve posted.  Actually, I think this is my first post of the year, which is a wee bit pathetic, honestly.  But I’ve been super busy, so I have many excuses which I will share:


  • I had to decide where to go to college!  So that was crazy.  Researching, visiting, applying, and making decisions for college was super time consuming.  After much deliberation, I’ve decided to hold off on art school, even though I really do want to be a toy designer.  However, art is not the only subject I’m passionate about, and I want to leave my options open.  Going to a liberal arts school, I can double major in art and psychology.  Or something like that.  I haven’t really ironed out all the details yet.


  • I went to Kentucky for a week!  Also crazy.  I had no idea Kentucky had so many hills.  Coming from the State of Supreme Flatness, I am not terribly accustomed to hills.


  • While in Kentucky, my family played a game of hearts, and I played so horribly that I shot the moon by accident and nobody noticed.  (For those of you who don’t play hearts, shooting the moon means to get every point in the deck.  Normally, points are bad, but if you shoot the moon, 50 points are added to everybody else’s score and you get none.)  I guess that’s not really an excuse for why I haven’t been posting, but I felt that need to mention this momentous accomplishment.


  • Since I am a senior this year, my high school does an ABC countdown, in which every day of the last 26 days of school has a theme and everyone dresses up.  My favorites were Injured Day and Quidditch Day.  For Injured Day, I used eyeliner, mascara, eyeshadow, and lip gloss to paint my face to look as though it had been skewered by some sort of rabid unicorn.  And, of course, for Quidditch Day, I dressed up like Hermione Granger!  Planning for the ABC countdown used up some of my free time as well.


Injury Makeup - Eyeliner, eyeshadow, lip gloss, mascara            Hermione Granger Costume / Cosplay


  • I took a lot of standardized tests!  I took four AP tests this year, which is disgusting (and finished, thank goodness.)  The four I took were psychology, English, statistics, and government.  I actually just took the government test today, and it was not that bad.  Statistics, on the other hand, may have pulverized me.  We shall see.


  • I have been working on several other projects, which may make their way onto the Internet someday.  Or perhaps not.  But they have consumed much of my sketch time, regardless.


  • I had a display at my school’s art show!  At my school, some seniors are chosen to have their work displayed in their own section, rather than having their pieces dispersed throughout the show.  This year, I got to have my own wall!  :)


Jillian's High School Art Show Display


So, basically, I was pretty busy.  But I am now posting – FINALLY – so I have artwork to show you!


First, I have a painting I did for school.  The assignment was to do an acrylic “pastiche” painting, which means to paint in the style of another artist.  We had just finished a unit on art history, so we were supposed to choose a painter from one of the major artistic movements.  I chose Maurice de Vlaminck, who was a leader of the Fauvist movement.  Using Vlaminck’s style (and taking some artistic liberties), I designed this painting.  It’s supposed to be an interpretation of suburbia.  I think the suburbs often get a reputation for being bland and boring, but I wanted to portray them in a more positive way, since I like living in a suburb.


Houses Painting


Next, I did a painting inspired by the style of Kelly Vivanco, who I love.  Ms. Vivanco’s paintings are so filled with color and life, but they also have this mysterious, surreal quality that I think is really interesting.  Anyway, I’m calling the painting I designed “Bouquet.”  It is painted with acrylics.




And, lastly, I have a photograph I took of these roses dusted with snow before the cold made them wilt.  I really liked the colors of the pink and green against the snow.  I know flower photographs are pretty common, but I couldn’t resist taking this one.


First Snow Roses Photograph


And that is all the new artwork I have for you today.  I graduate from high school next Sunday, though, so with any luck, I will have much more time to draw and paint then.

Have a terrific day!


A New Year! :D


Happy New Year’s Eve, everyone!

I hope you all had a Merry Christmas and are having a great day.  :D

After celebrating Christmas with my family, I’m back on my blog, and I’m excited for a new year of art and fun experiences.

As for artwork, I haven’t made anything during my vacation yet, but I do have a few new ceramic pieces to show you.  I gave both of them to my family for Christmas.

The first is a teapot.  I was pretty happy with the shape, but the “Herb Garden” glaze wound up being quite different than I expected.  The example test chip I saw for the glaze was a very pretty blue color.  Unfortunately, the chip had been mislabeled, and the glaze was most certainly not blue.  In addition, the glaze sealed the lid of the teapot to the teapot itself, thus rendering the pot completely useless.  But, hey, it was fun to make.  And that’s how you learn what not to do next time, right?

I made the body of the teapot using flat coils and worked on it upside down until it was done.  Then I flipped the body right side up and attached the slab handle and lid, which I molded with my hands.  Then I re-cut the lid so it would come off nicely (haha – so much for that), and slipped and scored on the pulled handle.

High School Student Ceramic / Clay Teapot

More successful was my ceramic vessel.  The vessel is quite large and heavy, and it took about six weeks (30 minutes a day, 5 days a week) to complete.  I used flat coils of about 1-2 inches in height to build it upward, and then decorated the lip with braided clay, which was more difficult than you might think, since each strand of the braid had to be slipped and scored to the others before the whole plait could be attached to the piece.  The glaze was several coats of “Wheat” over a layer of “Bronze,” which makes a very pretty mottled green and gold color.  I left the braid unglazed and later painted it with diluted gold acrylic paint.

High School Student Greek Style Ceramic Vessel with Celtic Braid

Here is another view of the vessel from above:

High School Student Ceramic Greek Style Vessel

And a closer view of the gold braid detailing:

High School Student Clay / Ceramic Greek Style Vessel with Celtic Braid

And that’s all the art I have for you at the moment.  Hopefully I’ll have some new things to post soon!!  Sadly, I won’t be taking a Ceramics class next semester – I have to take Government instead.  Plus, my Painting class will be doing an Art History unit for the first few weeks.  So I might not have quite as many pieces.  But I’ll try to do some work on my own time!

Until then, have a Happy New Year!!

~Jillian <3

Happy Winter, Everyone!


Hello, world!

With autumn coming to a close at tomorrow’s winter solstice, I thought it would be a good time to write a new post!

In terms of news, I finished my first semester final exams yesterday, which was a relief!  Now I have two weeks of vacation to enjoy.  With my birthday and Christmas over the break, I’m looking forward to lots of wintery fun and family time!  Speaking of which, I would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas!!  I hope you make lots of warm memories and hot cocoa.  :)

As for books that I have read recently, here are some of the titles I have been going through:

  • Eon by Alison Goodman – a MOST EXCELLENT story about dragons and magic and a girl pretending to be a boy
  • Eona by Alison Goodman – another PRETTY GOOD story, continuing the story begun in Eon
  • The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau – a SUPER GREAT story about a dystopian society in which competition in applying for university is literally cut-throat
  • Hamlet by William Shakespeare – a REALLY OLD story about a prince who wants to kill the king (who is also his father’s murderer as well as his uncle) but goes about reaching this goal in the most convoluted way possible
  • Death of a Salseman by Arthur Miller – an EXTREMELY DEPRESSING story about some people who can’t pull their lives together
  • Insurgent by Veronica Roth – a VERY EXCITING conclusion to the dystopian Divergent Trilogy.  I’m technically not finished with the book yet, but I’m turning the pages so fast that it won’t be long until I’m done!


And finally, it’s art time!  Woohoo!

So, I can’t actually show all the art that I have just yet, because two of the pieces are wrapped and under the tree for my family.  Pictures of these will come at a later date.  :)

However, I can show you some other recent projects from my ceramics and painting classes at school, as well as some photographs I’ve taken for fun.  As usual, feel free to click on any of the pictures for a larger view.

First is a ceramic piece.  It is a small cottage which I painted with acrylic paint instead of glaze, a look which I prefer.

Ceramic House

And here, at another angle:

Ceramic House

Next, I have a painting.  It was supposed to be a “non-objective” piece, which basically means it’s not supposed to actually look like anything.  This was a very different experience for me, since I generally prefer my pictures to resemble something.  But it wound up being a really fun project, since I got to attach tissue paper to the acrylic-painted canvas for a three-dimensional look.  I focused on a citrus theme, and I’m happy with the result, considering modern art is really not my thing.

Nonobjective Painting - Tissue Paper, Acrylic, and Canvas

The second painting I have to show is a fun painting of my house.  I had a lot of fun with the different textures and bright colors in this picture.  :)

Colorful Acrylic House Painting

And finally, I have a few photographs.  The first is a picture of the winter sun on a cloudy day.  I liked that the clouds obscure whether the light is the sun or the moon, and I enjoy the contrast of the brightness with the dark branches.

Winter Sun

And last but not least, I have a picture of yesterday’s sunrise:

December Sunrise

Can you believe how pink it is?  Sometimes I forget that the sky can be that color.  :)  Waking up at six o’clock in the morning for school definitely has its perks.

And that’s all the artwork I have to show you today!

M E R R Y  C H R I S T M A S !


Yay Things!


Hello everyone!

It’s Jillian, and it’s November!

(Sorry about not posting anything in October, by the way.  I hope you all had a Happy Halloween, etcetera, etcetera.)


As for things, I have lots of them to post today.

Firstly, I have read some books:

  • Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad – meh
  • Oedipus Rex by Sophocles – okay
  • United We Spy by Ally Carter – YAY
  • The Grimm Legacy by Polly Shulman – good
  • The House of Hades by Rick Riordan – pretty good


Secondly, apparently WordPress, my blogsite of choice, now has occasional advertisements on blog pages.  I sincerely apologize for this, because I hate advertisements and don’t want them on my blog any more than you do.  But there it is.


Thirdly, I went to National Portfolio Day and showed my portfolio to representatives at three schools.  Their responses were as follows:

  • Otis College of Art and Design – The lady at this booth waived my application fee and told me I didn’t have to make any changes to my portfolio.  So that was encouraging!
  • Ringling College of Art and Design – The man at this booth had mostly constructive criticism rather than compliments, but the comments were helpful!
  • Rhode Island School of Art and Design – The lady at this booth was very nice and told me my pictures were “amazing.”  Needless to say, I was thrilled.  She said I was on the right track, and I should make more of the same kinds of things.  Yippee!


Fourthly, I have art pictures!  YAAAAAY!

I actually have a lot more art that is on the way, but it’s at school right now being graded by my art teachers, so… more of that later.  But here is what I have so far:

This is a picture that I drew with pencil, scanned, and colored in Photoshop.  I call it The Cardboard Corsaire!  As always, you can click the pictures to enlarge them.

The Cardboard Corsaire

I also have a few drawings that I did at a nearby art center that had live models:

Old Man


I also recently cleaned up an old self-portrait sketch to make it portfolio-ready.  I can’t remember if I ever posted it on my blog or not, but here is the final result anyway:

Lines Self-Portrait

Next I have a lot of pottery from my ceramics class at school.  Our first project was a pinch-pot:

Ceramic Pinchpot

Then we moved onto bottles:

Ceramic Bottle

After that, we made plates and decorated them using the sgraffito technique.  Basically, we covered the whole plate in black and then scraped it away to show the plain clay before firing and glazing it.

Sgraffito flower dish

Sgraffito Sun Plate / Dish

Finally, just for fun, I made my own ceramic pendant to look like the necklace that Katara wears in Avatar the Last Airbender.  Oh yes, I did just do that.

Katara Necklace Pendant - Painted Ceramic

And that’s all the art I have for you today!  I hope you enjoyed all of it, and I’ll try to post the many new paintings I’ve finished sometime in the near future!!  :D

Have a great day!




Hello, Reader!

I hope that you are having a lovely day, wherever you are.  And I have lots of new art pieces to share with you today, which will hopefully brighten your day!

But before I get into the art, I’d like to tell you a bit about what I’ve been up to.

First of all, as I mentioned awhile back, my foot broke in July.  I wasn’t allowed to walk on it for 3 weeks, and after that, I had to wear one of those enormous, industrial, and very attractive medical boots.  I accessorized by putting a hot pink flower in the velcro strap.  Today is the first day I get to start walking for a few hours without the boot, and by Monday (with any luck) I won’t use it at all!

Oh – and one last thing before I get into the pictures: my psychology teacher is offering extra credit to students who defy a social norm and write about the reactions of people around them.  I ran my experiment at school today.  Every hour, when I arrived at a new class, I laid a hot pink table cloth over my desk and placed a vase of faux flowers and a framed photograph of Harry Styles on top.  After that, I continued to behave as usual.  If anyone asked me what was happening, I said “I thought it looked better this way” or “I wanted to make things more homey.”  If anyone asked me who was in the photograph, I said “This is Harry Styles.  You know, the tween sensation and my future husband?”

People’s reactions were hilarious.  My French teacher had no idea what was going on.  My statistics teacher said he didn’t want to know.  And everybody else who commented asked me, very slowly, “What are you doing?”  Harry Styles was also a point of immense confusion, and even once people realized that the decor was a joke, they were still asking if I actually liked One Direction and where I had acquired the photo.  (For the record, I am not a fan, though 1D songs are admittedly catchy.)

And now, after that long introduction: art!

First off, I have an oil pastel still life, drawn from life, not a photograph.  Here is the final result:

Still Life

I had a lot of fun with the textures in this piece, especially the wood paneling and the gold patterns on the clock, which were carved out after layering black over yellow.

Next, I have a graphite pencil drawing, which is actually a new interpretation of an old concept I drew a long time ago.

Holding Hands

My drawing skills have improved a lot since my last hand-tree drawing, though I’m quite happy with both the old and new versions.  Here’s a side-by-side comparison:

Hands & Feet Tree - 1.8.11         Holding Hands

I also have some simpler digital pieces I did for my local library.  The first is a book worm, which I believe is going to be used for rating books.  Kids are going to color in segments according to how well they liked the novel they read.  Don’t even ask me why he’s wearing a Sherlock Holmes hat; I just followed my instructions.

Library Detective Bookworm

The second library image is a logo for a different program.  I assume this program is about music, though I actually have no idea what it entails.  That is irrelevant, though.

Library Music

And finally, I have a few very special pieces of art to show you.  If you have read one of my earlier posts, you will know that I read and thoroughly enjoyed Rebecca Hahn’s fantasy novel A Creature of Moonlight.  Well, I was lucky enough to have the opportunity of making artwork for her website.  Rebeccahahnbooks.com just went live today and may look slightly different in days to come, so keep checking back for the latest information on the book and its lovely author.  The site also tells how to pre-order the novel so you can read it as soon as it hits the shelves!  Thank you, Becca, for letting me draw and hang out with the big kids!

Here are the pictures I created that appear on the site!  Clicking on any of them will enlarge the image.  All were drawn in regular graphite pencil, scanned into the computer, and colored on Photoshop using a Wacom tablet.  The first two are headers for the top of the webpage, and they are supposed to resemble the enchanted forest from A Creature of Moonlight.  The top appears during the daytime, and the bottom appears at night.  How awesome is that?  The Internet is magic.

Rebecca Hahn Books - A Creature of Moonlight

I actually drew a different header initially, before I drew either of the images above.  It doesn’t appear on the website, which I am thankful for (I much prefer my later ideas), but since I like to show my process, here is one of the early drafts, which didn’t make the cut:

Original Header

I really liked the moon, and I reused the signature art in later drafts, but I thought the landscape was too typical, and the forest from A Creature of Moonlight is anything but ordinary.  I really wanted to draw trees that made me think of magic, so I came up with what you see now.

Next, I drew a picture frame to go around Rebecca’s author photograph.  The photo was taken by Hai Ngo, so I really can’t take credit for that, but this was the final result:

Author Rebecca Hahn - A Creature of Moonlight

And lastly (but not leastly), I drew pictures of all the people who helped make the website.  The portraits, arranged in no particular order, are of me (top left), Hai Ngo (top right), Tom Ballinger (bottom left), and Rebecca Hahn (bottom right).  I didn’t actually take the photos that I used for references, so the rights go to a variety of different people.

The Team - rebeccahahnbooks.com


That’s not even all the art I have – I’ve also got some exciting new photography, a few ceramic pieces, sketch pages, and acrylic color studies!  But those are going to come on another day.

Until then, keep on keeping on!

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