This meme artist is putting all our gross phone habits on blast
Julie Houts is an illustrator and fashion designer from Fort Wayne, ID/St. Louis, MO. It wasn’t until she went to art school for painting that she realized she wanted to switch into fashion design, and eventually discovered fashion illustration.
All the hilarious, irrational, naughty, and absurd things we do are portrayed in her illustrations, in a very blunt but tasteful way. Not only does she illustrate the truths behind being a woman in your 20’s and 30’s or your thoughts while sitting on the toilet, but she’s also a designer for J.Crew. So basically, she’s dope AF.
She’s already been called Instagram’s favorite illustrator, so you might as well hop on the bandwagon and check her out because her drawings will seriously have you LOLing and tagging like 14 of your friends in a comment on multiple photos.
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Have you always been an illustrator? When did you begin to use women as your main subjects?
I have always drawn. I went to art school for painting initially at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, before switching into fashion design, and eventually switching to Parsons to finish my degree. I began fashion illustration through studying fashion design. Illustration didn’t become my full-time job until about a month ago when I left my design job to pursue illustration full-time.
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Do you draw inspiration from your own personal experiences? What is your process for creating an illustration?
Yes, everything is from my personal experience in some way. I’ll read something or have a conversation or notice a pattern of thought. Sometimes it’s instantaneous, and the whole process takes under an hour. Sometimes I’ll sit with an idea for a few weeks or more until I’m a bit more solid in my thinking.
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When you get an idea for an illustration, do you write it down or just start drawing?
It depends. If I’m at home, I can do it immediately, even if its just a thumbnail. If I’m out and can’t sketch, I’ll just take a note in my phone and come back to it later. It’s usually better to draw it in the moment if possible. There’s a bit more energy behind the thought.
Your illustrations are humorous and poke fun at women and pop culture, do you ever get backlash for that?
Yeah, much to my surprise. I don’t think I’m saying anything that could be considered offensive, but I’ve learned people seem to love to be outraged and admonish others— to police one another. Someones always triggered by something, no matter how insignificant.
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When did you begin to get praise for your illustrations, and what did that feel like?
It was a little over a year ago, Donald Robertson regrammed a drawing of mine. I don’t remember how many followers I had at that point, but definitely not many. Only a week or two later, some articles were written. It was really exciting, and a little scary. I had previously felt like I was just making drawings for my friends. The change in scale and scope of the audience and my relationship with them was definitely different.
What’s one of the funniest situations you’ve experienced that inspired you to create an illustration?
I’m not sure! When I was dating, it was cathartic to go on a laughably bad date and be able to draw something out the next day about it, whether or not I shared it with anyone. It was just a way of getting on top and over it to move on and keep dating despite how demoralizing the experience was.