I grew up in the small city of Keene, New Hampshire. My dad traveled a lot for work while my mom, a preschool teacher, stayed home and raised us. Each time I saw my dad's garment bag hanging on the bedroom door I would imagine him on some exotic voyage, (though in actuality it was mostly to office parks). All this day dreaming led me to the Massachusetts College of Art + Design where I studied design, art history and printmaking.
After graduating with a degree in design, I worked for the beauty company Fresh, where I developed my love of color and pattern.
JHILL DESIGN - THE BEGINNING
After 2 years at Fresh I started JHill Design. At the time my dad was sick with early on-set Alzheimer's and was no longer able stay at home alone, so having my own business gave me the flexibility to help care for him. I designed the Block Island print for my dad, (he and my mom went there for their 25 wedding anniversary), and every year donate a portion of the sales to the Alzheimers association.
JHill Design clients are all over the world. From Institut Tres Bien (a high end fragrance company) in Lyon, France, to Peacock Pavilions (a boutique riad) in Marrakech, Morocco. I have done custom pattern illustration for companies like the boutique toy line B. Toys and the City of Vancouver .
My designs are currently licensed by the decor company Oopsy Daisy and Filz Felt, bike manufacturer Specialized and I am represented by my agents in New York.
In 2009 I was hired by Aid to Artisans to go to Port-au-Prince Haiti to work with local artists on developing their businesses and product. It was life-changing and amazing to say the least. Following the earthquake I gave a large portion of our calendar proceeds to Partners in Health.
PLACES I HAVE NEVER BEEN ORIGIN
In the fall of 2003 I started the "Places I Have Never Been" drawing series. I was driving to NH on a dark night listening to Modest Mouse. They have a line in a song that says "we named our children after towns, that we've never been to." I started day dreaming about places I had never been to and started to see patterns. When I got home, I started to sketch and decided to put the drawings together as a desk calendar gift for my design clients. People really enjoyed the calendar so I started to sell them and it organically morphed into a print series of "modern travel posters." Over 70 patterns have been created and dedicated to places around the world (from Charleston, South Carolina, to Bangkok, Thailand)...
Each year I pick 12 new places I have not yet visited and research details about them : what you would experience there, the color palette, what you would eat, who you would meet.
I do travel quite a bit. In 1996 I studied in Belize and Guatemala for a few weeks. In 2001 I backpacked through Europe stopping in Venice, Paris, Florence, Lausanne and Geneva. I am fortunate to have seen much of the US. In 2009 I was married in the small surf village Playa Negra, Costa Rica and after honeymooned in Madrid, Spain and Marrakech, Morocco.