November 13, 2017
Behind the Label with Illustrator Jillian Barthold
The artist behind WAVES and Schmidt’s holiday labels talks inspiration
Photos of Jillian Barthold by Olivia Ashton Photography
There are three things we value in our products: the way they work, the way they smell, and the way they look. When it comes to our limited edition scents, we get to have a little more fun by introducing expressive illustration styles within our brand standards to create eye-popping, collectible products.
That’s why for our Holiday Collection we called in Jillian Barthold, local Portlander and master illustrator of our fan-favorite summer scent, WAVES.
Each new holiday scent—Oh, Christmas Tree, Snow Day, Holiday Spice—evokes nostalgic, winter memories from the season’s past. Drawing inspiration from pine cones, snow crystals, and merry holiday gatherings, Jillian’s illustrations bring the scents of the holidays to life. And as someone who has “committed to wearing glitter every day in 2017,” Jillian’s designs are anything but conventional. She’s also been a natural deodorant user for a decade and has a grounded POV on balancing natural products with everyday routines. Read on to learn more about the inspiration behind Jillian’s holiday designs and her approachable take on wellness.
Name: Jillian Barthold
Hometown: Charleston, SC; Kaiserslautern, Germany; San Antonio, TX; Honolulu, HI; Panama City, FL; Chicago, IL. “I’m not really from anywhere. As a child I moved every 2 to 4 years. Ultimately I found my true home in Portland, OR, where I live now.”
Zodiac: Leo sun, Aries rising, Sagittarius moon. 🔥🔥🔥
Instagram: @monstersongs—art and personal; @fruitsaladclub—studio/gallery/shop space
Quick–what's a day in the life like?
I wake up to one of my cats, Donut, pawing my face, so I’ll get up to feed her. I try to meditate in bed (for about 5 to 10 minutes), and then I get ready, put on glitter always somewhere on my face or hair, and head out the door. I grab a cold brew and get to my studio, Fruit Salad Club, between 10am and 12pm. I usually work until about 5 or 6 and then either head home or to a show. Often, I’ll take field trips during the day to a park, garden, favorite gallery, or shop.
When did you know you were an artist?
When I was 3 or 4 years old my teacher told my parents I was the most single-minded person she had ever met. All I wanted to do in school was draw, make little story zines, and look at maps…not much has changed.
Where do you find inspiration for your illustrations?
Most of my work is inspired by mundane objects and spaces—things you’d find in the junk drawer or a grocery store, my living room, a motel. I am also heavily inspired by botanicals and travel. Sometimes if I feel stuck, or like my work is falling flat, I’ll stop whatever I’m doing and head to a park or a garden to give my mind a little inspiration and a fresh start.
What was the inspiration behind the Schmidt's holiday labels?
I spent a bunch of time looking at microscopic “snow crystal” pictures and walked over to my neighborhood park to study some pinecones and needles. It was great to put on my favorite holiday tunes and drink some cider to get me in the festive spirit...while drawing mittens and ornaments and fruit cake. My favorite element of the labels: all of the different snowflakes. 😊
Any holiday plans or traditions? You must have been thinking of some when drawing up those deo designs!
This year I am staying in Oregon. I have a pink tree, a pink faux fur tree skirt, and my friend made me 50 colorful yarn pom pom ornaments last year, so I’m excited to have a quiet but bright holiday at home.
My family has always celebrated Christmas, but holiday traditions were heavily influenced by wherever we lived at the time. I don’t have too many set traditions of my own, but I have a lot of fond memories and a deep appreciation for the friends, neighbors, and places that have allowed me to celebrate with them.
One of my favorite holiday traditions, if you can call it that, is that my mom always drew a heart instead of writing “Santa” on presents and has reused the same gift boxes since the ‘90s. It’s a small detail, but I’ve always loved it.
Alright, let’s talk natural products. Have you made the switch?
I have some favorite products, but I also like trying new things. Usually around 50 to 75 percent of the products I use are natural. I’m definitely always striving to make that number closer to 100 percent, but I have some exceptions. For example, my New Year’s resolution this year was to wear glitter every single day. Glitter is definitely not natural, but I try to offset my glitter litter by supplementing with natural products in other areas. I have a bunch of different glitter products that I switch between, but I usually use a glitter paste that I have in a handful of colors that is vegan and cruelty-free.
How do you choose natural products?
I have four major things I look for:
- Does the company treat their employees and other humans with respect (and animals, too)?
- Does the company consider its relationship with and impact on the earth?
- Are the ingredients thoughtfully chosen to produce a quality and safe product? And, of course…
- Is the product beautiful to look at?
I find that usually companies who are committed to creating natural products also put more consideration into the other factors that are important to me. It feels good to support companies who care about the environment, and usually I like the products better as well. For instance, I use a facial spritz full of flower and stone essences that a friend and local artist Sam Lamont makes multiple times a day—especially if I’m feeling like I need a reboot.
Self-Care Sunday: What are three things you're treating yourself to?
- Definitely brunch. I know it’s so expected, but I really love brunch. My favorite spots are P’s & Q’s Market, Sweedeedee, Milk Glass Mrkt, and if I’m feeling extra fancy, Tusk.
- A drive. I love a drive, especially into nature, but I also love just driving around aimlessly through neighborhoods. I am so inspired by all of the different homes and buildings and landscaping.
- Fresh flowers. Solabee Flowers on Killingsworth has a fresh flower happy hour on Sunday, so I treat myself to a little bundle.