Juliet Hillbrand is a Mixed Media Artist located in Houston, Texas.
Her surrealistic worlds combine abstraction with realism. Subjects of her work include atmospheric oceans, color in motion, and the delicacy of the female form.
Describe you and your background.
Art is a path I didn’t see coming until I was 20 years old. Before it had only been doodles and scribbles on bathroom doors. Once I saw the world through color - Once I really saw it, I was immediately and forever changed. Art is more than just a love of mine, it’s part of who I am now. I’m constantly painting in my head, noticing the ten shades of a leaf and how they work together with contrast, shadows and highlights. My world is hues of warmth, detail, and dimension.
Art has led me to opportunities and connections that I’m so grateful for, I couldn’t put into words.
How would you describe your work?
My style is emerging through two paths. Realism mixing with abstract and purely abstract. I get a lot of comments about my work being very different in subject matter. Everything I paint has to do with the natural world, transcending reality, and the poetic moments in our human-soaked details. The world around me serves as constant inspiration as well as to create surreal worlds without boundaries. I also paint nude women often and recently realized in compiling my portfolio that the women are in one of two themes. Either dripping in flowers, color, completely in bloom – or they’re in black and white, more sensually mysterious. So apparently, I have two moods for this series but usually they’re resting in a pose of serenity, stretching upwards in a kind of release and freedom. A new series I’m working on is ocean-themed with energy bursts of color and shape. This series plays on your visions with movement and kaleidoscope-like abstract details. I battle with self-control to leave the white cotton canvas exposed sometimes. That stark whiteness against the color vortex is a heightened contrast, highlighting the control against the chaos.
I’m excited to merge these two styles or see where else my passions will take me.
"Everything I paint has to do with the natural world, transcending reality, and the poetic moments in our human-soaked details."
"I know I’m ready to make something in real life if I’ve created it in my mind at least ten times."
What is unique about your work?
I would say the emotion through my pieces and how my audience is always finding completely dissimilar interpretations. For one piece I’ve heard dozens of interpretations from, “It looks just like moon craters,” to “It’s twirling ballerina’s skirts shot from overhead,” to “a lilypond with fireflies,” to “dinosaur head” - all on one piece! I think this is the part I love most about sharing art. Most things in our world are so literal but art is different for everyone. Unique in each of our eyes and completely up to the viewer.
I want my art to continuously stay open-ended that way.
"I imagine this crazy technique I’ll be using in 20 years that I have no idea about yet.
Tell us about your achievements.
I’m humbled to say there’s been quite a few lately. I am thrilled that people find me in this giant internet-webbed world! This publication graciously naming me as one of the Top Artists of 2019 is certainly one. I’ve also been featured in the last few months by Art Reveal Magazine, Lovett Publishing, Studio Visit Magazine, as well as a cinematic debut. I have publications coming out later this year in Creativ Paper Magazine and am working on two custom-painted guitars right now, custom wedding décor, and illustrating a children’s book that will be published early next year.
"Most things in our world are so literal but art is different for everyone. Unique in each of our eyes and completely up to the viewer. I want my art to continuously stay open-ended that way."
What advice do you have for artists and fellow creatives?
Although I personally feel so lucky to have social media as it’s given me connections and opportunities I couldn’t have found without it; I’ve been so much happier since I stopped caring how many followers and likes I get on my artwork. You can’t base your worth, talent, or passion to create on that vortex of comparison. If you do, the joy of it will be sucked from you and you’ll feel like a content-churning robot.
The popularity points are hollow and plastic and empty. Like money, it will only make you happy to a point. Keep it about the sacredness of your craft. You’ll be insurmountably happier, at peace with the success as well as the inevitable counter of rejection, with the side effect of becoming considerably more authentic.
What are some of your future plans and upcoming projects?
I have a vision in my mind for more abstract surrealism mixed with realism. I’ve been toying with the idea for years now and see it so clearly in my mind but the execution isn’t where I want it yet. In the future, I want to find a means to channel that passion into more action, more good.
I’m working with Woodland’s Arts and One Tree Planted which are organizations I’m very passionate about. I also donate to funds like SPCA and St. Jude but at some point I want to use my Ocean-themed art to collaborate with Save the Ocean foundations and use my art for tangible change. I want to be in the thick of it, down in the mud working with my own two hands. These blessed tools that I’m lucky enough to make art with and plan to do so much more with in this lifetime. It’s just the beginning.