Musicians don’t always stick to music; often, musicians are “multipotentialites,” as in, people with multiple creative pursuits. To learn more about the different passion projects our favorite musicians find comfort in and promote their work, we created our ongoing series Labors of Love.
This time around, we had a chat with Jill Whit, a multidisciplinary artist based in Salt Lake City. Outside of music, Jill works within fine art, tattooing, and ceramics – needless to say, we had a lot to talk about. We managed to cover a lot of ground in this conversation; we discussed the themes that span across the mediums Jill works within, supportive tattoo communities on the internet, and the records she finds comfort in. Have a read and take a look over some of Jill’s work below.
Slumber: Your creative practice carries across a few different outlets, between music, fine art, tattooing, and ceramics. Are there similarities – or even differences – in how you relate to each of those mediums?
Jill Whit: I definitely try to keep my work cohesive in all my mediums, but I definitely relate to them all in different ways. Music is the most vulnerable for me. It feels much more separate than any of the other things I create. Tattoo has been a dream job, but it also feels the most like work! Ceramics is something I started doing last year and has been a nice way to really feel like I am building something from scratch with my hands. Painting and drawing is my meditation. It’s the easiest way for me to get into a flow state and spend time alone.
Slumber: Which did you pursue first? What inspired you to begin?
Jill: I have been making art since I was little! I always knew I liked it and that I wanted to pursue it.
Slumber: Despite the differences in mediums, there seems to be themes that continue to show up across your practice, almost like similar “universes” that link them together. Is that an intentional connection?
Jill: Most of my work is about the self, being alive, and connecting to your body physically and spiritually. I think my work is always changing, but I think, without intentionally trying, most of what I create feels connected to the same theme. I’m always trying to find new ways to mix things up. I don’t want to just continue to make the same thing over and over. I usually find that I get obsessed with an idea and work with that idea until it is exhausted and then find a new direction to slightly change it up and continue that cycle.
Slumber: You mentioned with the release of your new record, “time is being,” that your different artistic endeavours have allowed you to create a large community across the U.S. Can you tell us more about your community, and how they support you as an artist?
Jill: Most of my support has come through the tattooing community online. I think that has helped expose my work, but I love that followers also enjoy my music and fine art. My work is very stylized and I don’t think everyone who likes it will also want it permanently tattooed on their skin. It’s great to see followers buying physical art and supporting me through my other mediums.
“Most of my support has come through the tattooing community online. I think that has helped expose my work, but I love that followers also enjoy my music and fine art.”
Slumber: What influences your fine art practice? Do your visual influences compare to your musical influences at all?
Jill: Drawing is just something I love to do ALL THE TIME. It’s the easiest way for me to pass the time. I love it for that reason. I feel inspired by a lot of different things. Usually I find something visually that I love and then try and find a way to incorporate it into my own work without completely copying the original idea.
I love to pair the music with visual art, but the music itself feels very separate. Writing is more of a personal release. Sharing my music is much more intimidating than sharing my fine art.
“Most of my work is about the self, being alive, and connecting to your body physically and spiritually. I think my work is always changing, but I think, without intentionally trying, most of what I create feels connected...”
Slumber: Do you have any favorite albums, or even a particular kind of music you like to listen to, when making fine art?
Jill: OH, such a hard question! I love so many albums and genres. I listen to a TON of classic country (Waylon Jennings, George Jones, Buck Owens, Loretta Lynn, etc). I love listening to instrumental music when I’m painting, walking, or falling asleep (h hunt, Green-House, etc).
Some of my favorite albums:
- On The Water – Future Islands
- Mia Gargaret – Gia Margaret
- Uncle Jazz – Men I Trust
- Chamber Songs For Love So Pure – Leti
- Foam – Divino Nino
Slumber: What’s your creative process look like, from sitting down to create a piece to finally completing it?
Jill: Writing music is on its own timeline. I cannot force anything, even if I REALLY want to create a new song, it will happen when it decides it is time. That’s also the fun in it! When I’m painting and drawing I get so consumed in it. I have very little patience so once I start I want to finish as soon as possible. Depending on the size, I will usually finish something within a few days of starting it.
Slumber: How do you differentiate your practice when working with paper and working with bodies, if at all?
Jill: Creating work for tattoos feels much more like design work rather than creating an art piece. Technically they are very different! Tattooing on the skin is trickier than drawing on paper.
Slumber: Do you have any words of advice for anyone that’s interested in pursuing a multidisciplinary creative practice?
Jill: Find time to be alone. Find time to create just for yourself. Keep some work private. Prioritize healthy social media boundaries and fall back to them when you forget them. Remember that is just a practice.
Find more of Jill Whit’s work on Instagram @jillwhitart.
Listen to their latest record, time is being, below: