Look deep inside your heart—where bliss meets despair; where fanciful desires play; where dreams are both created and shattered—and you will understand the essence of Bohemiart by ACEO artist Jillian S.
Jillian’s miniature (2 ½ by 3 ½ inches) mixed media art cards explore the very core of humanity: Emotion. And through subtle symbolism, they offer viewers a keyhole peek into the heart and soul of this self-taught artist.
Born creative, Jillian always dabbled in art, from homemade cards and gifts to scrapbooking. But strangely, it was her interest in musician Stevie Nicks that led her to discover Art Cards, Editions and Originals (ACEO). A few years ago, while compiling a scrapbook of Nicks’ images and lyrics, Jillian searched eBay for art and collage materials. There, she happened upon ACEO, and immediately fell in love with the art of mixed media collage.
She taught herself the art form through patience and practice, employing varied techniques and mediums, from vintage images to acrylic paint to stamping. She soon found her niche in Gothic art. Drawing on personal experiences, she infuses her work with feelings, often times sorrow.
"My work is all about emotions: sadness, loneliness despair," she explained. "I find there’s beauty in despair; there’s always a fine line between what is beautiful and what is scary."
Whether she plans her art or leaves it up to inspirational chance, Jillian puts a piece of herself into every card. "I suffer over all of them; everything has to be exact," she said of her original, never reproduced art cards. "It’s all about the details. The details are everything. It has to be just so."
Sensitive and intuitive, Jillian rarely suffers from artist’s block. She’s easily inspired by art, music, literature and everyday life. A collector of art, Jillian seeks inspiration from fellow artists. Margaret Keane, famous for her depiction of doe-eyed children, fantasy illustrator Brian Froud, and painters Mark Ryden and Gustav Klimt continue to influence her work.
A member of ZNE, Jillian draws deep satisfaction from her connection to the art community and her craft. "It’s been everything. It has exposed a place inside of me I never knew existed," said Jillian, who exhibits her work on eBay and deviantart.com "I’ve never done anything as fulfilling. To know that something I made impacted someone, what they saw in it or what it represented to them. There’s nothing like that."
Viewer interpretation is at the heart of why Jillian continues to create. A true artist, she wants her work to evoke catharsis.
"Maybe they are reminded of a happy time in life, or they see themselves in it," said Jillian. "But I hope there’s something that comforts them, that they are touched by it, that perhaps it expresses a feeling they haven’t yet found words for." 0108