Released Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Manhattan, by Jennifer Hill.
15% of the sale of this print goes to Médecins Sans Frontières.
JHill Design is a small design studio located in the flowering Fort Point district of Boston, MA. Jennifer Hill creates vibrant, multi-layered patterns for her print series, Places I Have Never Been, which revolve around her imaginary vacations.
Jennifer Hill trained in graphic design and art history at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design, graduated in 1997 and the went on to work for the luxury beauty company, Fresh, where she designed patterns for their gorgeous packaging. In 2005, Jennifer parted from Fresh to start JHill Design. The Places I Have Never Been line was born while listening to the band Modest Mouse on a long, nighttime drive to New Hampshire. Originally a Christmas gift for clients, the original desk calendar became popular and sales soon started. Trips to Brimfield, the Boston Public Library and museum after museum keep the inspiration and ideas coming and new products being added to JHill's line up.
The studio currently has 3 main print series filled with JHill's patterns:
• City Prints: Inspired by vintage travel posters, each print includes details like what one would eat or drink while visiting a place.
• A Toast to: Inspired by old-school flashcards, these little 5x7 prints celebrate a place through a little riddle written by JHill.
• Animal Alphabet: Aardvark – Zebu. These 9x9 prints are inspired by modern quilts and illuminated manuscripts.
About the print:
I typically illustrate places that I haven’t been to – this is the first piece in a series of drawings about places I HAVE visited. I find it difficult to do a pattern about the essence of a place once I’ve been there, and since I have a hard time imagining patterns, I decided to go factual for this print. This map of Manhattan is broken down into neighborhoods, with a pattern for each area that is inspired by things like the neighborhood’s architecture. Manhattan’s architecture has always been something that truly inspires me – I love the way that the old and new are always working together. If you look at the print closely, you can see teeny tiny yellow cabs in the streets of the neighborhood borders.
This print was signed and numbered by the artist. It is an archival giclee print on Fabriano watercolor paper.
What has inspired you recently?
Recently I've been really into vintage paper pieces like tickets, old matchbook covers, playbills, posters and such. I've also been really into maps (as you can see here) lately. I’ve been buying lots of paper ephemera on Etsy, and Ebay. Recently at the Brimfield flea market, I scored a series of old hand-written receipts from a funeral home. The writing was so beautiful; it was the perfect inspiration for our new wedding collection.
Why did you choose to pair Médecins Sans Frontières with your print?
Last year I worked in Haiti for a few weeks for Aid to Artisans. I made some amazing friends and saw amazing work being made. Everyone there has been tragically affected by January's earthquake in one way or another. Médecins Sans Frontières has been a great help to a country with no healthcare and demolished hospitals. I hope we can raise a bunch of money for them.
How have you seen art transform the world around you?
I'm very lucky to be in an artisan neighborhood in Boston called Fort Point. There are always new installations or Shepard Fairey murals around. The best was when I was driving to my studio, and was about to go underneath a small bridge. Lisa M. Greenfield did an installation called Coil/Recoil where they hung hundreds of Slinkys from the roof of the bridge. Driving through it daily was no less than magical.
If you could pick one artist to mentor you, who would it be?
It would have to be Charlie Harper. I love his whole process of seeing things broken down into shapes. I think his bird series is really inspiring and he I bet he would be a fun one to chat with.
Who are some artists you think people should know about?
Kevin Morosini - I love how flat Kevin's work is, and how he uses space and pattern. Zach Johnsen - Zach's work is just amazing, from the creatures he makes out of wood to his illustrations. Kevin Cyr - I traded prints with Kevin waaaay back in college and one of his big rig prints still hangs in my living room.