When fashion illustrator Jill Lin was trying to figure out what to do after school at a young age, she told her parents she wanted art. Being a first generation Asian American , her and her parents had a different view of what a successful career would look like.
Several years later, Jill Lin was able to define art and illustration still not as an ‘after school’ thing, or a class activity, but as a full time job. This is told instantly by the glare in her eyes when she talks about her work, and the craft she's developing in it day by day.
“It’s one of those things that feels just like therapy,” she says, and as she says this, she thinks on how important it has been for her through out these set of years. Every time she imagines and utilizes different sets of tools to reinterpret her own imagination, Lin ends up feeling fulfilled, either by making a perky dress during the day, or an embellished skirt at night.
“You go home, you eat your dinner and then you’re like; Ok, I can’t wait to do this now,” that’s exactly what she feels when she’s drawing, and the more she does it, the more she has stopped questioning herself and wondering whether she’s wasting her life on something that isn’t worth fighting for.
The slim, well-spoken, and humorous illustrator created this vision in her craft, but it all started after a visit to a gallery in Portland. She felt as if that world was hers, and after that moment, she owned it.
She drew her way in step by step, and little did she know that at 32 she will be juggling between being a creative director for an advertising industry and maintaining her own vision through her freelancing projects. And not just any project, but a very quaint and cheery one too, a project named @pploffashion which is about maintaining a certain humor in the industry, and looking at clothing in a more playful way.
“This all opens the way in which I view things. I’m just more open to try different things, because I feel I’m just growing throughout the process, in which is so freeing and fun,” said Lin.
Releasing her ideas and emotions on paper has only given her much more imagination on her projects, as she is finally telling a little of her own stories to her public through her drawings. Stories, that ever since she was a child she made up for herself, hoping someday she would be able to share them.
“When you’re a kid, everything is wide open and everything is an opportunity,” she says, while thinking how delightful it was to explore back then, making things up as she went along with her daily chores, daily studies. But nothing has stopped her from continuing to represent a new way to look at clothes. Not even her questioning whether if people like what she does or not.
“Its always been a mystery for me whether the dialogue I do on my drawings is funny for the rest,” she says, granted. Ironically enough, as much as she wonders about that, she wonders about who she can draw next.
While Jill wonders, she also carries the Ying and the Yang, a perfect pair of opposites that have made her work be so unique. Such peace of mind have brought her inner child pair along perfectly as she loves drawing fun and stylish elderly women. As she draws them, she does it with such joy, as she is completely enthralled by their dynamic set of personalities.
“You know, as a woman its very hard for us when we get older. There’s so much pressure. And now there’s been a movement of rebellion against that,” she says, using Iris Apfel as a perfect example as she is “so cool,” she says. Apfel being a 92-year old style guru who collects vintage clothing, and pairs it up her own way, has no limits. As adept as Apfel is in fashion, she is also in life in general, as she carries the philosophy that, "There will never be free lunch and you don't get anything for nothing." So she says, and this is one of the things why Lin follows Apfel's perception both visually and philosophically, as she mentions she "cannot wait to be like that".
Frankly though, Jil Lin is already cool in her own way, and its rather us creators, readers and dreamers that cannot wait what she might have in store for us through the world of fashion, illustration, but most importantly that inner innocence, in which sometimes, its just waiting to get out.