I promised something fun this week and I have delivered.
I met Jill Carlock when I was in high school. She had started dating a very close friend of mine at the time. I tend to be a little distant and cold when new people enter my life, like the way cats approach a new person or environment- with caution- but I also wanted her to feel welcome in my friend family. She was pretty quiet, laid back, and reserved- or at least that’s how I remember meeting her, and I was intrigued. It’s not unlike how my boyfriend intrigued me when we first met. If I’m challenged as the quietest or calmest person in the room, something hanky is going on and I need to know what’s in your brain.
As usual with my kind of people, Jill’s outside was zen and the inside was pure dynamite. That makes it sound like her outside was boring, which was not at all the case, and I will explain. Jill is an incredibly kind, mature, and confidently independent person. She didn’t care what I, or anyone else, thought about how she was going through life. Having a strong sense of self virtually makes you completely unpredictable, because you don’t need to shout about who you are to try and prove anything to anyone. It was impossible to guess that the inner workings of this girl’s mind projected the loudest, color packed play land. When I found out Jill was a visual artist, I swooned. I admire visual artists a great deal.
Now, you could say the reason I loved Jill’s artwork or that I wanted to promote her today is because she’s my friend and it makes me biased, but I would say the opposite. Jill’s art has always touched me in a profound way. It excited and inspired me enough to make me want to be surrounded by her more often, and we’ve already talked about how hard it is for me to reach out to people and make friends. As an artist, though I am one of another nature, I have learned the importance of having people in your corner who are strong where you are weak, and therefore give you new and broader perspective in your endeavors. They give you room to grow and permission to be unapologetically yourself. Jill is one of these people to me. (And just to be clear, I'm not talking about getting yourself lost in the comparison game here. The people you surround yourself with should be encouraging, make you feel good about yourself, and make you feel there is room for you. There is no competition amongst friends. Your success is my success. For all you know, THEY are the ones who feel lucky to be in the presence of YOUR abilities.) She may not be in my field, but she is bursting out the seams with creative energy, not unlike the crate at the end of the live action Cat in the Hat movie that the children opened and made Dr. Seuss world explode everywhere. I have wanted to be around her because I am one of her biggest fans, and on top of that she happens to be one of the best people I know.
When I got to college, Jill was one of the first people I reached out to, her being down the road at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design. She was developing this new style I was obsessed with and needed to be painted on my keyboard immediately. This wasn’t the first time I called her for a job and it wouldn’t be my last, and it's when I really started to get to know Jill and where the color comes from. This upcoming week, you all have the glorious opportunity to support Jill with me and see the artist I see, which we will get to in just a moment.
After my blog last week, I’m eager to ask creative folk my burning questions that I had brought up at the end of that blog. Here are some things about Jill, her creative process, and her upcoming show, “Everything with Butter.”
Any introduction you would like to give yourself?
My name is Jill Carlock! I'm from Middletown, NJ and I very much enjoy colors and delicious snacks.
How do you practice and set aside time for your craft and individual growth? (This includes both the practice of your art and just generally things you do for yourself to operate on your highest frequency in order to create your best work and be your best self.)
I usually spend at least 4 hours a day painting or in the studio working on something. Most times I tend to work longer and more efficiently during the later hours of the night. I also try to maintain a mindset that revolves around nothing but doing whatever I feel like doing, whether in a public place, or in solitude. It's super important to be comfortable with who I am and not feeling like I'm odd or not conforming to social norms with my personality. As for healthy habits, this can be tricky due to my nocturnal art practice so I ease the struggles day by day with a balanced "brunch" and trying to stay active as much as possible during the day if I'm not working. There are definitely times where time catches up with me and it doesn't work out too well, but that's all part of the never-ending process!
How do you practice taking those skills into the real world to create positive impact and foster growth in society? (Pretty much the same as the first question, but asking on a broader scale. How do you think your function on the individual level contributes to the community and inspires other to be better?)
I suppose I act almost as if I am automatically encouraging others around me to also feel more free and confident in their own skin. Trying my best not to focus on how others may perceive me, by doing whatever I feel like doing in any given environment. This applies to my fashion sense in a strong way. Sometimes I get the "I wish I could have the confidence to wear that" and I immediately ask "why can't you???" You just have to go for it and own it. I find life to be so much more enjoyable that way.
Tell the party people what they need to know about "Everything with Butter."
I'm having a solo show opening event in Asbury Park, NJ on Friday, September 7th! It's being hosted by SP Projects at their "SP Projects Cosmic Beach House." The event is from 5-8 and will have lots of colorful suprises. Please come have fun and see some art :)
Where do you want people to find you?
If not in Red Bank eating a cup of iced coffee like an apple on a bench, I have an instagram! @jill_carlock
See you next week for a *special* entry,