Jill & Gill is a new Dublin print studio. Set up in 2016, they’ve hurriedly been making a name for themselves. We had a chat…
Tell us a bit about Jill & Gill.
Jill & Gill is made up of illustrator Jill Deering and printmaker Gillian Henderson. We set up Jill & Gill back in April of this year after collaborating on a commission piece together. There was no plan to create a partnership or start a business it just happened so organically.
Deciding to set up Jill & Gill seemed right to us, sure we already had the company name sorted, ha! People think we’ve known each other for years but really we’ve only known each other for the best part of a year. We only figured out we share the same birthday back in May!
But to be honest I don’t think either of us had a clue as to how fast things would move, by August we were fully up and running with prints stocked online at www.jillandgill.com our first pop-up shop which was a great success in the Fumbally Exchange and we had started stocking in shops around Dublin.
We work really well together and come at projects a little different to other illustrators or printmakers. One of us may have the idea but the other will always bring something completely different to it. Gill approaches each project through colour, texture and finish and Jill would be more detailed and focused on expression. We finish each other’s work, in a good way, and in a style that has become identifiable as Jill & Gill.
What challenges did you face getting Jill & Gill off the ground? What do you wish you knew before starting?
We’ve gotten a lot of work since the summer, after the pop-up shop in The Fumally Exchange, something which we never actually factored in back when we were starting. Deciding to do the pop-up was a last minute decision, but one of the best we’ve made all year. It gave us our first exposure to the general public and another thing we didn’t consider, that other brands would want Jill & Gill to design, illustrate and print for them! This is a new exciting challenge for us which we’ve completely taken with and are right in the middle of working on our first illustration\print job for a new Irish brand based here in Dublin launching next year.
We didn’t plan for where we are right now, we like to think how could you?, so in a way we’ve been playing catch up with our own timeline. We both also do other jobs, Jill plays for James Vincent McMorrow on tour as part of his band and Gill splits her time between Hang Tough and running her own screenprint services business. So our biggest challenge is our time, we try to organise our days when we can work together on projects, but as anyone in a creative industry knows that, that never works, so you’ll find us still at it into the early hours of the morning, regardless of whether we are even in the same country.
What can we expect from you guys in the future?
We are already excited about our plans for early 2017. We’ve a new print which we are working on right now of ‘Iris Apfel’. This print will be our biggest challenge to date. We are pulling out all the stops, nice paper stock, numerous colours, finishes and each screen print completely bespoke no two will be the same.
We’ve also set our sights on hopefully working within the fashion industry in the coming year, this is a big goal of ours so kicking things off in the New year with a print of the fashion icon herself is a step in the right direction.
Just off Capel street, we pass their studio everyday. We love how they have combined studio and shop giving the general public a taste of the process. This is so important for us and is where we see Jill & Gill in the years to come, we want to be able to create a shareable studio space where our process from sketch to screen is accessible to the public.
Opening our own studio/shop where we can work, meet customers and run workshops is a future plan for us. We sometimes find when people see our prints, they don’t fully understand the amount of time and work that goes into each piece, but when we explain how it’s all done people suddenly take on a new appreciation of the work. Space where we can interact with the general public while we work would be amazing, not only being able to buy a limited edition piece but experience the process of Jill illustrating and Gill screen printing in house would just add so much more merit to our work.
Tind is as print studio from Athens, Greece founded back in the 70’s. There’s an amazing collective of screen printers around the world but these guys are the best. They eat, sleep and speak screenprinting, coming at everything they print with such a passion. Just browsing through their work sparks ideas in us.
Craig & Karl are an interesting duo – both living in separate parts of the world (London and New York) they still manage to collaborate daily. Kind of similar as to how Jill and Gill work these days as Jill is off touring for most of the year with James Vincent McMorrow, we spend most of our time online, emailing and whatsapping. Aside from Craig & Karls long distance, their boldness to colour is something we love and they venture into massive scale when it comes to their pieces. Jill&Gill love a challenge and to push our skills to the max. We would love to bring our style of work to great levels and have our illustrated prints transform to a greater scale in the future.
This article has been produced in association with The Locals