MY DESIGN SPACE
Designer and illustrator Jill Mars shares how a childlike sense of fun brightens up her studio
Designer and illustrator Jill Mars shares how a sense of fun brightens up her Chicago studio
Over the years, designer and illustrator Jill Mars has collected a diverse array of objects for her Chicago studio. She describes the city she works in as equally diverse, and brimming with culture, which both influences and informs her work.
“My studio is an approachable array and eclectic hodgepodge of everything I love encapsulated in natural light and warmth,” says Mars. “The objects in my studio remind me to find beauty in the monotonous and mundane, maintain a sense of humour no matter the gravity of a situation, not take everything so seriously all of the time and have some fun!”
Mars admits to being “like a kid in a candy store” when it comes to gumball machines (1). “They cast an undeniable sense of nostalgia that makes me smile without knowing why. I’ve even adopted one as part of my personal brand,” she says.
While interning at Chicago Children’s Museum, Mars was given this bus (2) by a senior designer. “It symbolised a right of passage for me back then and serves as a constant reminder of my journey,” she explains. “It sits proudly on my desk until it’s able to be passed down to somebody else who admires it as much as I.”
Mars also finds inspiration in her “hovering art directors”. (3) “When Bing Bong is not holding my stylus he is assisting Helga Pataki with art directing me,” she says. “I have an affinity for animated cartoon characters with loads of personality and like to keep them close.”
Mars states that you never know when you’ll need some googly eyes
(4), so she keeps a stash of them in case of a “googly eye-mergency”. “Some people bedazzle their things with rhinestones,” she shrugs, “some with googly eyes.” Mars is the latter. Mars’ Chicago flag Field Notes (5) represent her love for her city. “I jump at any chance to show that love, so when I found these bad boys I knew I had to have them.”
Jill Mars is an illustrator and graphic designer who lives and works in Chicago. www.jillmars.com