For Dublin-based friends and business partners Jill Deering and Gillian Henderson, design is a collaborative process based on the synergy between each of their practices – illustration and print. They first met in 2015. After her degree in 3D design and a diploma in interior architecture, Henderson worked at Hang Tough Framing, screen-printing in her spare time. NCAD graduate Deering was touring (she had a music career playing electric guitar and piano for James Vincent McMorrow) and putting together a solo exhibition of her illustrations. It was suggested she get some of her illustrations screen-printed and Henderson was recommended to her.
“We spent one full day printing together and got on really well, and decided to do a personal collaboration a few months later. The rest is history and we are stuck with each other now!” At this year’s Showcase Ireland, Jill & Gill was the winner of a Design Ireland Award for its boxed original prints. They have also worked with sofa company DFS to style a post-modern revival-style living room using punchy colours, graphic prints and geometric shapes. “We went for a statement black wall and concrete floor, which worked to bring out the vibrancy of the textures and colours.” It’s not unlike their working space – a colourful warehouse. They describe it as “a place to fail.” “As two creatives, running a business has been a huge learning curve. In an ideal partnership, you would have one creative mind, the other more business-minded.”
We don’t fight, we work as a team, we understand our weaknesses but we also understand when to push the other because at the end of the day it will benefit us both.
“We have learned lots from our mistakes. The ups would be we have zero fear of not being able to take on a project, whatever that maybe – we have each other’s support and that is a great confidence boost. For every project we take on or set ourselves one of us will always be better equipped or skilled to take the lead, but this will also change through a project. We don’t fight, we work as a team, we understand our weaknesses but we also understand when to push the other because at the end of the day it will benefit us both.” Current projects include working with Louise McGuane (founder of JJ Corry Whiskey) on an the illustration and design for a new whiskey label in celebration of International Women’s Day and to highlight women in the whiskey industry.
The money-minded one? Jill wears the bookkeeping hat. But we will be handing this over to someone else soon. The here-and-nower / the futurist? When we’re working on a project Gill is already working on the next possible project in her head … always three steps ahead! Who blows / and who stews? Jill blows, she’s straight-up, honest and speaks her mind. Gill can hold back but that won’t last for long. Who makes the coffee? Jill is the night owl, so coffee is an everyday necessity. The extrovert / the introvert? We are both Geminis so we can safely say we’re both extroverted and introverted. www.jillandgill.com @jillandgill
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