Seattle, The Playground Of MarninSaylor by Jillian Barthold

Seattle, The Playground Of MarninSaylor by Jillian Barthold


The Poor Patron is a project meant to loosen the everyday strictures of the client/artist relationship. The artist is welcomed to create work based on any MarninSaylor themes or imagery with no creative input, due within a "when it's done" deadline.

We are pleased to offer prints of our Poor Patron collaborations. This is the eleventh in the series, titled Seattle, The Playground of MarninSaylor by Oregon artist Jillian Barthold. See some of our favorite landmarks as you tour Seattle with the Pastry Pets™!

This art is printed on high-quality, heavyweight, archival paper, and measures 13"x19". Sold unframed, shipped rolled. Half the proceeds from the sale of these prints go directly to the artist.

Be sure to read our interview with Jillian below.


The work of Portland, Oregon based illustrator Jillian Barthold is hard to describe. It is at once both childlike and knowing, naive and mature. Beneath the lighthearted exterior lurks a deep desire to know and to chronicle, to catalogue and keep and question the everyday experiences that make us both more and less human. In her portfolio you can find adorable animal portraits and homages to the joys of pizza and cheese. Scroll a bit farther and you'll discover beautifully rendered star charts, visual memories of buildings visited, and zines exploring the exquisite nature of daily interactions. It was this whimsical yet documentarian feel that drew us to Jillian's illustrations, and we're so excited to present her poster - Seattle, The Playground of MarninSaylor.

A lot of your work has a documentarian feel. What about an everyday object or ritual interests you?

I love making work about seemingly mundane objects and situations for a few reasons. For one, it connects us. As humans, we have so many simple commonalities that link us together in the most unexpected ways. I think a huge part of the work I make is to take these things and give the viewer and myself a new, magnified perspective. I love that you used the word ritual, because it is almost like a kind of magic. You may think you just walk to the bus every morning, but what you are really doing is taking an exact amount of steps, seeing different kinds of plants and people that, like you, change and grow a bit each day. You watch cars drive by going to an endless amount of different locations. You're not "just" doing anything, ever. I want my work to be a view through a magnifying glass on the world around me.

We've been loving on your work since we found out about you from Michael Heck of Pity Party. What is your involvement in the PNW zine community and how has it shaped your work?

Michael Heck is the literal best. (If anyone reading this has not seen his work drop whatever you are doing and check it out right now.) I've been living in the PNW for a couple of years now and have been lucky enough to table at a bunch of zine fests throughout the area (Portland, Seattle, Olympia, Vancouver BC). The community is so warm and welcoming and is full of some of the most hard working and passionate humans. Seeing the people around me work hard and produce excellent work really pushes me to do the same. I teach screenprinting and bookbinding workshops at the IPRC (Independent Publishing Resource Center) in southeast Portland and being able to use such an affordable space with so much helpful equipment and to be surrounded by people who are constantly making things has been truly fantastic. I am also endlessly inspired by the plants and landscapes of the pacific northwest and a lot of the work I have produced in the past couple of years has been studies from my explorations.

Your style walks a fine line between realism and cartooning. Have you actively pursued one over the other, and how has your style evolved over the years?

I am incredibly indecisive so I've never been able to choose a definitive direction to actively pursue. Generally for projects I tend to think in clusters and create small bodies of work where all of the pieces compliment each other, and when that's done I move on to a new project. Sometimes it's a collection of short story comics about things like flying on an airplane or making bread at a friend's house, and sometimes it's a collection of drawings of the tangible objects around me. Or sometimes I spend all day binding books and making handmade beads. I try not to give myself too many rules and just make and create whatever I feel like at the time. My style has always been pretty similar - wabi sabi and childlike with a sprinkle of whimsy - but I have found that the more I have drawn over the years, the more comfortable I become exploring different directions while still feeling like it fits in with the rest of my work.

Many items in your Etsy shop are fandom-related (Harry Potter, X-Files, Twin Peaks, Firefly, etc). It might be hard to choose, but what are you THE BIGGEST fan of, and how do these alternate realities affect your life and work?

This is the hardest question! If I hadddddd to choose I guess I would pick Harry Potter. When I was in middle school I had to do a science project about cells and compared the world of Harry Potter to a cell. I drew it all out on a poster board and had thorough comparisons for all of the various parts. For example, Dumbledore's office was the nucleus and the spell that they put around the wizarding world so that muggles won't see it was the plasma membrane. I couldn't begin to describe how the worlds have changed my life. All of the books, shows, and films I have consumed over the years have played a role in who I've become and I am so thankful to the creators for sharing their worlds with us. I've been really afraid of getting stuck in the role of a fandom artist (there's nothing wrong with it, it's just not what I want to do forever), but I love the worlds so much and can't help but draw little tributes to them. A lot of the time when I'm drawing I put on tv shows that I've already seen in the background and listen to them like a radio show or podcast, so they are fresh on my mind. Fandoms are great because they bring people together in such positive ways. It's fun to see everyone excited about the same thing.

Quick! One pizza topping for the rest of your life. Go!

This seems like a really bizarre answer, but probably goat cheese. Yum.

Follow Jillian’s work on her site.


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