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How Jillian Evelyn used her dissatisfaction to inspire her signature (naked) aesthetic

Jillian Evelyn doesn’t see sexuality in nudity.

The 31-year-old’s paintings, mostly starring naked contorting women, are depictions of bared-down illustrating themes such as anxiety or frustration with the way the lines move from one fictional extremity to the next. "So the nude is a mental state,” she says. While most naked forms present in art represent a version of lust, she questions what the vulnerable human state looks like without the infusion of sexuality.

“Personally, as I go through my day, when I take a shower or do something in my own world, I don’t think of my body as a sexual object," she says. "[My subjects] are never usually doing anything sexual, so it’s really interesting that people always think that just because they’re nude, that’s what it has to do with.”

Before she solely focused on her fine art, however, Evelyn found inspiration in her day job as a junior footwear sneaker designer at Converse in Boston until she relocated to Los Angeles in 2017. While she insists she stayed in the footwear industry "for longer than I would've liked", she also credits the eight years as formative in developing her signature aesthetic: the stress and overall dissatisfaction with her conventional career inspired her to draw women in uncomfortable positions, seemingly trying to push the boundaries of the canvas on which they’re painted, resembling her own inability to abide by society’s demands.

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