When Julie Houts posts her pop-culture-skewering illustrations—most of which feature towering, model-esque figures doing mundane tasks like texting from the toilet, suffering through anxiety and cramps, and celebrating PSL season—her 224,000 Instagram followers go crazy with the likes. Her style, which you can immerse yourself in with her new book Literally Me, has roots in her training as a womenswear designer. Take it all in here—and if you haven’t watched Julie draw a self-portrait, you can catch that right this way.
Intro: One More Thing presents Quick on the Draw with Julie Houts.
Claire Mazur, Of a Kind co-founder: Why did you start posting your illustrations on Instagram?
Julie Houts: When I started posting them, I had 10 followers, who were my friends, and it just seemed like a convenient way to speak to 10 people at one time.
Claire: A better version of a group text.
Claire: Do the drawings that we see in your illustrations look a lot like the drawings you made when you were working as a fashion designer?
Julie: The ones I made when I was working as a designer—they’re not as wiggly. There’s no room for these sort of, like, sketchy moments.
Erica Cerulo, Of a Kind co-founder: How do you think that your fashion design background influences the work that you do now?
Julie: Since I was trained in fashion illustration first, the figures themselves tend to have elongated proportions like a fashion illustration would. I mean, typically, they’re like 10 heads tall, so that’s not real. No one is 10 heads tall. The typical person, I think, is on average like six heads tall, or eight heads tall, or something.
Erica: We’re kind of obsessed with these markers. How did you land on these particular markers?
Julie: Just as sort of a leftover from fashion school. They’re super wet, and they’re really toxic. If you work all day, you’re really high at the end of it.