Most women would give anything to live the chic New York City lifestyle of Julie Houts, who works as a designer at J. Crew, lives in a stylish Williamsburg apartment, and (this one's a little out of left field) has an Instagram account for pictures she finds on Ebay of women wearing ridiculous fur coats. But although Houts may be next-level cool, her deprecating realness makes her diaristic, unapologetic self-portraits all too relatable. Hout's subjects slouch from group selfies and first dates to financial anxiety and carb overloading. Here the artist tells us what was going through her mind while she made these insanely affordable prints, which combine the fine lines and bright colors of high fashion sketches and the flippant verve of it-girl commentary.
"It was tax time and I was going through my expenses over the phone with my accountant, and was like, 'Another Uber, another Uber, another Uber, a 25 dollar martini, a vintage coat I needed, another Uber.' It made me feel completely absurd and frivolous and pretty much awful—like a weird Auntie Mame character. After a while it made me sound like I wasn’t living on planet earth."
"People often say that I surprise them because the things that come out of my mouth are counter to how I look. This drawing is about the feeling that you’re all buttoned up but are acting like a real asshole."
"I mean, I love pasta. It makes me really happy! (There are really deep meanings to all of these!)"
"I was thinking about snake holes and how funny they are. How fun would it be to just dig and hang out in snake holes!"
"I’m just always lying, basically. If I say I’m in a cab it means that I’m getting ready. If I say I’m five minutes away it means I just got in a cab!"
"I work at J. Crew full-time as a designer. This drawing is about that feeling of coming back to work after a break, or having been there for way too long, and thinking, “What even is 'chair'? What even is 'job'?”