Creative Arts

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August 14, 2017 Julie Houts’ Instagram is calling us out

This article is part of a series called Creative Arts by Compass.

Read the series >

Every now and again, an Instagram account slaps you across the face with its relatability. Usually, those accounts are food-focused, relatable because I’m always hungry.

But when I stumbled upon @Jooleeloren, I loved her clever illustrations because I saw myself, or someone I knew, in so many of them. And she is making fun of us all.

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That’s what’s so refreshing about her account: she is making a mockery of almost everyone who follows her, and they can’t get enough of it. Up until a few months ago, Hout was a designer for American fashion retailer J.Crew. After her illustrations gained worldwide attention (and currently a following of 192k), she left her job to focus on art.

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But she owes a lot of her success to the fashion world and the circles she moved in, as they have given her some of her best material.

Her work centres on the ridiculousness of the fashion industry and its sheepish followers, the disingenuity of social media and its interactions, and the hypocrisy of the patriarchal society we live in. The irony that she is delivering these messages via the very platform she is satirising is not lost on her, either.

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In a way, Hout is kind of like a Sex in the City character but for people who live in the real world, the one where writers can’t afford Jimmy Choo’s. The one in which I’m currently saving towards my next pair of Kmart slippers. So Carrie.

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It’s not just the jokes she’s making that make her so likeable—her illustrations are actually great, too, with each character sporting a pretty enviable wardrobe. That’s the designer in her coming out.

And then there’s the sarcasm. Huge, giant waves of it, as she has a crack at herself and just about everyone she (and I) knows. When Vogue asked about the inspiration behind her work, she simply replied,

“I just think that everyone is basically an idiot. They just are.”

This article is part of a series called Creative Arts by Compass.

Read the series >

Erin Bromhead
is a contributor for A•STAR