Julie Houts, Illustrator

Meet Julie Houts, freelance illustrator and writer best known on Instagram as @jooleeloren. 


While working toward her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Fashion/Apparel Design From Parsons, Julie worked as a design intern at Diane Von Furstenberg and Proenza Schouler. She then worked as an Assistant Deisgner for Bill Blass, before securing herself a position as a fashion designer at J. Crew. She worked at J. Crew for 7 years before deciding to leave her job and pursue illustration full-time as a freelancer. Julie started posting drawings on Instagram really casually for her friends a couple of years ago. At the time she only had around 100 followers and it was just a small thing she did for herself. Slowly, she began to grow a following and started getting more illustration jobs as a result.


Most of Julie's work is satirical, and often comes from things she reads or conversations that spark ideas. She'll notice a pattern of behavior or thought in the people around her, in herself, or culturally, and she'll keep it in her head until she has time to sit down and sketch something out. To get her work done, Julie relies on her sketchbook and pencil, of course, along with her Copic, AD, and Prismacolor markers. Now that she works freelance full-time, she's afforded flexibility in the hours she works, and the ability to work on the things she wants to work on. When she was maintaining her day job, she didn't have any extra time to explore the ideas she was interest in, or to flesh out ideas for illustrations beyond quick sketches. She now has the time to sit with her ideas and develop them.


Julie has created a rule for herself that she must finish a drawing every day, no matter how small or silly it is. Even if she hates it, it allows her to stay accountable to herself and keeps things in motion. She finds that if she keeps going and finish something even if she doesn't like it, she is able to move past what she's made and think about what's next. It also gives her a chance to turn ideas around rather than abandon them.

Looking forward, Julie is working on finishing up work for her first book of illustrations and writing called, Literally Me, which is being released in October. She's also written a pilot for an animated TV show with her best friend Katherine Bernard and is partnering with a production company to have it make. The pair is also working on developing shorter web-centric content in the meantime. Julie hopes to continue illustrating and getting jobs that she enjoys, and honing in on her talent as an illustrator.