Ventura Breeze article

WĀV Artist Interviews: Jillian Nye

by Tim Pompey

Artist Jillian NyeJillian Nye is an artist who designs her hair styles and makeup as creative expressions. A practicing cosmetologist for fourteen years, each time she picks up a straight razor and a comb, she looks at a head and pictures a vision. “I’m a hair sculptor,” she says. “I see it as a canvas.”

Her favorite projects include extreme hair for fashion shows and photo shoots, including gender makeovers for “those who want to be adventurous.” In 2010 she provided stage makeup, including bruises and cuts, for ARTesia’s public service ad campaign against domestic violence.

Nye likes to push boundaries. “A lot of art is about two sides of something,” she says. “I like pushing myself to see both ends of the spectrum.” She thrives on change and is not afraid to rearrange her own boundaries. “I don’t like functioning with a parameter,” she says. “If it’s definitive, than I want to change it.” She performs in drag with eight other women in a group called “Hir Bois” and dances as a professional go-go girl at Paddy’s.

She has also worked hard to expand her own artistic boundaries. Five years ago, she picked up water color painting, and recently she graduated from the Kali Institute of Massage in downtown Ventura.

Nye moved to Ventura three years ago with her son Jubal-lee. “I came to Ventura and hoped to live with my son at the beach,” she says. “I found a community where I could dream and fantasize about being an artist.” She is grateful for the support of the local arts community and hopes to develop workshops in 2011 to inspire others to see themselves as artistic and beautiful.

For more information on Nye’s art—hair, watercolors, massage—e-mail her at

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