“I love cute,” Zuill admits. “But even more, I love evil-cute.”
Sweet with a side of sassy—that's the look Zuill tries to achieve in most of her colorful art prints; hence, “Buns Galore,” the nipple-tassel-sporting bunny on CityBeat's cover this week. Zuill, an artist who's made a name with her more serious oil paintings, is starting to become better known for her whimsical work.
“My prints are my lighter, yet somewhat cranky, side,” she says. “I can use my love of cartoons and stupid jokes with free abandon.”
Aside from a few experiments in formal art classes, Zuill is self-taught. She says she does better when she learns things on her own. Plus, she says, she's not sure if she belongs in the art world. Zuill's been hanging with the North Park Craft Mafia lately, and she digs the more casual and sharing community she found amid the crafting crowd.
With “Buns Galore” and the rest of her prints, Zuill starts with a sketch. She draws and draws until she finds the perfect image, then takes the choice sketch, inks it and scans it into a digital file. She uses Adobe Illustrator to color her work, then prints the finished product as a giclée. She doesn't number or limit her prints; instead, she simply stops printing and selling a piece when she gets sick of it. It's a practice the fine-art world would look down on, but Zuill is just having fun spreading images that she hopes make people smile.
“You know, sometimes life can be so serious,” she says. “I really hope my art helps bring fun into peoples' lives. The prints aren't difficult to understand. They are what they are. Sometimes simple is good.”
Zuill's work can be seen at the North Park Craft Mafia's Valentine Gift Bazaar at El Take it Easy (3926 30th St. in North Park), from 6 to 10 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 10, or online at badbird.etsy.com or thedoomgirls.etsy.com.