Meet the Maker: Hillary LaMountain


Hillary LaMountain is an illustrator based in Orlando. “My work is bright, colorful, filled with sass, and a little morbid, but in like, a cute way. Growing up, I was always obsessed with horror and all things strange, so I love incorporating those themes into my brand. More recently, I’ve been working toward opening an online shop and I’ve been having so much fun creating products for it. I’m so grateful to be able to create every day, because it’s something that I genuinely enjoy and love doing.”

What time of day do you like to start working on your art/design?

I’m one of those crazy morning people. I wake up between 5-6am so that I can have time to think about my day ahead. Maybe drink a coffee, scroll through various social media accounts, taking in the memes. And then I like to get started right away while I have the energy. 

Do you want to be liked or respected?

I mean if someone doesn’t like me, then they don’t like me — I couldn’t possibly please everyone. But yeah I’d like to be respected; and I just think that comes from being a genuine, reliable non-asshole human.

What does your support system look like?

My support system looks like my mom, my 2 cats, the Great British Baking Show and bubble baths. 

What would your key entrepreneur/artist advice be?

Self-care, and I can’t stress that enough. As someone who has burnt themselves out from working many times, taking time to invest in yourself is not only important, but necessary. So, devote some time in your day to doing something you like, even if it’s small! And sometimes, you can even use it as an incentive to get work done. Somehow, knowing you’ve got a Netflix-binge or a bubble bath (or both if you’re really living your best life) waiting for when you finish work makes it a little more enjoyable.

What do you find the most difficult part of your work/art?

I’m actually just getting out of an art block right now so this question is kinda perfect; my biggest struggle with my art is myself. I’m an over-thinker and I’m constantly questioning everything that I’m doing — so much so, that every so often, I begin to hate everything I make. So, I go back to the drawing board (pun always intended) and sketch until I like what I see. And sometimes that takes a few days, and sometimes it takes a few months. 

Have you ever made a mistake you wish you could take back?

Gahhh so many.

If you could fix one thing about your solopreneurship today, what would it be?

Time management. I’m a master-procrastinator so I wish that I would’ve just taught myself better habits early on so that they weren’t so hard to stick with nowadays. 

Describe your ideal food day in Orlando.

Okay so prepare yourself for an extremely thought-out answer; and I’m going to start by waking up and going straight to White Wolf for breakfast. Then since it’s early, I’m gonna to run to P is for Pie to get some handheld pecan pies for dessert when I get home later. Then for lunch, I always love a classic burger and fries with a twist — so for that, I’m going to Toasted. And for dinner, I’m sooo going to Sushi Lola’s because Lava Dips are what dreams are truly made of. Throw in stopping by Skyebird for a lavender lemonade and I could die happy (and full).   

How does Orlando inspire your work?

Orlando is such a weird and fun place to live and the one thing that I love the most, is how time and time again, I’ve seen this community come together and do amazing things. Orlando inspires me to work hard and create meaningful work, so that maybe I too can make Orlando a lil more awesome. 

What do you miss most about home when you travel?

My bed!

Meet the Maker: Reina Castellanos


My name is Reina and I am a Venezuelan illustrator living in Orlando. My work is influenced by my culture and experiences as an immigrant—seeking balance between absurdity and moments of quiet contemplation within the organized chaos of layered color and pattern. Currently I am exploring different applications of my illustrations on small, personal wares like coin pouches and embroideries. 


1. What did you want to be when you were a child and why?

Performer. Artist. Philosopher. Homemaker. Comedian. Architect. Writer. Hacker. Singer. Astronaut. Poet. I am convinced to have grown into an amalgamation of all those things. Little Reina would be proud!

2. What is your favorite thing about your workspace?

My studio window faces the next door neighbor’s backyard and sometimes I am able to hear their band practice. In a weird way it has become very comforting listening to them while drawing or designing. When I notice they are rehearsing, I turn off any kind of distraction I may have around me and continue working alongside them into the evening.

3. What is a scent that defines your childhood and why?

The scent I remember most vividly from my childhood is jasmine. We had a huge shrub at the entrance of our house and, when it was blooming, you could smell it all around the neighborhood. 

4. Name a fear or professional challenge that keeps you up at night?

Prematurely telling myself why and how something will fail before taking a risk. No matter how hard I’ve worked to trust my intuition and respect my process, I still catch myself doing it regularly. I think it is the creative professional equivalent of the falling teeth nightmare.

5. What is your personal or professional motto?


6. What is something you tell yourself to build yourself up when you face adversity or criticism?

Tough love tends to get through me better than being kind to myself (I know, yikes!), so I imagine Kara Thrace from Battlestar Galactica sizing me up and saying, “Girl, you’ve been through worse!” It usually works and the negativity can roll off my back pretty easily with such a badass—albeit, fictional—person on my side.

7. Current fave junk food, restaurant, or treat?

I see an iced tea latte, I drink an iced tea latte. No exceptions.


Contact Reina Castellanos