Photos by Bianca Cordova
Childhood is often a place of wonderment, adventure and learning. Most of us had crayons placed in our hands at a very early age, and as we gripped those columns of colored wax, we created endless happy hours of scribbles and swirls. For some, art was something forgotten with age. For Juliette Crosson, it was only the beginning.
As a young girl living in Wilmington, Delaware, Juliette filled her days drawing pictures and writing stories. She and her friends would hold “craft nights” filled with chatter, baking, and art projects. Juliette’s mother supported her passion by sending her to art camp, where she would learn skills like knitting and pillow-making. With dreams of writing and illustrating children’s books, she enrolled in Delaware College of Art and Design’s two-year program. After she completed her degree there, she enrolled at Maryland Institute College of Art, where she studied fine art.
Work took Juliette and her boyfriend, Josh, to Baltimore after college. Her fondness for animals landed her a job as Rescue Coordinator at one of Baltimore’s prominent animal shelters, where she personally rescued seven cats. When one of them fell ill and required extensive vet care, she began creating and selling small water color characters of children and animals. She was also producing hand-size coloring books and posting them on social media in order to help pay the bills. At it turned out, few could resist her clever coloring books with subjects ranging from “Vegan” to “Little Red Riding Hood” and “Catnip! The Trippy Tales of Tilly Tibblewink the Tabbycat & a Turnip.” They proved to be quite successful and she eventually set up her own business, “whyhouses.” Juliette says she named it after her love of sketching homes.
It doesn’t take more than a glances at Juliette’s work to know that her art is very personal to her. She paints with as much compassion and kindness as she shows the animals in the shelter. Pieces such as Nightcap Nicholas, one of her signature fox characters, Little Red, a delicate girl with slightly wide eyes and small mouth, and her incredibly adorable yeti characters are intrinsic, whimsical, and endearing works. They are so precious that they will make you want to pick them up and hold them just a little closer to your heart. And, that is art at its finest.
You can check out Juliette’s work on her Facebook page, Facebook.com/ whyhousesillustration, or on Etsy. Contact her directly at whyhouses@ etsy.com. Her work is also featured at The Muse shop in Frederick, MD, and the HIVE Artspace in York, PA.