A Little Gay Interview With Hills And Holler


Hills And Holler

Brandon Patrick (They/He)
Michael Wooldridge (He/Him)

Every queer is magic, and Hills And Holler is here to prove it.

The art and stationary store was created in 2016 by Brandon. Michael joined in 2018. 

The two meld their queer identities with inspiration from the occult, memes, pop culture, recreational drug use, and their love of animals and the outdoors to create rad cards, prints, stickers, and home goods. 

Balancing life and work in a 24/7/365 world, join us as we find the source of these paper pioneers queerifying snail mail.

Hills And Holler Card. A collage of cacti photos with each cactus featuring googly-eyes.

What's your earliest memory of creating?
A: Both of us still have little doodles we did as babies that we keep in a big file of both our families/childhoods. Brandon made lots of illustrated booklets that his mom would write the text for before he could spell, and Michael was proficient in cat drawings.

Rainbow cartoon cat with hearts. Reads: Happy Birthday You Weird Bitch

Q: What's something people don't know about you?
A: Brandon hates flying but he's piloted an airplane.
A: Michael can fall asleep literally anywhere anytime he wants to.

Q: What got y'all into creating? How did y'all start?
A: Both Michael and I (Brandon) have been multidisciplinary artists since we can remember, but our focus on greeting cards and paper goods came into focus while we were in quarantine and stuck in the house. Lots of snail mail ideas!

Q: What inspires y'all?
A: Queer history, our gay elders, fearless visibility, sexual freedom, butts, and our pets.

Q: How do you know your work is ready?
A: Sometimes the idea just happens on paper the way it was in our heads... other times we let work rest, come back to it, and try to find a new perspective...and sometimes we just push it out into the world and hope for the best.

Deciding between two drawings. A thicc broccoli and egg plant. or an eggplant and broccoli surfing on a carrot.

How important is community in the art and creator profession?
Community is fundamental. Without the continued support and feedback from our communities we would be lost!

How does your identity of being queer inform your art (if it does)?
We both agree that being queer is a gift. It has allowed us to recognize and celebrate parts of ourselves and our community that we would otherwise struggle to identify and know what to do with if we didn't have the superpower of being really, really gay.

As you started to realize your queerness, how did the view you had for your future change?
I think we've both had to leave and then come back to certain aspects of our lives that started to seem like hurdles to us in a way that didn't affect non-queer people around us.

We both left home in search of more accepting communities, our ideas about the trajectory of our lives and work was much different that what we watched others set out to do, and we both noticed a kind of lag in opportunities if we stayed still. Things seem to be changing rapidly and that baby gay to big city pipeline isn't as necessary or relevant.

Q: Who was your first queer crush?
A: Michael: Wheeler from Captain Planet 
A: Brandon: Jim Hawkins from Treasure Planet.
...Apparently we're into planets.

Hills And Holler card, image of the earth. Reads: You're My Favorite Person On The Whole Earth

When you came out, did that impact your creative process and output in anyway?
Coming out allowed both of us to explore ideas in a more authentic way. The codes and language become shorthand and you can be more direct with certain ideas below the queer lens.

Q: In what ways has openly being queer positively impacted your life?
A: Settling into queer life is like the difference between watching a movie and wishing you were inside of it, and being in front of the camera living the life you deserve.

What advice do you have for young queer people starting to realize their creative potential?
A:  Ask for help, find mentorship, promote yourself and your friends, pull up a seat to the table.

Q: What advice do you have for someone who's starting their creative journey?
A: Keep trying until you find something that sticks, you'll be surprised! Some of our best work has happened in mediums we tried out spur of the moment, or on days we didn't really feel like working but made ourselves anyways. Consistency is key!

Hills And Holler crafting station. Scissors and paper on display with a HillsAndHoller branded bandana

What would you like the future of the queer art community to look like? Or to represent?
Intersectional, radical, fact-checked and solid, unafraid, demanding, and vibrant.

Hills And Holler booth at Cute Nails Studio. Masked and ready to sell cards and art.

If you'd like to delight a friend and brighten up the chore of checking their mailbox, grab a card by Hills And Holler or swing by our shop!