Jilly has been painting since approximately 2003 and comes from a large extended family of artists including sisters Sandra and Rhonda Jones who have a natural artistic ability like Jilly. Jilly learnt to paint and gained knowledge of her stories from the older women in her community, including her mother artist Gypsy Jones.
Jilly was born at Old MacDonald Downs Station in the northern reaches of the Utopia region, and spent many years growing up in that area. She attended Soapy Bore School just south as well as Yirrara College in Alice Springs, some 250km away from her home. Jilly continues to live in the Utopia region with her extended family.