JULIA, CAN YOU Describe your work in 3 words?
Tell us a bit about your artist Journey so far Julia:
Drawing was always my favourite thing to do when I was growing up, I did various drawing courses and studied illustration at Falmouth university Before realising that I really didn’t enjoy making work that had to go through digital processes, it felt abstract to me. I craved making real objects that I could use or admire and that lead to my obsession with ceramics. I started out doing part time courses at my local college and absolutely fell in love with the way clay felt in my hands and the pure potential that it held. I felt like my eyes opened up to a whole new community of makers which was really exciting and I gradually gained confidence in what I was making, moved around a few studios and made lots of mistakes but always felt excited about what I’m doing and grateful for the path that’s lead me here.
Tell me about your studio, what are some of your artist essentials?
I rent a beautiful studio at @morgansfalmouth which is a new family run venture soon to open a gallery too. I am surrounded by other artists and designers here who are also some of my closest friends and I am so grateful for this amazing space! As for artist essentials, Aside from the huge amount of materials and equipment I need I’d say having other creatives working around me is brilliant and essential to staying sane when you need a chat, some advice or an extra pair of hands.
Who or what is your inspiration?
This is changing all the time, but I frequently look to artists and musicians who celebrate feminine energy and living in Cornwall there is also a lot of beautiful ceramic work to see too. I spend a lot of time outdoors which feeds my creative energy and inspires me always.
There is a rich energy that emanates from each piece of your work, tell me Julia, what are you trying to say with each piece?
Every piece is unique and different thoughts and emotions go into them, but overall I’d say I like to convey a sense of championing womxn and the power of a feminine gaze. Most of the portraits I paint tend to meet the eye of the viewer and I find that in itself creates a feeling of conversation which is empowering to both the piece and the observer. At times I’ve experienced a feeling of release from putting my emotion into a piece of work, especially the large ones that tell a kind of story. The main importance to me though is that the person viewing the work can make their own interpretations and in that way the object takes on a deeper identity.
Tell me about your process, how does each piece come to be? What planning goes into it?
Making ceramics is a long old process, I love it and at times resent it, but it is what it is. Expensive, messy, unpredictable, like life really. Sometimes I do process videos on my Instagram because I love to see that from other artists and I think it’s good to show how much planning, time and skill goes into it all, it helps people see the worth in what you do and then spend their hard earned money on it.
What are you reading or watching at the moment?
I’m reading “women who run with the wolves” and I’d recommend it to anyone. My friend Sophie sent me a copy after reading bits aloud to me from hers and it was such a beautiful and nourishing gift. I’m also watching Keeping up with the Kardashians for the first time which potentially undermines everything I just said and I’m about a decade late to the party but the matriarchal energy is through the roof!
How do you stay creative?
I’m really lucky to do what I do and I am naturally a creative person so usually it just flows as long as I’m not tired or bored. If that happens I make more of an effort to go out looking - at exhibitions, places, people, sometimes inspiration comes when I am distracted from thinking about work or in a new place, talking to different people.
What are you working on at the moment?
Lots of commissions and work for galleries, and some big pieces I just fancy making!
What is your dream project?
Well I’ve never had a solo show before so that would be cool.. I have a few dream projects but for now I’d say I want to make even bigger pots - I’ll need a bigger kiln first..
What advice would you give to an aspiring artist?
I would tell them not to undervalue their work, if you’re trying to earn a living don’t feel bad about asking for what your skills are worth, there’s a lot of money out there and people aren’t buying your work to do you a favour so don’t act like it! Also don’t underestimate the power of uniqueness, making work like other people’s is an empty pursuit.
What is your mantra?
Whatever quote I see written on my tea bag label that day or what comes up on my co-star app. I’m fickle that way! Today it said “do your best, fuck the rest” and I think that’s an alright mantra.
What do you do, for you?
Disgustingly wholesome things, wild swimming, camping, beach fires, being in nature with friends. There’s been bio luminescence in the sea near where I live in Cornwall recently and it’s an incredible experience going for a dip at night and every movement you make creates a trail of stars that light up the water around you. I got stung by a jellyfish one time but it was worth it.
Favourite historical female artist?
Lucie Rie was a potter who’s work I admire so much. She had an interesting life and her ceramics are beautiful.
and who are your Favourite current practicing female artists?
A few I am loving at the moment are:
Mónica Hernández @monicagreatgal
Lyzbeth Lara @lyzbethlara
Michaela Yearwood-Dan @artistandgal