+ Why is your name spelled weird and how do you pronounce it? I'm from Italy and there we use the letters 'Gi' as oppose to 'J' - the name is therefore pronounced Julia. 

Where do you get your ideas? 

As an Artist I find many things that sparkles my imagination. When you are an Artist your senses are sort of heightened, and you are touched by things in a poetic sort of way.
This is why just about anything can give me an inspiration for my Artworks.

Personally I like to read, poems especially. I spend a lot of time in nature each day. I collect things; maps, stamps, petals, shells, feathers, keys... And love browsing in flea markets and find old objects that dazzle my imagination. Feelings are a great source of inspiration.

So, be in love. With others, with yourself, with life. Ultimately being an Artist means that you are willing to invest time into your passion to create something beautiful. If you can also add value to the life of others with your gifts and talents!
I teach Art to children and adults, and I find this really rewarding. It's beautiful to see people blossom and find their own unique style, improve their skills. 

+ What art tools and software do you use for your work?

I love to paint, get my hands dirty while I do it. I get really inspired and involved when I am creating a piece of Art. I use acrylics, watercolours, inks and charcoal mostly. I use paintbrushes, fingertips and ink pens primarily. I created some time lapse video of me painting and illustrating for you to see, so do take a look. I then photograph my art and work with Adobe Photoshop on the piece if necessary. For some of my digital work I work solely on Photoshop and Illustrator using a variety of brushes and textures. I love both methods very much and they give very different results. So it's something that you will just have to experiment with and see what you enjoy doing the most.

+ What artistic materials would you recommend? (Stockist)

- Watercolours: Winsor & Newton has a great line of student watercolour which are very reasonable yet the quality is outstanding.

- Acrylics: My favourite brand is Maimeri (Polycolour Pots) but they are some what tricky to find in the UK. I otherwise use Sennelier (Abstract range). They also do a perliscent acrylic which is great!

- Colour pencils: Prismacolour are the best pencils I have ever used, and I tried many. They are lovely and soft, great to get all of the shading just right in a drawing. If you a looking for a harder led, you might want to try febrile castle, however you may find that the colour are not quite as rich as Prismacolour, but sometimes you just need that hard tool to get some details just right.

- Ink Pens: (waterproof) I use Artline 0.1, out of all the ones I tried, they are certainly the best. The don't dry out quite as easily as others.e.: (profipen form Edding)

- Ink: go for the indian ink range as oppose to the expensive acrylic Daler & Rowney ink pots; I have tried those and found them a bit disappointing in the colour strength, as they tend to give transparency results. Colour of these don't remain quite as rich so protect your artwork closed portfolio to avoid it bleaching from sun light.

- Soluble pen: Berol fine can produce some good results when used in conjunction with watercolour tecnique.

- Pencils: Staedtler are a great student pencil which are super affordable. Otherwise if you can spend a bit more, Derwent has a great graphic pencils range which is great for sketching. The sets include a sanguine led which is awesome.

+ Can I hire you to run a workshop?

Yes, of course! I would be delighted to run a workshop or speak at your event. Drop me a line and let me know what is that you are looking for, and let's see whether I can help. My workshops are perfect for team-building days, bridal showers/mindful hen nights, and corporate events to add some colour to your meetings.

+ What advice would you give to someone that is just starting out as an Artist - Illustrator?

The advice I give all Artist is: Make time for Art

Get in touch with what it is that you want to express and do it. Stop thinking about it so much, and just do it. Have fun. Spread joy. When you are used to having this sort of approach to your work, you will find that even if you are working on a commission, you are doing for more reasons then to get paid. You will find that motivation that drives you and that's ultimately what your heart craves as an Artist, what is really rewarding for your soul. So go with it, be passionate, it will show in your work.

+ Do I need to go to school to become an illustrator?

No, you don't. What you need is a whole lot of passion.

You can teach yourself how to paint and draw. You can teach yourself how to use programs such as Illustrator and Photoshop.

If you would like to be taught by me but live too far away to attend one of my workshops, you can sign up to my Art e-Course. Drop me a line and I will send you a link when I open the registrations for the next term. Since the course is very much full on and one to one, I only accept a few students at the time, so it's good to reserve your spot in advance.

+ Can you recommend any books that you would help me on my journey as an Artist - Illustrator?

There are a variety of books which I go back to from time to time, as I found them the most helpful to feed my creativity and to help with my profession. 

One of the most powerful and inspiring to me was The Artist Way by Julia Cameron. This book is great for anyone how wishes to do art but feels blocked in some way. Julia has a very unique approach: very honest and holistic, and I feel really aligned with her work.

If you are an Illustrator you should have a copy of The Illustrated Guide of Law and Business Practice from the Association of Illustrators. Not exactly and exciting read by any means, but it will give you all the technical information you need to become a profession illustrator.
On top of these, I have my favourite classics that are to me the most inspiring pieces of work I have ever read and I go back to them frequently. Jonathan Livingstone Seagull a story by Richard Bach. Alice Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carrol. Emily Dickinson Poems. Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman. I am sure you also have some extraordinary love for a piece of writing. My advice is to read it. read it, read it. Every time you read something that touches your heart, you will grow emotionally and it will give you more each time. So if you are trying to develop as an Artist the most important this that you can do is to connect and be in touch with your heart. Writers and poet have to power to connect us with your heart centre. So find a book that you enjoy, and keep it by your bedside!

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