I recently paired up with artist Julia Giordano to bring you a collection of bird themed pouches. Here's a glimpse into a conversation we had about her art.
Jen: What is your earliest artistic/creative memory?
Julia: I am lucky to have grown up in a creative household where there was always a lot of making going on in one way or another, so it’s hard for me to pick out a specific earliest memory. My mom went back to college to finish her undergraduate degree in Fine Art when my sister and I were in elementary school and I have a lot of fond memories of her working on her assignments. I can clearly recall her lying on the floor with a piece of wet leather over half of her face, drying it into face shape with a hair dryer. Now that I have my own kids, I delight in sharing my own “weird” explorations and creative projects with them. A specific creative endeavor that I especially loved as a child was to make miniature worlds or dioramas with lots of little details. Now that I think of it, small details still play a large role in the work I do today!
Why do you create?
As mentioned above, I have always been surrounded by artistic creation, so in some ways, it seems to me to be a natural and essential part of life. Whether it is sewing a Halloween costume, knitting a sweater, making a birthday card, or decorating for a party, it is always the most fun and satisfying for me to make it myself. After my children were born, I did have a point when I realized that I was not doing much for myself creatively and that I missed it and felt an emptiness and sadness as a result. Around that time, I re-discovered my love of collage and began to develop the technique and style that I work in now. So, I guess that to put it most simply, I create to feel alive, to feel joy, and to find satisfaction.
Describe your process for creating the artwork for the pouches. What mediums do you use?
I begin most new collages with a few loose sketches in pencil to get an overall sense of the massing and layout of the design. I then paint colors and textures onto large sheets of newsprint paper using gouache or acrylic paints. Once I am satisfied with the colors and the sheets have dried, I grab my scissors and start to cut. I also use found papers, such as security envelope linings, tissue paper, and other odds and ends. After much snipping and arranging, I settle on a final composition and begin the gluing down process. After gluing, in some cases, I go back and add highlights or details with colored pencils.
Up to this point, I have then created giclee prints and greeting cards from my artwork, in addition to selling original collages. Working with FOXLY has been my first foray into other products and I am thrilled to see my artwork in a new form and to see how it translates to fabric.
What has been your most rewarding artistic creation so far?
I cannot think of a specific creation, but I think that in a larger sense, getting my artwork out of my head and personal sketchbook and into the world has been my most rewarding creative effort. It is always a little intimidating to share your artwork outside of your intimate circle of friends and family, but it is also hugely rewarding and leads to so many new opportunities and relationships. I began selling my artwork through Etsy and in person at a number of different markets and art fairs about two years ago and am proud of the progress I’ve made and the confidence that I’ve developed in that time.
I also really enjoy making commissioned artworks. It is so fun and satisfying to work with someone who has a specific subject in mind and to create it for them in my own style. This is especially rewarding when it is a gift and I can play a part in making a unique and memorable surprise for someone special.
What projects do you hope to pursue next?
I would love to continue exploring surface design and see my artwork on other products, such as notebooks, tote bags, or enamel mugs. I also have a couple of children’s book ideas that have been swirling around in my head for a while now that I would like to work on developing further.
What inspires your work?
While I did not go to art school, I have studied art history, photography, botany, ornithology, and landscape architecture. These experiences all inform my collage work, from the selection of subject matter to composition and editing choices. I am also inspired by children’s illustration, scientific and educational illustration, and the endless wonders of the natural world.
Here in Albuquerque, fall is in the air. With fall comes a variety of feelings for me -- it's a physical reminder of the passage of time, and is the closing chapter of summer.
Though summers are hot here in the desert, I love this time. My flower garden is in full swing, weekends are full with camping trips and farmers' markets, and hanging out on the patio with friends well into the evenings is commonplace.
When fall arrives, a sense of urgency appears for me. I feel compelled to wrap up yard projects and get the inside of the house cozy for winter.