After my last post full of sadness I thought there was no better time to blog this interview I did with the fantastic artist Julia Crossland. Her images are pure joy! So here is my interview with her, I hope you enjoy it :-)
Hello Julia, tell us a bit about yourself ...
My name is Julia Crossland, I am a 37 year old artist and illustrator and I live in a small village just north of Sheffield. My house is very old and very small and it sits by a river, I live there with my other half and our daughter. I also love to crochet when Im not painting, and baking/cooking, gardening, walking and being by the sea are other favourite pass-times of mine.
I know you create the most fantastic paintings, how and when did you start painting seriously?
Ah thank you! Well it was around 2006; I had been working as a freelance signwriter for several years and working away alot in Ireland. I felt that particular lifestyle was becoming pretty draining so we found a house to live in and I gradually began to find more local work which meant I could find little pockets of time to paint too. It all started quite gradually in the beginning and I started off with a small website which led to my first overseas commission and a few sales. I then discovered I was expecting my daughter, and after she was born the painting took a back seat again. I've started painting more again now she is a little bit older.
So, what is your favourite medium?
I am absolutely smitten with acrylic paint. I love that it drys fast and you can work in layers - you can also thin it right down with water for a lovely transparent effect, a bit like watercolour. The colours are bright and I enjoy the texture of it too, on both canvas and paper.
I really must try out acrylics! Are there any other crafts you enjoy?
I really like freestyle machine embroidery work, and of course crocheting! The sewing is something I would really like to devote more time to in the future as I miss it, working with fabric is a really tactile way of creating something which I love.
Crochet is something that relaxes me at the end of the day but I have way too many projects on the go - and didn't I just see the most divine crocheted waistcoat in a magazine this morning...Im thinking - yep, I could do one of those (along with my shawl, my two blankets, a cushion...list is endless).
Yes, as a beginner I am rather jealous of your lovely Crochet :-) When did you start selling your stuff - where do you sell?
I think it was about 2001/2 when I sold a painting at the Great Sheffield Art Show. Today I sell my work through my website: www.juliacrossland.co.uk , my Folksy Shop: http://www.folksy.com/shops/Jool and I also have work for sale at the 20-21 Visual Arts Centre in Lincolnshire, Andrea Willis Designs in Scarborough and Abercorn & Co in Yorkshire.
Do you also have a day job, or is this your main job?
My main job is being Mum to Carys, and painting is my other job.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
I am inspired hugely by the coast, by people, nature, children. Things like islands with lighthouses on them in the distance, rows of ice-cream coloured beach huts, sea birds, harbours, boats, hares, moonlit skies, flowers, sunsets - I could go on and on! I'm also inspired by other artists and crafters.
You say you are inspired by other artists, who are your favourite artists/crafters e.g are there any great folksy/etsy/artists blogs or shops you can tip us off about :-)?
I really like the work of the following people:
Kirsty Elson Designs (driftwood and textile artist), Penny Bhadresa (lino print artist), Babette Cole (illustrator), Karen Davis (illustrator), Brenda King (artist), Dear Emma (textile artist), Andrea Stokes (artist), Catherine Hyde (artist).
Oooh fantastic, I am off to check them out now :-) What is your favourite music to craft to?
It all depends what mood Im in as I have quite a diverse taste in music, but you can catch me listening to anything from the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Take That, Jack Johnson, JJ Cale, The Beatles, Abba and Ben Harper to a spot of Eric Clapton, Simply Red and even classical!
You create so many gorgeous paintings, which is your favourite piece?
That's a hard question because I have a small love affair with most of my completed work!! I think right this minute, I would have to choose Harbour.
So, where do you do your crafting (specially built studio - sofa) ?
I am very much a woman with a Table for a Studio. When we are not eating at it, I transform it into organised chaos with paint tubes, palettes and other mixed media everywhere. I long for the day when I can have a special work space of my own, the luxury of closing a door on it all and not having to tidy it all away in time for tea would be just lovely!
You can find Julia's work in the links above, be warned you will want to buy some of her work, it is all so lovely :-)
I hope you are enjoying my little bloggy interviews with artists :-) If you want to be featured send me a message - go on, don't be shy :-)