Some criticize artists for not sticking with one style or subject; however we here at ARTintheOC find that this illustrates an artist’s diverse talents. This is exactly what drew us to Julia Walck. Her artwork varies from india inks to primsa markers and her subjects vary from abstracts to portraits; yet one can tell it was all created by the same hand.
Julia took a break from working on her 365 Project, where she completes 1 drawing everyday for 1 year, to sit down and be interviewed by us.
Art in the OC: I am a big fan of your intricate india ink abstracts. What inspired you to create these pieces?
Julia Walck: Doing linework is one of my favorite things. It allows me to tune out the world and go to my own secret place. All of my thoughts disappear, my worries fade and I just concentrate on art for art’s sake.
Art in the OC: I noticed the subjects of your art vary from abstracts to portraits to graphic designs. What is your favorite type of art/subject and why?
Julia Walck: Hm, it’s really hard to pick a favorite. I love working on portraits because it challenges me to depict someone’s emotions, get the shading right and to make it look realistic.
Graphic design just comes naturally to me; it’s the field I work in and I even enjoy it in my spare time. I guess that means I’m doing something right. I’m also a huge typography nerd too and I like to incorporate that into graphic work and also things drawn by hand.
If I had to choose one that I like more than another it would have to be working with india ink. Using a dip pen allows me to get very tiny details that are seen in my abstract pieces. However, if I’m in a mood to be messy or rough with my drawings ink allows for that too. It is a medium that gives me freedom of expression and is fun to manipulate.
Art in the OC: When painting portraits, do you mostly paint from memory, photographs, or do you prefer to have a subject sit for you?
Julia Walck: I always have some sort of photo reference when doing portraits. Sometimes I’ll use myself as a subject, but rarely.
Art in the OC: Where are some of your favorite places in Orange County to draw inspiration from? Do you frequent any of the artwalks in Orange County?
Julia Walck: I love going to Orange Circle. It has an old-time feel to it; I enjoy looking through the antique stores for weird and quirky items that will inspire me or even give me a good laugh.
I’ve actually never been to any of the art walks, but I’ve heard they’re great! I know I’ll make it to them one of these days though. I’ll make sure of it.
Art in the OC: Do you have formal training or are you self-taught?
Julia Walck: Overall, I’d say it has been a mixture of formal training and self-taught. When I was about ten, I took a couple of drawing classes at the Huntington Beach Art Center on Main Street. Other than that, I took Art 1-4 and Studio Art in high school, where I basically had free reign to do whatever I wanted. After a knee surgery in 2008, I started really focusing on my art and made it a point to draw as much as possible in my free time, seeing there wasn’t much else I could do. This really allowed me to hone my craft and realize art was what I was meant to do.
Art in the OC: Tell us a bit about your creative process.
Julia Walck: Well for starters, 99.9% of the time I have coffee when I draw. As of late it’s not that I even want it, but I’m so used to it that it has become part of my routine. Day or night, it doesn’t matter; whenever I feel inspired to create is my preferred time. Inspiration, a little bit of indie music, my art supplies and I’m ready to go.
My current ‘studio space’, for lack of a better phrase, is my bedroom. I would love to have a separate space to create in, but for now I have to make do with what I’ve got.
My daily creative routine consists of collecting inspiration and then putting that to use. I do a lot of web browsing for images I find striking, see if anything interesting is happening outside and just let my mind wander.
Art in the OC: What artists do you admire?
Julia Walck: I adore Charmaine Olivia. Her portrait work is stunning, and I love the whimsical creepiness that goes along with it. I myself have never worked with oils, but her pieces inspire me to try it out sometime!
A graphic artist that I admire would be Mike Perry. Typography is one of my guilty pleasures, and he is masterful at hand drawn type. I have his book, Hand Job, which I use to pull inspiration from for graphic works. It features him and many other artists and their take on type… I also really like the title.
Art in the OC: Do you think being active in social media is important for young artists?
Julia Walck: Social media is definitely important for young artists. Sites like Tumblr, Facebook, The Behance Network, and even Instagram are all good ways to showcase your creativity and to gain a following. It really helps get your work out into the world. With all of those eyes meandering around the inter-webs, some are bound to fall right onto your art and chances are, they’ll like it. But, you never know until you put it out there. However, I would caution artists on how easy it is for people to steal your art and your ideas. Just be mindful of the risks that go along with the benefits.
Art in the OC: What advice would you give to an artist just starting out?
Julia Walck: Explore your mind and create like it’s no one’s business. Try out new things, different styles and really push yourself to get where you want to be. Try to tune out those negative people that say creative fields of work aren’t successful, that they’re a joke and you’ll never make it. If you try hard enough, you will make it. Don’t give up.
Art in the OC: Do you have any artistic plans for the future? Any exhibits or group shows coming up?
Julia Walck: Currently, I’m doing a 365 project. That is a drawing a day, for a month, for a year. Each month, I have a new word which has been submitted to me by my Tumblr followers and I create my version of that word every day for a month. I draw the words out of a hat and the ones chosen will be put into a drawing for a chance to win an original illustration. It’s been a fun way to incorporate not just myself into the art and also to have people interact with it.
My work will also be featured in some other upcoming events at The AoSA Project in Huntington beach along with being hung on their walls during regular store hours.