Monday, January 2, 2012

Julie Tillman in 2012!

Happy happy 2012 to all of you!! I hope your holidays were wonderful and happy and all other words related to these two. Did you make any resolutions? It seems like the popular thing to do is not make resolutions but rather achievable goals. Or maybe that's just the popular thing for me to do. My goal is to work more with my blog. I love blogging but don't do it regularly. I know a lot of people say that's okay and it shouldn't be a chore but I think regular blogging is important and I want to get better at it. I want to interview more artists and do more studio tours. I also want to bring back my Dreamy, Artful Couple posts and BFF Artists posts. Those were fun to do. Maybe we will even check back in with some of those couples and see where they are now.

So, in working to meet my goals I bring you my first official artist interview of the new year. Julie Tillman is a dear friend who lives on the west coast and makes beautiful portraits. She has a couple of shops on etsy, one for her artwork and one mostly focusing on collage. Check out the interview and then visit her online!

Hi, Julie! I am always a fan of your work. Tell me a bit about what you are doing and what you are thinking about with your work.

It's kind of simple, really: I love people, and so I draw and paint them. I am fascinated by the human experience, and I just love painting faces. It reminds me of being a little kid, when you'd get those "watercolor" coloring books, but you just used water and the color was on the page and would magically appear. That was like magic to me! And I still get that same feeling when I paint.

You are in school in Portland by way of California. What was that change like? How many more years until you graduate? What does the future hold for you?

Since leaving home at 19 I've kind of been a gypsy, living all over California and in Las Vegas, but I was always searching for a place to call home, to put down roots. When I moved to Portland, I fell in love. To me this city offers everything (and more) that I could ever ask for. My plan was to move back to California after graduating (in 2013), but now I'm pretty sure I'll be staying here, indefinitely!

I'm really excited about my future. I came back to school with the intention of being a high school art teacher. So once I'm done with my BFA, I'll get my teaching credentials and start working with kids. I'd prefer to work in an inner-city school or an at-risk school, in order to share the catharsis and emotional outlet that art can be with kids who need a positive outlet. But we all know that art programs are frequently the first programs to be cut, so I think I'll just be open to what comes my way. And, of course, I will keep making and (hopefully!) selling my art.

Tell me about your etsy shop, do you have more than one?

I currently do, but I am thinking about combining them. I have my original shop: where I send my art - both original works and prints. Although I opened the shop in 2008, it wasn't really until this last spring I put sincere effort into it. The growth has been somewhat slow, but steady. And I'm really happy to say I am gathering some wonderful collectors along the way. I recently just opened for my collages and more "craftsy" type of art. I made the decision to keep the two separate, but I find my buyers are shopping at both, so I am wondering if my time would be better spent with everything in one shop, so I only have to work on promoting and advertising the one. I'm going to give it a little more time as is, so stay tuned and see how things go along with me!

You blog, too. What is your blog about?

Oh, my blog! ( It's just a mishmash of my art, my life here in Portland, photos I take, bits and pieces of my sketchbook, things that inspire me, and whatever else comes to mind. To give you some ideas of what I blog about, recent entries include: tales of a recent Band of Horses concert, notes from the Hello Etsy! Portland seminar I went to, some recent Etsy treasuries I put together, my answers to the famous Proust questionnaire, some inspirational quotes, and, of course, some of the newest art I've been making.

As a mother and an artist do you find it hard to balance those two identities or do they pretty much go hand in hand? Did it take you a while to get to where you are now with doing both?

I started making art as a serious endeavor when my girls were both in school, and as just about all moms know, you get what you want to do in whenever you can. My girls are older now, and both are very supportive of my art and my desire to get my degree. I frequently paint at the dining room table, which is right next to the living room. So we'll "watch" shows (I mostly listen!) together, or they join me at the table and do their homework. And sometimes I ask them for help with my math homework! It's not always easy, and I certainly don't get a lot of sleep, but it is always worth it. Being a single mom on top of it makes it even tougher, but I make it to almost every volleyball game (both my girls play), I just sometimes bring my own homework and/or sketchbook (especially on the long tournament days!) We just try to make the most of every moment.

Where else can we find you on the internet?

facebook: here


CassieMarie said...

Happy New Year to you too Ann! I'm hoping to make it to Chi-town this spring to visit!!

Also, Julie's work is beautiful. :)

simona said...

They say great minds think alike... I just finished typing up an artist interview I am going to post tomorrow! :)
Enjoyed reading this very much, I'll have to check out her store!

julie tillman said...

Thanks Ann! And thanks to those who said nice things about my work. :) I have 2012 is going to be an exceptional year!

Artist-in-Residence said...

Keep Up The Great Work, Julie!

Andi said...

Julie is one of my favorite up and coming artists..I've watched her from the beginning and the work she keeps continuing to put out just gets more and more amazing to me.Love her,love her pieces...Love her to pieces!