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Featured Artist Julie Erin shares her artistic journey and how she finds time managing an online art business while working full-time.
Be sure to visit all of the places Julie showcases her art. The links are located on the bottom of the interview.
Featured Artist Julie Erin
Dave – Hello Julie and thank you for joining me today. To get started, tell us a little bit about yourself, where you are from and how you got started creating art.
Julie – Hey Dave, thanks for having me!
I’m from Vancouver Canada and I’ve been an artist since I was 5 years old. I started creating art at that age as a therapeutic practice after my dog died suddenly.
Since then it has become my life-long passion. I pursued art in school including getting my Visual Arts degree from University.
Dave – I am so sorry to hear about your dog. I am happy to hear art helped you during a tough time.
You create beautiful modern designs for clothes and accessories, what do you use to create them?
Julie – I use a combination of traditional and digital art techniques. I often draw my designs by hand, then scan them to work on them further in Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop. Sometimes I also use a drawing tablet.
Dave – How long have you been creating these designs?
Julie – I’ve been creating art for Print on Demand shops for about 5 years now.
Dave – What POD site do you use for selling your prints?
Julie – Society6
Dave – I know many artists who are selling prints on Society6, what has your experience been working with them?
Julie – The quality of their prints and other products is great, and I like the affordable framed print options.
Sometimes the website can be buggy but their customer service is always responsive and they do figure out the issues eventually.
Dave – Besides creating designs for clothes and accessories you also paint and you are a photographer. Tell us more about your paintings and photography.
Julie – I’ve always loved to paint with acrylics.
Sometimes I do paintings for friends or family as gifts or on request. I don’t spend as much time painting as I would like because I live in a small apartment, which is why being able to create artwork on my laptop is perfect for my lifestyle.
Photography has always been a hobby of mine, as I like to capture memories.
Recently I got a DSLR camera which has been great for taking travel photography and photos of my products for social media.
I also use my photographs for design inspiration and often create collages with my drawings.
Dave – You have many projects on the table, how do you manage your time to get everything done?
Julie – I have a full-time office job as well as a POD business so it can be a challenge!
I try to create new artwork on the weekends, then spend time during breaks and after work during the week working on my social media marketing and blog.
I keep a planner with a fairly long to-do list to keep me organized
Dave – That is a busy schedule and it is proof that if you have a dream of being an artist you can always make time for it no matter how busy your days are.
What makes your artwork, designs, and photography unique?
Julie – I have my own style and perspective on things. Also, my combination of traditional and digital art techniques sets me apart.
Dave – What art supplies are you using and what you would recommend for new artists to start with.
Julie – Work with what you have, you don’t need fancy or expensive supplies especially if you’re digitizing your art.
Pencils, Sharpies, and Staedler pens and pencil crayons are just fine. I like the Staedler triplus fineliner pens for detailed work which you can find at any office supply store.
Watercolour paints are also very affordable and you can create some nice art with them.
If you’re creating paintings and other original art to sell then you’ll want to look into using higher quality supplies.
But they don’t have to be super expensive, I used the Liquitex Basics acrylic paint and then make sure to varnish my paintings so they last longer.
A brand new artist should start with affordable supplies, and experiment until they find what materials they like to work with. Then they can upgrade if needed.
Dave – That is some great advice for artists who are just starting.
When did you start selling your art and how did you get started?
Julie – I started about 5 years ago selling on Zazzle.
I had been posting some art on my blog and there were a few pieces that people were interested in, so I started researching where I could sell prints.
From there I found out about Zazzle and other print on demand options.
Dave – How do you promote your art online?
Julie – I have a website and blog, which is my main hub.
I promote a lot on Twitter and Instagram, Facebook and Facebook groups.
I use Pinterest to drive traffic to my website.
I’ve recently started playing around with video more and have been coming up with ideas for my Youtube channel and other video sharing apps.
Dave – What tips could you give to new artists who are interested in selling their artwork?
Julie – If you want to sell through Print on Demand make sure your work can be transferred to digital.
Large paintings, for example, might be difficult to photograph or scan.
So create work specifically for that medium.
After that, I would just say start throwing up as much work as you can and build up a portfolio.
Then start sharing it on social media and find out what is resonating with your audience.
Dave – Would you mind sharing three of your favorite creations and share the story behind them?
This is one of the first pieces that I uploaded to sell online. I did a series of these zentangle inspired doodle art drawings and this series kick-started my business of selling art online.
This design is special because it was inspired by my cat, Kitty. It was also one of my first text-based designs that seem to be quite popular, which inspired me to do more.
Rose Gold Mandala Art Print
This design is an example of one of my mandalas. It has become one of my most popular and iconic designs, routinely being stolen by art thieves, but it inspired me to create more mandala designs which have become a significant part of my portfolio.
Dave – What social media sites can people follow you on?
Dave – Where can people purchase your art?
Julie – Lots of places!
My website www.julieerindesigns.com
Amazon (U.S. only)
Dave – I would like to thank you one more time for sharing your artistic journey with us and I look forward to seeing all of your new creations.
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