Today we are excited to be interviewing the lovely and talented Juliette Crane! Sit back with your cuppa and enjoy. Make sure you check out Juliettes newest online course called Happy Painting.
Also Juliette has given us the links to a couple of fun videos you may enjoy. How lucky are we as we get to see her in action! Thanks Juliette!!
– Video 1
– Video 2
Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do.
I am a full-time artist and writer. I create mixed-media paintings. Every painting has a story and I put those stories with my artwork into inspirational books, children’s books, novels and picture books.
How/when did you get interested in art?
I have always been an artist. Whether it was coloring with crayons or fingerpainting as a little kid I always loved to create and had a wild imagination. But I went to college to study environmental biology. Yet I could not stay away from the art room. I didn’t know what to do with art and graduated with degrees in journalism and fine art.
At first I went into arts journalism and worked at newspapers. It took lots of different jobs as a journalist, graphic designer, web programmer and many more before I finally became a full-time artist. All of those different jobs in what seemed like mistakes at the time now help me to run my current business.
Can you remember one of the first things you drew/painted?
I always loved color and abstracts. When I was a kid, I would lay out sheets and sheets of typing paper on the ping-pong table and drip watercolors to see what sort of patterns and combinations of color I could get.
Whenever I would paint, I would continue to create abstracts. But it wasn’t until I started adding whimsical characters that I felt connected to my paintings. Before then, I would just keep painting over my artwork again and again. But with the character, there is something in the eyes where I can feel a connection. It’s almost like looking into a mirror and I continue to paint a character into it resonates with my heart.
What’s your favourite piece of work that you have created?
My favorite artwork is usually whatever I am working on at that time. For a while it was owls. Then last year I completed my first book. Right now I am super excited about a series of sketches and whimsical characters inspired by trees and flowers. As I have been creating them all of these stories have been coming to mind as well, so I am including these new paintings in a picture book and novel.
What’s the best thing about being an artist?
I love being able to have ideas and to build them into whatever it is I might dream. I delight in seeing how all these creative ideas spin off of one another. It is so fun to do a sketch in the morning, go for a walk and on that walk come up with a story that I realize would be perfect to go with that morning’s sketch. Then I might have the idea that that one sketch could be a series of sketches which then inspires me to do a series of stories.
Then it all becomes a book that I can put out and share with the world. I love not ever having to hold back. I feel the same way about being inspired to combine and play with different art supplies.
I love having all of my art supplies out in the moment and just grabbing whatever inspires me, seeing if it works and trying something new.
Do you like to have music playing while you create and if so, what kind of music do you listen to that inspires you?
I find that the type of music I am listening to while I paint completely affects what I create. I know that if I really want to feel in the flow, I listen to Andrew Bird. His music always puts me in a good place. Often times I will put Pandora on my Andrew Bird channel And know things are going to be good.
What is your favourite thing that you often include in your work? (e.g. faces, quotes, birds, etc). Faces are definitely the thing that I always include in my work. I am especially attracted to the eyes. They really define for me what the rest of the painting is going to look like. I keep the supplies and the colors are used for my faces the same, so that I always have a template to follow. That way my imagination for the character can go wild.
Do you have a fun story to share involving your artwork?
One time I saw an owl in all of the layers of my painting. I decided to go with it and created my first owl.
That painting turned into a few more and I submitted those first owl paintings to Somerset Studio magazine. They asked me to write an article on how I paint my owls. When I mentioned the article to friends online, they said they wanted to know how I paint my owls too.
So I started teaching a few local, mixed media owl painting workshops, which then led me to start my series of online classes. And that led me to where I am now as a full-time artist.
What are your favourite products to use?
I especially love acrylic inks and oil paint sticks. The inks are great for creating calm areas in a painting, adding a sheer solid pop of color over all of my other layers of texture, marks and paint. I use the oil paint sticks whenever I want to add an opaque but textured area of calm to my paintings. I love the creaminess in contrast to my acrylics, inks, pencil, paint pens and papers.
Do you have any tips or inspiring words to share?
I try and remember to always have fun with whatever I’m creating. If I think too much about the end result or painting what’s in my head or trying to paint like someone else, I either freeze or paint something lifeless. I also try to make it easy for myself to create every day by keeping a few favorite supplies and my sketchbook out, ready to go at all times. And I always push myself in new directions by recognizing what I am drawn to in my every day. In that way, I continue to develop my style in a way that is unique to me… and fun.
Where we can view your work?
I have a blog, videos, shop and website at: http://www.juliettecrane.com/
I also post what is on my painting table daily on my:
Do you have any upcoming online classes where we can enjoy learning from you?
All of my online classes are self-paced, instant access classes, so you can always sign up and go at your own pace and join the private facebook community which is super supportive and encouraging.
My newest online workshop is Happy Painting – A Mini Course, where I share my favorite supplies, techniques and characters to help you loosen up, overcome creative blocks and develop your own style.
Thank you so much Juliette for sharing your wonderful art with us!