Hi! I'm Julia and I'm a Canadian freelance illustrator. My work's been published in the New Yorker, BusinessWeek, the National Post, Maclean's, and the Village Voice, among others. I love drawing people and food and coming up with colour palettes for my illustrations. I'm a night owl and I like soccer.
Have you always been creative and artistic?
I remember being six years old and obsessed with drawing princesses. I loved fairy tales and Laurentian pencil crayons and I drew on blank paper out of our dot matrix printer (have to tear the strips of holes off both sides first!).
In middle school I got into comics. I was all about super heroes, especially Marvel characters! I ran a comic book club all through high school. We made our own comics and put them together and sold 'em every year at the high school art show.
After that, it was off to Sheridan College in Ontario for a Bachelor of Applied Arts -- Illustration. They helped me build a solid foundation of drawing and painting. And then it was off into the real world as a freelancer!
How would you describe the style of your work?
I'm still very much inspired by fantasy and comic books, as well as Japanese woodblock prints and Art Nouveau. I gravitate towards flat, bright colours and smooth lines. Most of my work has figures in it, but I also love drawing food!
What’s in your pencil case and what’s your favorite tool?
Love my Staedtler 2H pencil. I tend to press too hard when I'm drawing and softer leads create a smudgy mess on my hand and the paper.
My second favourite is my Staedtler tub sharpener. It's got a cover and a reservoir for pencil shavings and won't come open accidentally in my bag.
Third is Staedtler's erasers. My mom has always used their white erasers so it's kinda a sentimental association. It's probably why all my drawing tools are from the same company!
I also have a Microsoft Surface Pro 2 and it's indispensable when I'm travelling. It's got Photoshop on it and Wacom drivers (I bought a Wacom Bamboo Stylus Feel to use with it and it's glorious) and is a complete mobile workstation.
Who is your favorite superhero?
My favourite superhero used to be Rogue, from Marvel's X-Men. Loved her costume. Nowadays I'm not so sure! I think Blink's really cool and I like her power. Doesn't hurt that she first appeared during my big comics phase and she was drawn by Joe Madureira!
My favourite comic book character of all time is Battle Angel Alita. Her original manga series is amazing.
If you could have one super power what would it be?
Ooh! Teleportation. Travelling on airplanes is a bummer and takes so much time with security, getting there early so as not to miss the flight, etc. And expensive! Canadian winters can be harsh so it would be nice to be able to pop from place to place without going outside.
Where do you look for inspiration?
I'm inspired by comic books, fashion magazines, manga, anime, cartoons, and movies. Love a hefty coffee table book with gorgeous photographs. Art galleries are also a lovely option.
Who are your favorite artists or comic book authors?
Artists: Yuko Shimizu, Yoshitaka Amano, Guy Billout, Jody Hewgill, Brian Cronin, Alphonse Mucha, Toulouse-Lautrec, Mike Mignola, Frank Quitely, Yukito Kishiro, Joe Morse, Kevin O'Neill, Tim Sale, Mike Allred, Frank Miller, Edward Gorey... I'm sure I'm missing a bunch!
Comic book authors: Alan Moore, Yukito Kishiro (again), Neil Gaiman, Shinji Saijyo (he wrote Iron Wok Jan, a great food-based manga!), Jeph Loeb. Again, I'm sure I'm missing a bunch!
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