Continuing on with Sunday Artist Interviews – many are lined up, so keep checking back – here’s Julie to tell you a little about herself and her work…
First of all, who are you?
I’m Julie Edmunds. I am a mixed media mosaic artist, currently living in Chipperfield, a small village in Hertfordshire. I live with my husband Greg, my daughter Polly, my Scottie Dougal and two tortoises Beryl and Audrey. I make abstract wall art using glass, ceramics, and various mixed media. My background is in textile design which has a big influence on the work I create. More recently I have been designing for shoes using print and crystals.
When you were asked (all those years ago!), “what do you want to be when you grow up?” What did you answer?
As a child I was always obsessed with colouring pens and pencils and would spend hours drawing and reading books. (The days before social media and a million TV channels). I think it was always going to be something creative but I had no real idea until one of my art teachers at school suggested I go to Art College. At college I got really into textile design and the use of colour and pattern which has stayed with me throughout all the work I have done.
What is the funniest thing as an artist that has ever happened to you?
I can’t think of anything particularly funny but my work often gets mistaken for fabric quilts so my work is popular on loads of quilting groups. It is a shame because I am pretty terrible with a sewing machine!!! However I think it shows that my love of fabric and textiles is there even though I am working with glass.
What is the hardest part of being creative?
The hardest part about being creative is the isolation and spending way too much time inside your own head. It can be fairly lonely particularly when ideas are not working out the way you want. I spend a lot of time staring at a piece of work just thinking about what to do next. I tend to work without a plan and that can sometimes mean I suck up a lot of time not being very constructive.
What advice would you give to an artist just starting out?
I would say to an artist just starting out keep at It. For me there is nothing quite like the buzz you get from finishing a piece of work that you are really happy with. It doesn’t always last and usually about 10 minutes later you are finding fault but enjoy those moments. Also use social media wisely. It can be a real asset and has opened lots of doors for me. But it can also have its downside, particularly when it’s the only feedback you get about your work. The quality of the work can’t always be measured by the number of likes and comments it receives. You have to try to find a balance.
What subjects inspire you?
As I have said before I love colour and I am always experimenting with different colour palettes. My main inspiration comes from nature and in particular plants but I also love fabrics, design, the sea, people, music and literature. Ideas come to me all the time but my work tends to take a long time to produce so things have to be put away for a while. My head is always full!!
Who are the 3 greatest living artists in your opinion? (they don’t have to be famous!)
It is so hard to think of only three living artists but I love Josee Savaria paintings and her use of colour. I love the work of Maximo Laura the tapestry artist also for his use of colour. One of my favourite mosaic artists is Amanda Anderson for her unique and funky style. This list could go on and on!!!!!
Who are the 3 greatest dead artists in your opinion?
Just as difficult are three deceased artists but I will say Diego Rivera who is probably my favourite and has been from when I was a child. I also have a soft spot for Georgia O’Keefe’s work. And finally I have to choose Aubrey Beardsley even though his work only uses black and white. I love his use of pattern.
What is your favourite work of art you have ever produced?
My favourite piece is Josei. She took a long time and some of the detail was really hard to produce. I also limited the colour palette on her which was a challenge. However I still like her and if I’m feeling uninspired and a bit lost I look at her and she helps me find my mojo.
What was the last piece of art you sold?
The last piece I sold was The Garden at Night. A lovely lady came to my studio and bought it which is always so cool. I’m still shocked when I think of my work on the other side of the world in people’s homes. I feel really fortunate especially over the last couple of years to have had the opportunities of working in Italy and Portugal on mosaic and design projects. This year I am going to be concentrating on building a new studio which hopefully will enable me to offer workshops. So it’s all good!!
And finally… Because this is really important….
What’s the best type of cheese? (haha)
My favourite cheese is Gouda. To be honest I am a cheese wimp and don’t like anything too weird.