|Faery on Toadstool by Julia Cook|
How and why did you decide you wanted to be a fantasy artist?
I don’t think artists choose to be fantasy artists, fantasy art chooses them like it did for me. It sort of evolves from drawing faces and adding pointy ears, figures then start adding wings, etc. I think for me it started as a love for fairies from a very young age. My first influence of fairies was when I must have been about 5 years old and went to some people’s house with my Mum. The two daughters who lived there and were much older than me were so excited as said they saw a fairy over their fishpond! I remember I was standing nearby and so disappointed as I had been looking the other way. My Mum said to me that she believed them because they kept insisting it was a fairy and not something else like a butterfly, dragonfly, etc and she thought they were honest girls. So that image stuck with me.
Few years later when I was about 8, Mum bought me Enid Blyton books and they really influenced my love of fantasy a lot with her imagination. I remember at school I started borrowing some from the school library and Mum said it was great I was reading so much, but maybe try another author. I said ok and then brought home another Enid Blyton book, lol. About this time, I used to doodle, faces, girls, flowers, Disney characters, etc.
At high school I was bored in subjects such as maths and science and at 14 started doodling on a manilla folder. I covered the front and back covers of it and that started me on my real love of doodling. Sometimes I like combining my intricate art with fairy art such as Faery on Toadstool, My Crooked Purple Heart and more recently Unless. And sometimes my sense of humour has crept into a couple of paintings too.
|My Crooked Purple Heart by Julia Cook|
Your fairies are full of life, and often interact either with something within the picture or with the viewer. Are there stories behind this?
Thank you Tori! Sometimes there are stories. I have painted quite a few paintings for The Enchanted Visions Project as I love the names of the themes and see what my imagination will come up with. And I love seeing other artist’s work and how varied we all are with each theme. I also paint from an idea or image that will come to my mind, sometimes with a couple of lines of a poem. Both usually evolve along the way.
Poem with Unless –
Unless you let me go forth from your earthbound plane,
To soar free so the fairy magic will never wane.
|Unless by Julia Cook|
Poem with The Purple Depth –
She rises up from the purple depth,
Emerging to take her first long breath.
|The Purple Depth by Julia Cook|
What inspires you to create?
So much inspires me to create. First I love other fantasy artist’s artwork. Sometimes I keep thinking of a colour until I start painting as I also love different shades of colours and abstract art. Sometimes someone is wearing clothing with nice colours together. My last two paintings Unless and then The Purple Depth and a third I have started called Purple Pose stem from the colour purple as I kept thinking of the colour, probably as I mixed too much of it in my palette, lol. Other things in nature, our garden, people, animals, lots of things.
|Along Came a Spider by Julia Cook|
Do you have a favorite out of all the art you have made?
No I don’t have a favourite, hence why I had a hard time choosing just a few paintings for your interview, lol. Same with my favourite fantasy artist’s paintings too. I’m fickle like that as I love so many and also the reason why I wouldn’t be able to have a tattoo, lol. If I was going be tattooed it would have to be temporary as I would keep wanting to change it all the time and also with new art coming out. I would want to change tattoo colours with things I would wear as different days I like to wear different colour clothes and sometimes with jewellery to match.
|Secret Kisses by Julia Cook|
How long does it take you to do an image and what is your process?
It takes me a while to create an image as we have a home business I do with my hubby so I grab time when I can. Unfortunately I get art block too, but this is also because I’m not happy with my technique and how I see the finished painting in my mind is not what I am able to do at the moment. With fairies, mermaids, etc, my process is to sketch in pencil freehand, usually use a pen like a Micron to outline before or after with watercolours and pencils highlights sometimes too. Keep experimenting to grow with my art. With my intricate work, I just let it flow with the pen.
|Dragon Lore by Julia Cook|
Which artists do you think have had the most influence on you?
When I was younger I loved and still do a lot of artists from years ago like Arthur Rackham, Ida Rentoul Outhwaite, Cicely Mary Barker, Margaret Tarrant, Rene Cloke, Warwick Goble and many more. Then the internet opened up a whole new world of artists and finding more artworks from ones I loved years ago. And I found Amy Brown’s artwork, who has become my favourite artist! Amy has been a huge influence with her beautiful artwork, but also her use of colours, shading, poses, etc. Another main one I love is Molly Harrison. On the internet and some Facebook friends whose artwork I love and started to list, but there are so many, many talented artists.
|Grave Dancer by Julia Cook|
What do you enjoy doing when you are not painting?
I love reading, always a book or maybe two going at the same time. I love watching movies too. Love lots of different themes fantasy, romance, thrillers, crime, dramas, etc. I love spending time with my husband going for country drives and camping with him. And also catching up with family.
Want to see more of Julia’s art, visit her store, or follow her?
CafePress Store: http://www.cafepress.com/juliacookart
Zazzle Store: http://www.zazzle.com.au/juliacookart
Thank you Julia, for taking the time to do this interview. I’ve enjoyed seeing your art and getting to know you. Please feel free to grab the badge below for your website or blog. It’s also available on the side bar with the code already done for you.
Drop by every Friday to meet more fabulous artists. Next week I’ll be featuring artist, Claire Nobles.