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@jojoartjo was selected as our Featured Artist for the theme {Revive} and I connected with Julie to learn more about her story and her stunning art.

Tell us a bit about yourself?  And, are you a hobbyist or a pro?

Hi, I am a Julie.  I live in a little mountain town in Northern California, but I am a beach girl at heart.  I live here with my hubby, three kids (who are growing up way too fast), and four cats.  Art is my happy place and I started seriously learning about ten years ago.  I tend to break the art rules and strive to always shoot new.  I don’t want to do the same thing over and over.  I love texture and color and images that make you think.

Out of the Clouds – I often depict my emotions in my art and often I have a lot of dark and moody work.  But in the piece I was wanting to feel the ability to come up and out of that dark place.  I captured her jumping and tried to make her very bird-like to soar out of the clouds.

I was a hobbyist who went pro and have now gone back to being a hobbyist.  Photography has always been about processing life for me, so after going pro for a few years I realized photography wasn’t meaning that anymore.  Since I have a career, I decided to let the photography business go and now it feeds me in a much more important way.

Transformation – I wanted to create an image of transformation and the butterfly is the perfect representation of that.  So here she is, in a cocoon of sorts, transforming, emerging, into her beautiful whole.

What inspired you to pick up your camera initially? 

When I was a kid we had a darkroom and I loved being in there.  Bringing photos to life was fascinating.  Many, many, years later I was an adult, married with three kids, and busy acupuncture practice.  I was struggling with balance.  I needed something for myself.  I remembered how much I loved the darkroom but now everything was digital.  So I bought a camera and from the very first click I was in love and off on an adventure.

Underwater Solitude – This is an earlier image of mine that still captures my eye years later.  The softness of the water and color surrounding and holding her brings me peace

How do you improve your technique?

I absolutely loved the process of learning and mastering the camera/Lightroom/Photoshop.  I was obsessed with learning and any spare moment I had was spent on it.  I never wanted to shoot traditional photos.  I loved blur and rule breaking from the very beginning.  This combination gave me a lot of room to just play and explore.  I am also very open to letting the art find itself.  Most of the time where I start with an idea will completely morph as I create.  And that is when I am at my happiest.  

Out the Window – A theme across my art is shooting through things.  I like wondering what the story is on the other side.  Here color and composition played a major role.

Most important thing you have learned about editing?

Oh gosh, well that could be a never ending list of things.  But I would say for me is giving yourself the freedom to try really random things.  Try things that completely change an image, using tools that don’t make sense, add many layers with different blending modes.  The beauty of editing is that anything can be undone or changed.  Edit with freedom.

Beauty Is – I love this image.  It was one of those images that came alive as I edited.  I really explored as I created.  There are three words written across her and you can see the Beauty Is but the third word is intentionally unclear, I mostly did that to give the viewer the ability to see whatever they needed to see.  I know what the image means to me but I like to often leave the image open to the viewer to interpret it in their own way.  I like images to make someone stop and think about them.

Secret weapon. Or piece of advice that’s helped you?

Don’t limit yourself.

Firenze – A very early image that is still a favorite 10 years later.  This was was from my very first exploration of a Lensbaby lens.  I did everything wrong and the combination with the beautiful Italian texture came together so nicely.

Why photographs? Why not painting? Or poems? Or, for that matter, statutes or taxes?

I think it is natural to gravitate to a certain medium.  For over a decade photography has intensely held my attention.  But I miss the process of learning and mastering.  So if you look at my IG feed you will see I am currently working on learning to draw and paint.  (I am a complete newbie at it, so it needs a lot of work, but I believe that artists should see other artists learning, that it takes practice and effort to become good at something.). If you are an artist then why not explore all sorts of arts?  It all feeds each other.  My knowledge of light and shadow from photography has helped me to learn how to shadow a face in a drawing.  All art informs other art.  And if creation is what one is after then I think any and all are welcome.  But not the taxes.  Definitely not the taxes.

Whatever lights your eyes up and tickles your fancy should be embraced.  Let’s feed our souls.

What great advise from Julie. I am in awe and in love with her images. Wow! Thank you Julie for sharing your art with us. Don’t forget to check out her work @jojoartjo

We look forward to seeing your images on our Facebook page and our Instagram Page.  The theme this month is {Light} for so tag us with #sharesix_light for another 9 days. The theme will change on July 6, 2022.