Today on my Artists & Artisans blog I am interviewing Julie Frost the creator of Chakra Doodles. Hello, Julie, and thank you for agreeing to the interview. Could you tell me when you first discovered your artistic abilities?
I have always loved drawing and been a creative soul. I lived for my art lessons in school and I was never without felt tips or paper at home where my creativity was encourage and embraced.
Artists use a variety of materials and methods – oils, water-colours, pastels, charcoal, etc. Do you have a preferred medium?
I have tried many art mediums over the years such as charcoal, pastels and pencil drawing but when I discovered acrylics while I was studying for my art A-level, I didn’t look back and have used them ever since. I love how it dries quickly and I prefer the heavy body acrylics.
Do you have any advice for young artists just starting out? Any tips for improving style, content or technique?
My advice for young artists would be practice, practice, practice! Visit art galleries and exhibitions, talk to other artists, but never compare your abilities to anyone else’s. Enjoy the process and the journey that each piece you create takes you on. Don’t let criticism knock your confidence and don’t be too hard on yourself.
Who has inspired you, personally and/or professionally?
My earliest memory of watching someone else paint was watching ‘Paint with Nancy’ I loved that TV programme! I loved Tony Hart and watching ‘Hart Beat’. These days I am inspired by many artists; my favourite has to be Cheryl Yambrach Rose-Hall and a Mandala artist called Paul Heussenstamn. I also love an artist called Elspeth McClean. These are to name but a few! I am connected to many beautiful artists on social networking sites and each one is different and an inspiration. All my friends and family inspire me and support and encourage me and I am thankful to them for that.
I never quite switch off from art. I often take photos of random objects and things when colour combinations catch my eye. I am blessed that painting is my hobby and the nature of my work is relaxing and a meditation in itself. It sounds like a cliché but spending time with my loved ones and nattering with good friends over coffee is what I love best when I’m not painting. However, I do like to attend spiritual workshops when I can, as spirituality is the basis of my work.
Describe your work using only three words!
Oooh describe my work in only three words! Colourful, spiritual and vibrant!
If you could have one wish for your career as an artist, what would it be?
My one wish is for my work to help people, as Chakra Doodles are spiritual tools to assist meditation and healing. I want to bring upliftment, colour and sparkle into people’s lives!
Do you do commissions? Is there somewhere people can go to view your work? How do they contact you?
I have a website called http://www.chakradoodles.co.uk and I also have a Facebook page called Chakra Doodles where people can contact me for commissions.
How Chakra Doodles was Born!
At the age of fifteen, a careers officer in school talked me out of pursuing a career in the art world. Although I passed my art GCSE and art A-level, I left it at that and got a job in my local library while I decided what the next step would be in life. I was given free reign to paint book characters on the walls of the children’s library. This was something I loved to do and it gave me a chance to use my artistic abilities. It was in this library where I met my husband. When we started my family I left the library to be a stay-at-home mum. The only time I was ever creative was painting murals on my son’s bedroom walls and playing with play dough and finger paints. During all this I spent time studying and training to be a spiritual healer and after a couple of years of that I was attuned to Reiki. Although I loved art and filled my home with art work I myself never used my own creativity for making my own art. Then things changed in a way I never would have imagined!
Chakra Doodles started just over four years ago when I was teaching Spiritual Healing at a Spiritualist church. I looked online for a chakra chart to assist in the teaching of the chakra system and I couldn’t fine one suitable or within my price range. It was walking through a local shop that some canvasses caught my eye and I had the inspiration to create my own.
My youngest son had just started pre-school and I had the time to paint again. Due to all the time spent studying Chakras while learning about the healing, it gave me the knowledge I needed to paint them authentically. I knew the colours, the symbols and the information on each chakra. I channelled the energies I used for healing into the painting of the chakras. As the chakra chart was in the healing room in the church, people had spotted it and I was asked to paint more of them. I was pleasantly surprised that people were willing to pay for them and I was painting more and more.
I have always had a love for mandalas and it was this that gave me the inspiration to paint each chakra on individual canvasses. I started to read all I could on mandalas and through meditations I was feeling more and more inspired to paint. My dear friend Pat used to own Tea Rooms and would let me put my paintings on her walls and people would buy them. This gave my confidence a much needed boost and I decided to create a Facebook page but I couldn’t think of a name for my page. It was my husband who came up with the name Chakra Doodles, as I only ever said my work was a ‘Doodle’. Although he was joking as he said it, the name stuck and I couldn’t think of a better name! I only wanted to see what people thought of my work and I was asked constantly for commissions. I couldn’t believe people wanted to buy my work. I only ever saw myself as ‘only a housewife’ and it has taken all this time for me to be able to call myself an artist. It is a dream come true that I am selling my work and am very blessed to never be without commissions, I am truly grateful for that. Being the featured artist in Kindred Spirit earlier this year was a goal I had only ever dreamt of reaching and I can’t wait to see where the Chakra Doodles path leads me!