Today on my Artists & Artisans blog I am interviewing artist, painter, and photographer Julie Alice Chappell who also describes herself as a creator of miniature worlds and subversive taxonomies. Her work is certainly unique. I haven’t seen anything quite like it, so I was delighted when Julie agreed to let me interview her.
Hello, Julie, and thank you for agreeing to the interview. Could you tell me when you first discovered your artistic abilities?
Probably as a small child. I was always receiving praise for my artistic efforts both in and out of school but I can’t pinpoint an actual first time.
Artists use a variety of materials and methods – oils, water-colours, charcoal, clay, etc. Do you have a preferred medium?
I love painting. And my style of painting incorporates the use of multiple media. For instance, I like to use water colour with diluted oil paints, wax paints with acrylic. I like the effects that can be created by using paints that don’t like to mix.
What was it that inspired you to make your astonishing insect creations?
My current work uses discarded computers and gadgets which are carefully and sensitively re-assembled to create something beautiful, inspired by the natural world, biodiversity and entomology. The inspiration that first came to me was when I found a box of electronic resistors at a local recycling centre. They reminded me of ants with all their legs and antennae.
Do you have any advice for young artists just starting out? Any tips for improving style, content or technique?
Go with your heart. And keep on going! Never stop! Experiment.
Professionally, I am inspired by hard workers. I am inspired by prolific artists who although known for a particular type of work, are not afraid to venture into a completely new area. I like to watch as artists grow in their career and gain popularity. I gain a lot from taking interest in their on-line techniques and activities and how they use the Internet as a platform. My personal favourite at the moment is Mister Finch.
When you need to switch off and relax what helps you do that? Do you have other hobbies or interests that allow you to recharge your batteries?
I watch films. I watch at least one film a day. I play the piano. When I’m really exhausted but still hectic in my head I will just lay down and be totally absorbed by music.
The art you create should be in your heart. Something you really care about…My multidisciplinary practice deals with issues surrounding modern economical practices and their effect on the environment. Interweaving issues such as waste, pollution, and planned obsolescence into the language of contemporary art.
If you could have one wish for your career as an artist, what would it be?
My one wish is that the younger generation would get interested in the natural world and its preciousness.
Does where you live have an influence on what you create?
I live right next to a cemetery so this has a huge influence on my paintings which convey the effects of nature on the man-made e.g. my mossy stone angel paintings. My tiny house has an influence on the size of what I can make e.g. I would love to create giant bugs but space for storage etc. wouldn’t allow for that.
Do you do commissions? Is there somewhere people can go to view your work? How do they contact you?
Yes I do commissions all the time. My Facebook page is Julie Alice Chappell Artist.
Thank you, Julie. I’m sure, having seen these examples of your work, people will be checking out your page. Good luck with all your creative endeavours.