AKA Featured Artist:
Interviewed by Anna Kleppe
AK: Hi Julia, I had a chance to look at your website and I really like your style. You’ve created a lot of beautiful pieces that I absolutely love. I assume you’ve been building your portfolio for quite a while now?
JG: Thank you! Yeah it really just kind of blossomed for me this past year. I’ve been drawing my whole life but the last few years I was mainly doing children’s books for several authors here locally and a lot of them have been published now so that was really cool building up a rapport like that and now I’m just really focusing on my own stuff, trying to get my own style out there, I guess.
AK: Yeah, well I think you’re off to a great start! Are you originally from Virginia?
JG: No, I’m actually from the Ukraine, I was born over there and came to the States when I was 2 with my parents. I lived in NY for a while and then my parents moved to VA and I lived in CA for a short time in between.
AK: How do you describe your art?
JG: I love fashion illustration but I like to do a little more intricate detailed work, it’s pretty realistic, I like to get inspired by fashion but its more of what I like to call editorial illustration. It tells a story, I don’t know… I’ve just kinda been rolling from there and I always have different random ideas inspired by fantasy or nature or a song that I’ve heard or something like that…Basically lots of beautiful women.
AK: When did you discover your passion for creating art?
JG: I can remember drawing with my mom when I was 2 or 3 years old. Just always loved it. There’s a lot of road blocks on the way to becoming an artist. Everybody’s like “That’s not a real career, you need to go to school and do this and that and it’s a tough one but I definitely always stuck it out. I’m sticking to my guns, I wanna draw and that’s all.
AK: Haha yeah that’s awesome, good for you. What are your preferred mediums?
JG: I really love colored pencils, acrylic & oil paints, watercolors and just started using pan pastels, which are magical. They’re really smooth and easy to work with. I’d never used them before, but I just got some for Christmas and they’re amazing.
AK: Cool, okay this is kinda going in a different direction here but you’re art has a really romantic feel to it. What’s the most romantic situation you’ve ever been in?
JG: Hmmm. Well, I did just get married so that’s a big one. We went to Portugal and it was really, really amazing, probably one of my most favorite trips anywhere.
AK: Wow that sounds beautiful, I’d love to go there sometime. And since you are inspired by fashion, who is your current fashion icon?
JG: Model or designer?
AK: Ahh let’s just go with both.
JG: Oh my gosh, so many different models that I love. My all time favorite model is Kate Moss, she’s just the love of my life. But I really love Rosie Huntington-Whiteley right now, Natalia Vodianova, Alessandra Abrosio, I could name a lot. I’m very inspired by faces, I like beautiful faces but I like when they have a little bit of uniqueness to them. And for a designer, I’ll probably always be a Coco Chanel girl.
AK: What is the best advice you’ve been given recently?
JG: I got a really good fortune cookie the other day! It said, “Fight for it, you will come out on top.” And I really like that, like yes.. Keep going, it’ll happen.
AK: Yes. Is there a specific genre you prefer doing art to?
JG: Indie rock, electronica… I really like Lana Del Rey, I usually put on her radio on Pandora or Passion pit, something like that..
AK: This is random but, Would you rather have a picnic in a forest, on a beach or on a mountain top?
JG: Hmmmm. I think forest, I like forests.
AK: Good choice, what would you bring?
JG: A bottle of wine, some cheese, fruit and nuts and stuff like that.
AK: Alright, cool I might have to go with you, that sounds like a good time. Hahaha… What is an accessory you couldn’t go a day without?
JG: Oooh, that’s such a tough one. It’s probably gonna be a girly thing, probably my handbag cause I always carry around pencils and sketchbooks and all my life’s in it so definitely my handbag.
AK: What are some upcoming projects you’re working on or what can we expect from you in the near future?
JG: Well Virginia isn’t really well known for its art scene but here in Norfolk, they’re actually starting a Norfolk Arts district and I was contacted a week or two ago by the guy that runs the whole thing to help out. They’re doing tons of murals and opening galleries and art walks and its really cool, I’m really excited to be a part of it.
AK: Nice, what is your spirit animal?
AK: And what are some of your accomplishments from this past year?
JG: I was just in “International Contemporary Artist” Volume 7, which is a cool thing and it was published in Europe. I’m going to be in “Hidden Treasure Book” Volume 2, was in “Fab Ego” magazine in NY and “Visual Artistry” magazine. I just keep sending stuff out. So yeah it was a good year for me, I’m stoked!
AK: Sweet! Yeah we’re excited to feature you this month and look forward to seeing more of your work.
AK: Any last words?
JG: I live for the beautiful and unusual.