Creativity is a multi-faceted concept. Artistic, imaginative, inventive, prolific – these are just a few of the elements that characterize the mind of a creative spirit. However, not many people can acknowledge or appreciate the inextricable relationship between creativity and spirituality. These concepts are quite often inherently interwoven – they are two independent ideals that function collectively to create a work of art that is almost in a sense, metaphysical and sacred to the creator. Julia Hernon’s work is a prime example of exactly that – themes of mysticism and marvel embed themselves deeply in the core of her art. I was lucky enough to pick her brain regarding her creative processes and work – here is what she had to say.
What is your preferred instrument you use in your creative process, and why?
I find pen the most enjoyable medium to express my imagination. Painting can be relaxing but I am able to capture more detail so far with pens. I love the fact you fit a pen and notebook easily in your bag and out to a cafe. I use small copic markers (0.05 and 0.03). I started using them after stumbling by an antique store in which a guy was drawing with his face pressed closely to the paper (similar to how I draw). Curiously, I asked if I was able to see it. He showed me the most beautifully detailed creation I’ve ever seen, all by using these tiny, tiny pin-point pens. So, that day I went out and brought some exactly the same and have been using them since!
What initially inspired you to pursue this creativity and transform it into a field of professional work?
I’ve always wanted to pursue art, but until recently I thought of it as just a hobby or that I should do university first. I was constantly feeling a slight tug of unhappiness and the general stress that everyone experiences from attending university. All I wanted to do was draw but I never had the time (often using lectures to sketch – topic related drawings of course hehe.) One day mum asked “What would your perfect day to day life be if you had all the money in the world?” As I went to answer, I realised I had everything in my life that I needed to be content. Only one thing was missing – having the time to create. So I decided to change that – I put my happiness first. Since I stopped university to pursue my passion for art everything has just flowed so naturally. I have established my business name, am in the progress of setting up a website and have had many lovely creative opportunities to help bring peoples ideas to life!
What are the most enjoyable aspects of creating a personal piece suited to a client or friend?
I think working with people to create their visions is what really pushes my art into new areas. It challenges me to draw things I might consider too hard but push myself to achieve for someone else. It is also a wonderful reason to connect with someone you have never met before. If I’m creating for someone I know it’s an absolute joy to be able to bring a friend’s or family’s idea to life. I really enjoy creating designs for people who are setting up their business or branding, since I am only just starting too. I feel as if it’s like one small business giving a helping hand to another, building each other up. I love working with people, the creative process always includes the client being part of the process each step of the way. My favourite moment of working with people is when someone who I have created a piece for or has bought one of my artworks really connects to it on an emotional level. I also love how one piece can convey so many different images to different people.
Your art seems to have many elements of spirituality. Is that you own conscious choice and is there a reason why it is so deeply embedded in your work?
The elements of spirituality are a reflection of how I grew up. Mum had a lot of interest in spirituality which sparked a curiosity in me. It has been an influencing factor in my self-discovery and connection to my higher consciousness. When I draw I enter a sort of meditative state. I’m not sure if this sounds a bit weird, but I get waves of emotion and senses of where to draw flow through me. The artwork almost seems to form itself as I trace pen to paper. Other times images will constantly occur to me throughout a week until I get them out on paper.
Your pieces express such a strong sense of whimsy with your mythical themes. What draws you to utilising such themes?
Since I was a tiny human, I’ve always been fixated on the on fairies. I absolutely loved them! My mind was always “away with the fairies”, in a world of fantasy. This later led to deep interests in Greek mythology and ancient Egyptians growing up. A sense of magic always tainted my mind, even now. I’m always creating scenarios or saying “what if” before spurring into a deeply unnecessary situation that would obviously never happen. My desire to imaginatively engage in a world beyond reality would be where my deep interest for learning about spirituality stemmed. I think my drawings hold such mythical themes because it’s an outlet where I can create my magical world and bring it to life in a sense.
Julia’s Instagram: @julia___jay
Words by Julia Hernon and Emily Fuller