I love Juliette’s work. It is playful, mythical and vibrant. Little worlds of magic. Juliette is abundantly of beautiful and full of artful knowledge. She shares so much of these attributes in the many e-courses she has created to inspire your artful living.
Juliette Crane: I’m an artist, teacher, storyteller and adventurer. As often as possible, I paint outside, mostly in the grass surrounded by flower gardens and the tallest trees.
I’m also an avid gardener and enthusiastic cook and would be delighted to have you over for dinner! When I’m not teaching, travelling, and painting in gardens around the world, I live with my bluegrass-singing husband in Madison, Wisconsin. I’m the creator of a series of online courses that encourage thousands around the world to get creative. From my art play mini course Backgrounds and Layers, to my How To Paint An Owl and How To Paint An Owl 2 courses, for bird and whimsy-lovers, to the mixed media workshops How To Paint A Girl and How To Create Whimsical Animals. My work has been published in Oprah.com, Glamour Magazine UK, Somerset Studio, Somerset Studio Gallery, Mingle, and Artful Blogging and on blogs including Crescendoh, My Owl Barn and Do What You Love just to name a few.
On your blog I found this lovely quote by Martin Gayford: “Drawing makes you see things clearer, and clearer, and clearer still.”
I wonder what was not so clear with how you viewed your artistic future or even how you viewed yourself at the onset of this career that drawing has helped define?
I have always been an artist. Whether it was coloring with crayons or fingerpainting as a little kid I always loved to create and had a wild imagination. But I went to college to study environmental biology. Yet I could not stay away from the art room. I didn’t know what to do with art and graduated with degrees in journalism and fine art. At first I went into arts journalism and worked at newspapers.
It took lots of different jobs as a journalist, graphic designer, web programmer and many more before I finally became a full-time artist. All of those different jobs in what seemed like mistakes at the time now help me to run my current business.
“My first blog was titled Inspired By The Little Things… and it is a notion I am really returning to these days.
I used to write weekly posts, sharing my inspirations.”
Oh indulge us please and share your inspirations these days? What are you saying a holy YES to?
These days I am all about clearing my schedule and saying no, so that I can have more time to create, relax and have fun. That way, my imagination and creativity has so many chances to go in new directions. Lately I have been inspired by flowers and trees. That led me to create floral backgrounds out of inks and acrylics instead of using so many layers and papers for my backgrounds. Then those new floral backgrounds inspired me to create flower girls. That seemed to open up a whole new door for my creativity. It inspired me to start sketching again.
Those sketches reminded me of children’s books. So I’ve started putting together the sketches with some of my writing and am hoping to put everything together into a picture book. Once I started writing again, I went back to my mixed-media paintings and started creating new characters. Soon I realized that these new characters, more women with flowers on their heads, were characters that I could add to my books The novel I have been working on the last few years. That’s what I love so much about creativity is that if you continue to follow your intuition and go with whatever is inspiring you you never know where it might lead you.
“It’s become sort of a meditative process to add all of the lines and dots. Slowing down and really getting into the small embellishments and shading.”
Has this slowing transferred to other aspects of life? What have you seen happen? Where is it evolving?
That slowing down is part of my new sketching process, which, I think, is strengthening my intuition, helping me to listen, pause before acting and to look at the why I am doing something rather than just rushing to get to an end result. I think that all has also helped me to follow my creativity without judgment.
I used to always finger paint very quickly and add lots of layers to my mixed-media paintings. Now that I have started sketching with a stabilo pencil which is water soluble, I am adding water to my lines and using a thin brush to create shading. It is also a very slow process because if I use too much water in the pan so will run all over the place.
That slowing down has really helped me to stay more present in my every day. And to appreciate and savor all of the little things.
Would you share with us a memory of a recent time you painted at the beach, what came of it? How did it feel?
A few years ago before I became a full-time artist I was part of an artist’s Way group where we went through the chapters of Julia Cameron’s book together. One of the questions we had to answer was what would we most desire? I said I just want to paint at the beach. That to me felt like complete freedom. And even though everyone in the group thought I was a little bit crazy, now, five years later, every winter I make time and go paint for weeks at the beach.
To me, painting at the beach is the most freeing and inspirational environment. I love to be outside and to listen and watch the waves and the sun. I always take just a few supplies with me when I go to paint at the beach. I have a little 8 x 8″ sketchbook, my stabilo pencil, a white and a neon pink paint pen, and a set of watercolors that I carry with me. I bring a blanket and lay out all of my supplies on the blanket and just paint. To me, it is a combination of two of my favorite things:
Being outside and creating. That combination is my bliss.
What are your tools and teachers? What have you been learning from them personally?
I am always most inspired by whatever it is that is around me. I try consistently to meet new people, listen to their stories, learn new things, and always experience. That keeps my imagination expanding. And it drives my creativity. I try and take everything I learn and experience and filter that into my artwork and stories. Then I love hearing how others perceive and are inspired by my artwork. Maybe they see a painting or take one of my classes and are inspired by a certain project and start to do that project like painting owls with their kids. That creates new experiences and connections for them. And then when they share those experiences with me I put that back into my artwork and what I share. That to me completes the circle.
How do you start your day?
I am super fortunate that I do not need to wake up with an alarm. I don’t have a set schedule during the day. But I definitely follow a morning routine. I start with a cup of warm water with lemon and Cayanne pepper. While I sip my lemon water I journal. I write down anything that is on my mind. Then I have a cup of coffee and check my email. After that, I always have a peanut butter and banana smoothie (unless we go out for breakfast… one of my favorite things).
Whats pulling you forward?
It took me a long time to have the confidence to share my creativity and imagination with the world. For years I thought my creativity was worthless. I saw it as a weakness. My hope is that in sharing what I create and continuing to follow my inspirations, adults and children are inspired to follow their own passions (whatever those may be). Hearing their stories and dreams helps to keep pushing me forward. And that then gets filtered into my artwork and keeps me creating.
What is it you want everyone to know?
I would like everyone to know that your story matters, that it is okay to have big dreams and to follow whatever it is that brings you joy.
Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild precious life?
I intend to follow the things that bring me joy. To me that means creating as much as possible, being outside as much as possible and having tea with as many people as possible.
This one has some amazing e-courses I particularly fell in love with this one: Serendipity: A year in mixed media.
“I wanted to create a class that would help you overcome creative blocks and strengthen your own unique style.”
I created this class in response to feedback I’ve gotten from my students. So many have said they want to develop their own style and whenever they learn from another artist they feel like they’re just copying. Well, in this class I’ll share with you how I strengthen and evolve my own style and take what I learn from classes and other inspirations in my every day and incorporate them all into my own paintings in a new and unique way.
Her newest online workshop is Happy Painting –mini e-course
In Happy Painting, she shares a variety of techniques and characters to help you overcome creative blocks and easily develop your own style.
By the end of class, you’ll have five gorgeous paintings and the painting template to get you started again and again, so you can keep creating in a style that is unique to YOU.
She is a published artist her first book: Inspired By The Little Things – Mixed Media Paintings and Stories, meant to help you stay positive and find beauty in the every day.