I am always impressed by people with many talents. Julia Travers is among them: she’s a visual artist, a prolific writer and the founding editor of the blog askartists.org. The use of these different media allow her to express herself in different ways. Her paintings are very poetic and her writing is very diverse, ranging from poetry to marketing content.
Thanks Julia for dedicating some time to me in your tight schedule!
Julia, tell us about yourself: Where do you live? What is your background?
I live in Virginia, where I have spent most of my life. I have been making art and writing for many years. I have degrees in Literary and Cultural Studies and Art Education and was a teacher for about ten years, focusing on Prek-12 public school art education and early education.
Tell us about your art and your artistic path
I use my art to explore and express. Creating visually has a hold on me and is something I feel I will always return to. It is one of my languages. I experiment with different media, styles, and processes to see what happens and how it makes me feel. Sometimes I like to make a mess or destroy a piece and begin again with the remains or rubble. I am interested in exploring control and freedom in visual expression.
You write and you’re also a visual artist, is one activity more important than the other?
No, they are both important. I used to feel that I should choose one over the other but now I try to just enjoy the fact that I use both mediums to express myself in different ways. Some things are best said with words, colors, sounds, or movements, etc. I love this quote from Ntozake Shange, from, why I had to dance: “it is possible to start a phrase with a word and end with a gesture/ that’s how I’ve lived my life.”
How do you get inspired for your new creations?
With visual art I try to experiment and not to use too much force. When I pressure myself to constantly create something that meets some vision or standard, it is very frustrating. The process is a work in progress. Sometimes it is very difficult but when I am in the moment with it, I am completely absorbed in color and line and can feel calm, excited, or both.
Tell us about your blog askartists.org: how did it start?
As I have taken on more writing work over the last few years, I began to increasingly enjoy writing about artists and connecting with various creative people online. I am particularly drawn to street art and art with purposeful social connections. I wanted to present short interviews with the same five questions to many artists and to give exposure to some of the wonderful work I was coming across. I just made the hundredth post on the site. It is approaching its one-year-anniversary and I’m glad to say that I have now interviewed a range of amazing international artists. Fabulously Feminist Art interviewed me about the site here.
What is the question people ask you the most?
“What do you do?”
What is the question you’d like to be asked?
I really enjoyed the questions you’ve asked me here, so thank you. I also like to be asked, “What do we have in common?” “What can we do now that would be fun?” and, “Would you like to see something amazing?” “Would you like some cheese?” is a great question to hear as well.
What are your projects for the coming months / year?
I often create works depicting my wonderful husband and best friend, Jeff, and I have a few more of those planned in the future as well. I am also going to be doing some work in clay this fall, which I am very happy to return to (it has been a few years).
On the Ask Artists site, I have many more wonderful interviews lined up. I also have an interview with Bryon Summers of the “We Love You” project coming out with Americans for the Arts soon, which I am quite excited about.
To contact and follow Julia
art site: https://jtraversart.wordpress.com/
writing site: https://jtravers.journoportfolio.com/
Ask Artists, the interview site of which I am the founding editor: https://askartists.org/