AUSTINITES: email julie@juliepelaez.com to schedule an in-person viewing

Voyage Austin Website, December 2021

Check Out Julie Pelaez’s Story

Today we’d like to introduce you to Julie Pelaez.

Hi Julie, please kick things off for us with an introduction to yourself and your story.
I never thought I’d be an artist. Although art had always been a strong part of my childhood (my mother is an artist), I never struck a passionate connection with a particular medium. It wasn’t until after a BFA from the University of Delaware, ten years as an Advertising Art Director, followed by an additional four years of full-time motherhood, that I happened to pick up Alcohol Inks as a creative outlet. The actual process of blowing ink around with hot air was like walking the line between control and total surrender. I had finally found my medium, my creative voice. And once I found it, I couldn’t stop. What started as a hobby led me on an artistic journey of passion, building over the past six years to include gallery exhibitions, commissions, workshops and print lines carried national retailers. My conceptual background gained from Advertising is very much a part of my work today as I create abstract works in series, each with its own theme and execution-style to connect with others through art.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
Not everything goes as planned and I’ve had to adjust as I go, but my unwavering passion has always propelled me forward. One recent challenge was during Covid, when I experienced the loss of income from the immediate cancellation of my often sold out “Intro to Alcohol Inks” in-person Workshops. I ended up pivoting and recording an online course with the same content so that people all over could continue to learn from the comfort of their own home – an offering I likely never would have otherwise created had it not been for Covid. Sharing my passion and knowledge has always been important to me since I have gained so much personal enjoyment and growth through working with Alcohol Inks. I love passing that on to others, especially because it’s a fluid medium that someone can enjoy from day 1 without any previous art experience.

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
I see my art as an empowering tool to elevate interiors while cultivating the personal growth of the people who inhabit them. With topics centered around mindset, gratitude and self-discovery, the concepts raised hold up a mirror to the viewer by asking questions like “What do you wish you could ‘hit the pause button on’ in this season of life?” (Please Press Pause Collection which includes an interactive gratitude list on the back of each piece), “If thoughts can attract our realities, what are you focusing your attention on?” (Like Attracts Like Collection), “Where is your internal compass guiding you?” (Cairns Collection), “What kind of energy are you exuding vs. the energy you wish to exude?” (Own Your Aura Collection). In contemplating their answers, viewers not only connect to the artwork, but they are able to connect to a deeper knowing of themselves. Seeing the art daily on the wall then serves as a reminder of those answers to reinforce and encourage them to uphold that more evolved version of themselves.

We’re always looking for the lessons that can be learned in any situation, including tragic ones like the Covid-19 crisis. Are there any lessons you’ve learned that you can share?
I was never more thankful to have a home art studio than during the Covid-19 lockdown. In any period of life, it’s important to find an outlet to express one’s feelings, but during that time, it was even more critical. My art took on a distinct turn as my usual happy, colorful, fluid style did not adequately convey the unsettling, jolting change of daily life. The “Quarantine Confessions” series was, in essence, my form or art therapy during Covid lockdown, featuring shards of paintings and tangled thread to represent the upheaval and subsequent piecing together of a new normal. Creating work that reflected my inner thoughts helped me process and accept what was happening at that time. It’s a lesson in self expression I will continue to honor whatever life might throw my way.

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