Monday, January 12, 2009


a couple of days ago steviewren posted an interview about herself; it's the current rage in bloggyland. willow orchestrated the questions. it seemed like fun so i said "interview me" to steviewren. see below for all the details if you'd like to play along. so here's the questions stevie asked me and my answers.

1. I learned from your blog that you were a single mother raising 2 daughters alone for years. I think I read that you remarried about 12 years ago. Do you think your remarriage and new direction in life has aided your journey towards a more creative self or is it just that you have more time now that your children are adults?

You are correct that I was a single mother, raising a son and a daughter alone for 18 years. And, yes I met my husband 11 years ago and we’ve been married for almost 8 years. There were many factors which spurred my creative journey. I certainly poured a great deal of creativity and self-worth into raising my kids and I found myself in a bit of a void when they were raised and gone.

My move to Ohio and the wonderful experience I had as part of Antioch publishing’s creative department certainly helped to awaken my creative spirit. I had worked with art and artists for years but the caliber of creative ability and thinking was very contagious at Antioch. I had good friends there who were overwhelmingly supportive and nurturing to a wanna-be artist.

The announcement in April 2007 that the bookmark division of Antioch was up for sale was the wind beneath my wings in many ways, not only forcing me to examine where I as at in my life, but also lighting a fire in me to become the creative person I was longing to be.

And, finally, I get huge, huge support from my husband Bill in all my creative efforts. He is right there sawing wood, sanding, building my art table, carting canvasses and giving me wonderful support!

2. If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go, what would you see and why?

I am longing to travel the United States, especially the northwest. I would love to travel in an RV to all the national parks, to experience the grandeur, hear the whistling wind and see the gorgeous sunrises and sunsets. It would be a long, relaxing amble from place to place with lots of time to take photos, sketch and drink in the scenery, sounds and wildlife.

3. I know you read a great deal. What is your favorite genre of books and who is your favorite author?

My favorite author is Stephen King, not especially because I’m a huge fan of horror but more because I love his writing style. The way that all the separate threads of his stories eventually come together in the story is very compelling to me. I tend to prefer stories with odd or interesting characters as written by John Irving. For me, the odder the better. And, I like for a book to be so engaging that I think about it when I’m away from it or long after I finish it. The Road by Cormac McCarthy is an excellent example. It’s not a pretty story, but definitely one that still haunts my thoughts a bit today (2 years later). John Grisham and Jodi Picout both attract me as their fiction tends to have a moral dilemma. Both the Clan of the Cave Bear series by Jean Auel and the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon took me back in time for a rousing historical romp.

And then there’s Harry Potter. You’ve gotta love a character like Harry who defeats evil despite all odds and entertains on every single page of every one of the seven books. Pardon the pun, but these books are magical!!

4. What types of people are you attracted to and inversely, what types are you repelled by and why?

Open-minded, free spirits who take life lightly and can laugh at themselves are very attractive to me. Rigid, controlling people, not so much.

Life is too short to live any other way than to laugh and let it roll!

5. Who was the biggest influence on your life, your mother or father? In what ways did he or she shape you life?

My mother has been the bigger influence in my life. I’ve spent much more time with her over the years; she is much more social than my dad. Mom taught me how to laugh over spilled milk, how to pick my battles in life and how to cope during less-than-perfect situations. My mom is hands-down the best person I've ever known -- kind-hearted, gracious, generous and quick to offer support. She is the rock that holds our family together.

Like many men from the WWII era, my dad is reticent to show his emotions, putting up a macho front that is at times hard to push aside. As I've aged it has been much easier to understand and love the man behind the mask, a man who adores his family, is proud almost to a fault and has been the most influential person in my life in teaching me about the joys of hard work and dedication.

Here are the instructions if you'd like to play long. Just leave me a comment saying "interview me" and I'll send you 5 questions.

1. Leave me a comment saying, "Interview me."

2. I will respond by emailing you five questions. (I get to pick the


3. You will update your blog with the answers to the questions.

4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview

someone else in the same post.

5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask
them five questions.


Blue Sky Dreaming said...

Great interview! Don't forget to include Yosemite in California as one of your stops and just because I live here...I would suggest the Monterey Bay also in California! Why not take a trip with camera and sketchbook....sounds like you have a great traveling companion too!

Brenda Heisler said...


You are such a lovely lady! So talented and so kind and really nice. Loved reading about you and seeing family photos. Talking about your parents made me cry.

We have so much in common, except the Steven King books.

I'm glad to call you a friend.

lori vliegen said...

i am SO enjoying getting to know you! although, this interview confirmed what i already're sweet, optimistic, extremely talented, amazing AND downright cute (loved the photos!)! :)

steviewren said...

Sorry, I got your personal story a little topsy turvy.

I think a long ambling trip across the USA would be just the thing to put lots of currency in your creative bank. Even the thought makes me feel relaxed and mellow. I hope you get that chance one day.

Your job sounds really nice. I covet a job in a creative atmosphere...even if I have to do the same mundane tasks that I do now.

I am too much of a scaredy cat to read much Stephen King. I did read his book on the art of writing and enjoyed it very much. Harry Potter, I loved. I read The Road. It was a heavy book. And I've probably read most all of John Grisham and the Gabaldon books too.

Your choice of pictures for this interview were just right. The whole thing was nicely done! Thanks again for playing along!

willow said...

This was a wonderful interview, Julie! I especially love the four generations pic. And speaking of pics, look at your radical new profile pic!! Woohoo!

Strider said...

Nice knowing you a little better. BTW....the Northwest is wonderful...and a diverse area. I hope you make it up here sometime.

Martha Lever said...

Hi Julie,
Enjoyed reading about you! And it's a small world--I have had bookmarks with Antioch in the past! Maybe it was around 2004 or so. I talked with Antioch at CBA and they actually called me and used some of my images. The bookmarks were really nice---their creative dept did an really nice joy! Wonder if you worked on mine? One had a litle heart hanging. I still have some of them. They don't use my art anymore but it was good while it lasted!

Mmm said...

LOVE this interview! So very fun and interesting. I LOVEd your pics too. What marvelous work and what a studio! Your hubbs sounds great.

cindy : quaint said...

i enjoyed learning more about you julie. you have such a positive spirit and outlook. it couldn't have been easy to be a single parent and to have your company sold, but you seem to focus on the upside. it's also great that you have such a strong relationship with your mom and have had the chance to understand your dad. the four generations photo is great. thanks for sharing.

Fannie said...

Thanks for sharing your heart. I enjoyed learning more about you. I love Harry Potter, too. Traveling the country is a great idea.

I prefer free spirits, too. I need flexibility so my mistakes will have space to learn improvement. ;-D

Love your art and soul.

Auburn Kat said...

That was great reading the answers!

Jackie said...

What an interesting interview, thank you. I was just laughing about you liking Jodie Piccoult. I took 'Mercy' on holiday with me to Greece and it annoyed me to death. Everytime I read a bit I was tutting at it becasue I just got irritated by her style, but I thought no I'll persevere...I read over half of it and then I dropped it in the sea! By the time I got it dried out I'd read another book and forgotten what I'd already dead.

Peggy said...

There are those bookmarks! I'm STILL green with envy! So enjoyed reading your interview, Julie. Great pics, too.

Deborah Ross said...

Julie, I'm new to collage work and I've been roaming around the sites and just found yours. Your work is so lively, it must be the spirit behind it. I was very interested in the interview, I feel like I know you at least a little. I would love to be interviewed by you!

Robyn said...

It's wonderful to see you in your studio surrounded by all your art....and an extra treat to learn more about you. Great interview!

Susan said...

WOW ! that was fascinating, the photos fantastic. Your studio and all your work amazing and what a dear sweet husband you have. I'm so glad that you did this interview !

lots of love S & the Gang
woofs & hugs to Presley

Karine said...

Julie, I love this interview. It was so nice to learn a little more about you!

Nana Trish is Living the Dream said...

I just love your interview. Did you make brownish bookmark with the little chain thingy and it says BEAUTY on it? I have that same bookmark. If you say it's your work I will be so excited. I love your studio. You are a wonderful artist. I loved your story.