Monday, February 21, 2011

Artist Spotlight: Julie Bergmann

After an exciting few weeks finalizing the videos for the upcoming Soldering With Heart series I'm back to giving you some insightful details on the artists who inspire most! This week I am oh so lucky to have the lovely and talented, thoughtful and open Julie Bergmann sharing her life and loves with us. She has so much going on, but was willing to take a few minutes to share with us!

I was lucky enough to meet Julie in person and actually sit down and take a jewelry making class with her from none other than Ruth Rae! Its so nice to connect with people in person as you get to know their spirit as well as their work. Julie is a talented sculptor and doll maker. I have seen many many of her creations in and on the Somerset magazines over the last several years, but recently I've started falling in love with these dreamy portraits and artful photographic vistas that she's been sharing with us. They are so soulful and it just matches her essence. 

Julie has a beautiful photography blog now where you can see some of her gorgeous work and learn more about this talented woman's history! Wait until you feast your eyes on her work, I'm pretty sure you'll be fascinated just as I was...

Julie, when you think about your first inkling of being an artist is there a story that comes to mind? 

As far back as I can remember, I have always been an artist. Since the first time a box of crayons was dumped in front of me in kindergarten I have been consumed with creating art. All through my school years I was always happiest in art class. Whether I was drawing, painting or sculpting I was content and I loved the process of turning raw materials into something beautiful. 

Tell us how and where do you work best and when? Any stories connected with how that works for you? 

These past three years have been a real struggle for our family as my husband was laid-off from his job in November 2007. In the recent past I would retreat to my studio where I kept all of my materials and wonderful things I have collected, but we were forced to give up our home about a year ago and moved in with my mother. We are thankful for this, however it doesn’t make for the most creative environment as most of my supplies and treasures are in storage. I do try to keep up with my art and have learned to adapt to my surroundings, but it can be difficult to find inspiration and motivation. 

I can imagine that challenge, in fact I can relate - as you know, will you share with our readers about how you get the juices flowing, where you draw your daily inspirations from and or overcoming the inner critic? 

Most recently, I seem to be focusing on work that is for workshops, articles and publishing. Where I have found it difficult to get “my juices flowing” knowing that I am required to complete a project within a prescribed deadline or for a class forces me to stay on top of things. 

As for overcoming my inner critic, I don’t think that is something that I will ever be able to do. What I have found 
makes it easier to deal with is the encouragement I receive from my art family. These are the talented people I have been drawn to through their beautiful works. When I started sharing my work with others, I was blown away when someone who’s work I admired, loved mine as well. This 
gives me encouragement and the confidence to create more.  

I wonder, are there any artful challenges that you overcame that inspired you to move in a new direction? 

Yes there is. In this past year I have teamed up with an incredible acrylic paint company. Tri-Art Acrylics has provided me some amazing opportunities. At the Winter Craft and Hobby Association Trade Show in Los Angeles, I will be teaching a workshop titled Bridging the Gap Between 
Craft and Fine Art. With the support Tri-Art’s distributor, Jack Richeson Fine Art Materials, I will be introducing a variety of mediums and paints that most craft and hobby artists might be afraid to attempt on their own. I hope to provide the encouragement for others to experiment with new 
techniques and materials. For me, learning new methods and using new mediums has always been a personal challenge and one of my greatest inspirations. 

How do you market yourself? Do you have a marketing or press package? If you have an “elevator spiel” or “cocktail party” response to “So, what do you do?” that inspires people to want to know more, will you share it with our readers? 

As I am sure it is the same for most artist out there, tooting your own horn is not easy to do. When I started getting involved heavily into mixed media and papier mache, I would buy issues of Stampington’s Somerset Studio magazine and their other various titles. I would turn each page with anticipation of what I would see next. All of the art was so beautiful and inspirational. I would say to myself “I would die to be on the pages of any of their magazines”. Of course they knew nothing about me as I had never submitted anything to them for publication. One day, I was talking with my dear friend Robyn, and expressing my dream of being published along with all of the other artists I had grown to admire. When she found out I was too scared to submit my work, she 
called Stampington’s office and told them about me and that should see my art. Next thing I knew, I was being contacted by them and was invited to bring some pieces to their office for review. I was completely blown away by the response I got from several of their editors. I ended up leaving nearly 2 dozen pieces with them and soon found out I was going to be featured in Somerset Holiday & Celebrations. When the issue came out, I was shocked to see my art on the cover as well. 
This pretty much started the ball rolling for me as I was soon getting messages from the very same artists I had been admiring for so long. The one thing I learned from this is you will never know if you don’t try. Thanks to my friend, I have submitted my work dozens of times and have been on 
the cover 4 times and have had several feature articles. Of course this all ends up on my blogs and I get to promote through Facebook. Its no secret that artists of today have a powerful networking tool with all of the social network and blog websites available. 

What’s up for you in 2011 - anything you’d like to share? Photos? Videos? Promos? 

So far 2011 looks like it is going to busy. Besides my workshops at CHA and others, I will 
be preparing some video classes for online courses.

 I am a contributing artist in Pam Carriker’s 
new book Art at the Speed of Life, [that just came out this] February. 
Living Art at the Speed of Life

I have a feature article being published in the 
upcoming Spring issue of Somerset Digital Studio, due out March 1st. 

Stampington's Digital Studio Spring 2011

Julie's photography blog

I am also in the process of 
preparing my first book and hope to have it to the publisher by this fall. 

Wow, wow, wow! Girl you are ON FIRE! Congratulations on all of the wonderful energy swirling your way! 

Last question and its a new question: Is there anything you collect? 

I have always been a collector of things I see beauty and potential in. My list of collections is so long that my husband finally said he thinks I collect collections. Currently most of my treasures are in storage. I look forward to the day when we can be back in a home of our own and I can once 
again surround myself with my favorite things.

For today I'm going to guess that piling up that long list of successes - from family and friends, to work that is inspiring people around the globe - is a pretty cool collection! With your feet firmly planted on Tera Firma you'll be bringing yourself to any destination you choose, Julie!
THANK YOU so MUCH for the interview! 

If you'd like to learn more about Julie have a peek at her art blog:

Now, go GET your CrAfT on!

1 comment:

Oooooh BLoGgEE love!