Today we’d like to introduce you to Julie Pelaez.
Every artist has a unique story. Can you briefly walk us through yours?
After a decade-long career as an Art Director in Advertising, I transitioned to a stay-at-home mom of 2 boys and found myself in desperate need of some creative “me” time. With an artist for a mother, I had grown up around art and explored all types of mediums but nothing truly captured me until I stumbled upon alcohol inks in 2013. I started out experimenting at home while my kids napped, and became addicted to the zen-like trance induced from pouring inks and guiding them with hot air. It’s a constant balance between control and total surrender – a thrill no other medium had provided.
Painting with alcohol inks has been a life-changer for me – it’s my form of expression, release, and personal exploration. The more my kids have grown, the more time I’ve been able to dedicate to my art. In 2015, I began showing in art galleries and shows in and around Austin and it’s been snowballing since. In 2017, I expanded to home decor and personal accessories and in 2018, after many requests, I began teaching Alcohol Ink Workshops to pass on to others what this rewarding medium has done for me.
Please tell us about your art.
There is such a personal relationship between both the artist & artwork, and viewer & artwork. Each piece I create stems from a feeling or experience I’m processing – be it hope, insecurity, life transitions, a tragedy, exhilaration… or sometimes I’m inspired by a destination I’ve traveled to. In the abstract, I communicate this through color choice, composition, complexity and layers. It is a fun challenge to take something intangible and give it a visual. I recently did a series on Instagram @juliepelaezstudios called “Meaning Behind the Art” where I took select pieces of my art and pulled back the curtain to reveal the inspiration and backstory behind each one because there’s only so much a title can convey. I think a lot of people were surprised at the depth hidden inside. On the other side of the coin is the viewer’s relationship to the art, which again, is so personal – either you connect with it or you don’t, even if you have no knowledge of the meaning behind it. For those who connect with my work, my hope is that it enlivens their space and smiles back at them every time they look at it.
What do you think is the biggest challenge facing artists today?
I think the biggest challenge for solo artists today is wearing the hats of both artist and social media guru. We’d much rather be spending our time in our studios creating, but these days keeping a presence in social media is a full-time job. You’d think coming from the advertising world that the self-promotion part would be a no-brainer for me, but marketing my own goods is way less natural than if I were doing it on behalf of another company. Unless you have a dedicated person, you have to really carve out time to have that consistent online presence – it’s undeniably important, but not always second-nature.
How or where can people see your work? How can people support your work?
I currently have work at Art for the People Gallery (1711 S. 1st St) and Made by Milling Around Interiors (1206 W. 38th St), both in Austin, as well as the Georgetown Art Center in Georgetown, TX. One of my favorite events is the WEST Austin Studio Tour where I show with a leading cast of female artists every May and I’m looking forward to having a solo exhibition at Art for the People Gallery in October 2019. My work is also available to the trade via https://wonderwallstudio.com/artist-julie-pelaez/.
Details, and of course art prints and accessories can be found 24/7 on my website at www.juliepelaezstudios.com
Aside from purchasing art or going to shows, a great way to support us artists is simply by following us on social media and/or sharing our info with other art lovers in your life. You never know where it could lead. So much about art is timing – you may not be ready to buy yet but if you follow (ANY)! artist you gravitate towards, that latest piece that would go so perfectly on that empty wall might just find you.
Getting in touch: VoyageHouston is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.