Artist Spotlight: Julia Kreienkamp

Every we week we enjoy getting to highlight one of our very talented doodlers! Today we are sharing more about Julia Kreienkamp aka @julikrei_illustration

Please can you give us a brief little introduction about yourself?

Hi, my name is Julia. I’m originally from Germany but I’ve lived in the UK for over six years. I’m a researcher at a university institute, where I focus primarily on the governance of climate change and other global risks. While I enjoy doing research, art is an important creative outlet for me, a way to unwind, have fun, and connect with others. I have always loved drawing and painting. As a kid I would spend hours hunched over a piece of paper, happily doodling away, often inventing my own stories to go with the pictures. As an adult, it has become more difficult to find those hours. However, over the past years – and in particular in the wake of the pandemic – I’ve made a conscious effort to make more space for art in my life. I have a particular fascination for children’s book illustrations. They are so engaging, creative, and beautiful! In general, I admire great story telling – whether verbal or visual – and I dream of bringing a story to life with my own illustrations one day.

What inspires you?

Nature is a major source of inspiration for me. Going for a long woodland hike – ideally with friends, lots of snacks, and a large flask of coffee – is one of my favourite things to do. I particularly like autumn and I always feel an urge to paint when the leaves are starting to turn and tumble off the trees. I also love painting with and for others, for example, by joining friends for a digital doodle session or creating customised birthday cards. Another important way for me to find inspiration is by looking at the work of other artists and participating in collaborative activities. I find art challenges on Instagram really useful for getting ideas, experimenting with different styles, and learning from others. I particularly love the unusual and quirky prompts that FridayDoodleClub posts every week!

What is your favourite thing to draw?

I love creating fun, whimsical animal characters that often inhabit colourful woodland settings. I also enjoy drawing magical characters (fairies, dragons, witches, mermaids,…) and really anything that allows me to be playful.

What art goals do you have for this year?

Probably too many! I hope to launch an Etsy shop in 2022 to sell some of my cards and prints. I would also like to join a few illustration workshops throughout the year, since that is a great way to learn new techniques and meet fellow artists. More generally, I’m planning to work more systematically on my portfolio. But, most importantly, I’m hoping to have lots of fun making art!

What techniques/supplies do you use?

Although I would love to master digital illustration one day (another art goal!), for now, I work exclusively with traditional media. I often use a combination of watercolour and colour pencil on hot pressed paper. Sometimes I throw a bit of gouache in as well. I also really enjoy cutting up old magazines and making collages, partly because it’s such a wonderfully messy process.

What advice would you give to another doodler/artist?

Just keep creating art and don’t overthink. Learning is all about practice and experimentation. If your day job has nothing to do with art, it might also be helpful to set aside a few hours during the week that just belong to you and your illustrations. I keep an ongoing list of ideas that I can pull from on days when my creative juices are running low. Joining workshops and art challenges is also a great way to find inspiration.

Where can people go to learn more about you or see more of your work?

You can find me on Instagram: @julikrei_illustration.

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