SO excited to be introducing you to one of the swathe of local talent in my area, Julianne Hall! Currently based in Wagga, Julianne has travelled the globe and worked in London and New York, and has just VERY recently quit her day job to become a full-time designer.
Inspired by vintage finds, children’s books, Japanese design and her small son, her illustrations and designs reside in that far away place filled with light and curiosity, a place of gentle mischief and fun. That place is populated with sweet and crazy characters, cats and rabbits, rainbows and hearts, all in very particular colours – cool yellows, pinks and red, punctuated with soft blue and turquoise.
Colour is very important to Julianne.
“I realised that if I am not wearing something pink (or red), I don’t feel quite right for the whole day….those colours make me happy.”
Always drawing as a child, she remembers frequently sitting at the kitchen table and drawing characters she had made up, or the members of her family turned into character form. “One of my earliest memories was of an older next door neighbour coming over to show my family and I a pen and ink drawing he had done for school. I still remember this artwork of a very detailed tree and I was so inspired. I remember that moment vividly and knew that that was what I wanted to do.”
Currently working out of her home, she has created herself a little studio haven. “My creative space is very colourful, very hard to keep tidy and full of everything I love! My studio also acts as my dressing room-so there are plenty of brightly patterned dresses and bags hanging up…and even some pink and red stillettos perched high on picture rails!”
I talked to her about how jookiku came about. “I have been wanting to create my own design brand-incorporating surface pattern design, illustration, graphics….and more…for some time now. I really felt like I had this whole other world in my head, filled with all sorts of characters and scenes and colour combinations that just needed to come out! That really is how jookiku was born.”
In the 1990s, Julianne graduated from the University of Technology, Sydney with a degree in Visual Communication. Travelling to London and then New York to work as a graphic/surface pattern designer for fabrics and giftware, she then returned to Sydney to work in a friend’s homewares shop – and she says this sparked the idea of creating her own brand of products: fabrics, homewares, stationery, toys and children’s books.
Julianne returned to Wagga with her young son out of necessity, but she told me that it actually gave her the headspace and clarity to create jookiku. “I have now realised it doesn’t actually matter where you are based – creativity/ideas come from within and with the way the world is now, your designs can be seen and sold to the other side of the world in a flash! I think we are living in such an exciting time for designers and creatives!”
“This might sound really corny and straight out of a self-help book, but the best piece of advice I have been given is: FOLLOW YOUR PASSION and to always believe in yourself and your dreams!”
You can investigate more of Julianne’s quirky and colourful world on her website at www.jookiku.com.