We would like to welcome aboard to the PWS family, the artist Julie Marie Hansen.
Julie Marie is a Danish-born artist living and working from her home studio in the Blue Mountains, Australia. She works with fluid mediums such as alcohol inks, which can be very therapeutic and offer a calming experience. This is the experience she hopes she can share with everyone with her range of fluid artworks and designs.
Get to know, Julie and her story, in this blog.
Tell us a bit about yourself and your business.
I am a self-taught artist and soon-to-be art therapist. I found art after my first son was born. I desperately needed to find myself again and began working with inks. I was mesmerized by the fluid nature of the inks as well as the colours and I slowly started to find my way back to myself. I started my business without knowing much about how to run a creative business. I just knew that I loved creating art and loved the idea of bringing colour into other people’s lives. I have had the opportunity to work with some amazing brands along the way. A few of my favorites have been working with Roxy to create a ski jacket, working with a licensing company to bring my art to a few different hotels, working with The Dairy – a phone case company and now working with PWS to get my art on even more products and be able to brighten up everyday items such as cups, aprons and tea towels.
What inspires you (your work)?
Color and my surroundings inspire me. I live in a very beautiful part of the world with mountains and the Australian bush at my doorstep. I find a lot of my inspiration from nature as well as from how I am feeling, for instance, if I am feeling happy, I tend to use really bright colours.
What does your art mean to you?
I create art intuitively, which means that my art is very connected to what I am feeling. I use art to process daily life and often paint when I need a break. My art taps into an unconscious state in which I loose a sense of time and place.
What materials and techniques do you predominantly use in making your designs?
I use alcohol inks on a plastic paper called Yupo. Alcohol inks are inks, which has been diluted in alcohol. They react similar to watercolors, but instead of using water to paint with, I use isopropyl alcohol. I use heat from a heat-gun to move the inks around on the paper, which creates beautiful texture and blending of colors.
What has been your favourite artistic experience over the last 12 months?
I have loved growing my business to be able to license my art to amazing companies like PWS. I have been busy with my placement year as an art therapy student and have not had a lot of time for painting. I have managed to keep my creativity alive by reaching out and collaborating with amazing brands and it has been such a joy to see my art on amazing products.
What is your favorite product you’ve had from PWS?
I love the idea of having my art displayed on tea towels and mugs. I am a huge coffee fan but not a big morning fan, so having my coffee in a beautiful mug first thing in the morning, definitely cheers me up. Tea towels are such a mundane but practical item that every kitchen needs, but it does not have to be dull. Instead, it can add colour and life to a kitchen, and I love the idea of bringing art into everyday life situations through mundane objects such as a tea towel.
How did you keep going and stay motivated during the Covid 19 lockdowns?
The lockdown was tough but also gave me time to focus on my art business. I am currently undertaking a Master degree in Art Therapy and I am in my final year of placement, so when the lockdown hit and all the schools closed, I was no longer able to go to my placement which is in a school. Luckily, we were still able to send our two children to daycare, which meant that I had more time to create art and focus on my art career. Having my art as both my business and as something I enjoy doing when I need to relax, it can be a bit difficult to distinguish between making art for fun and making art because it is my job – when the lockdowns hit, it was even more important to me, to find a way to be able to do both. Licensing my art with companies like PWS has given me more time to create art I enjoy because I have to worry less about the marketing side of running a business.
What are your future plans?
I am moving back to Denmark with my family. We have been living in Australia for the past 8 years, but now it is time to get back to where I was born and raised. I am looking forward to showing my children and my husband the beauty of Denmark, but we will all miss Australia. I will keep creating beautiful and colourful art and it will be interesting to see how the move will affect my art process and the outcomes.
What do you hope to achieve by working collaboratively with PWS?
As mentioned before, I like to license my art to companies like PWS because they are able to get my art on beautiful products and get it to places and people I would not myself be able to reach. I am very excited and passionate about the idea of functional art. Buying art, and especially original art, can be intimidating and very expensive. By creating functional art, art becomes more accessible and can be enjoyed by more people. I believe that art can access powerful emotions, and art should be for everyone, whether that is as an original art piece, a print or on products such as coasters or coffee mugs.
Why did you choose to license your artwork with PWS?
I loved the idea of collaborating with a brand that values sustainability, so when I read about PWS I knew that it would be a good match. I also really love that the products are made in the UK instead of utilizing slave labor in other countries, like so many other companies do.