Julia Johnson Designs

Tangerine flower sculpture

“I’ve been into art since I could grip a pen…or a piece of sidewalk chalk,” says artist Julia Johnson. Illustration was her first love, introduced to her by her mother, who is an artist herself! Julia’s childhood was peppered with artistic influences, such as children’s books showcasing famous paintings, and she experimented with several different artistic mediums, including photography, stenciling, painting, knitting/crochet, and more. But she always circled back to black and white illustration. Sculpture is now a large part of her work, as well, and what drew her to it was the way she learned to cast shadow to create “lines.”

Artistic Growth
Much of Julia’s most recent work consists of line illustrations and flower sculptures. The sculptures came about as a byproduct of her 2011 senior thesis, which was an interactive calendar product design. A professor recommended the same waterproof, tear-proof synthetic paper for this project that she still uses today, called Yupo.

She started experimenting with abstract floral forms in 2012. “The forms and folds used in my current sculptural work are rooted in the experience of designing that thesis product,” she tells us, “so you could say every floral sculpture has been a riff on that. The heat and coloring applications I currently use were developed in the following years.”

Inspiration
Julia finds much of her inspiration in viewing other artists’ pieces of work. “The most inspiring experience for me is to attend a fine art show,” she says. At art events, she describes the concentration of energy as artists’ work meets enthusiastic patrons as “electric.” Art shows only come around once or twice a year, so she turns to natural history museums for another great place to foster inspiration. “Organic formations such as fossils, bones, plants, and (of course) flowers always catch my eye,” she explains.

More artists she admires include Patricia Urquiola, recommended by her mom, and Dale Chihuly. “I have viewed [Urquiola’s] Philadelphia Museum of Art exhibition at least five times! Lately I’ve been looking at Dale Chihuly for sculptural inspiration, particularly his large sculptures,” Julia says of her artistic influences.

As inspiration hits, the medium Julia uses depends on what she’d like to create. For something expressive and abstract, she turns to sculpture. “I tend to sketch first, but sometimes you just have to ‘make the thing’ before the feeling evaporates. If I’m inspired to work in color, which is much less frequent, it’s usually a quick, energetic application,” she says about her process.

Exhibits and Current Projects
Julia’s latest project s a stunning floral sculpture and designed for placement on a large brick wall in the lobby of a hospital. The display consists of two “sister” pieces, each measuring 4.5 x 7.5 feet. (One piece is shown below.)

White and gray floral sculpture

“The client was looking for an assembly of floral forms that echoed the hospital’s brand with gray accenting. On a technical level, we were working within depth parameters, so I used these gray accents to enhance that. It was important that the pieces had a soft, peaceful feel and my goal in creating them was to bring some tranquility to the space. The compositions are purposefully asymmetrical, not at all visually challenging but rather free-flowing. I truly hope that future viewers of the pieces can find a brief moment of calm in front of them,” Julia shares.

Since 2016, Julia has exhibited in 13 shows and events in Delaware, Florida, New York, and Pennsylvania and looks forward to the next opportunity to display her unique and gorgeous work alongside other talented artists.

To view more of Julia’s artwork visit her website, and follow her on Instagram and Facebook. To purchase her prints and sculptures, click here, or contact her for a commissioned piece!

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5 Ways To Mark Juneteenth

On this day 155 years ago, enslaved Black Americans in Texas were finally informed that they were free — two and a half years after President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation — when Union Army soldiers arrived in Galveston, TX, to announce the end of the Civil War and the end of slavery. Back then, Texas was the last of the Confederate states where enslavement continued.

Attempts to explain this two and a half year delay in the receipt of this important news have yielded several versions that have been handed down through the years. Often told is the story of a messenger who was murdered on his way to Texas with the news of freedom. Another is that the news was deliberately withheld by the enslavers to maintain the labor force on the plantations. And still, another is that federal troops actually waited for the slave owners to reap the benefits of one last cotton harvest before going to Texas to enforce the Emancipation Proclamation. All of which or none of these versions could be true. Certainly, for some, President Lincoln’s authority over the rebellious states was in question. Whatever the reasons, conditions in Texas remained status quo well beyond what was statutory. [Source: juneteenth.com/history]

Now recognized annually on June 19, Juneteenth commemorates Black freedom in America, and it serves as a time for reflection, celebration, and education.

Here are five ways you can commemorate this important day in American history:

Educate yourself and those around you on antiracism and systemic prejudice. There are so many books, shows and films out there. (When ordering new books, make sure your dollars are going to Black-owned independent bookstores.) Also be sure to check out free content like 1619, a podcast from The New York Times, as well as resources from the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History & Culture.

Donate to organizations working to dismantle systemic racism and fighting for justice for the Black community, such as Black Lives Matter, The Bail Project, ACLU, and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. Also, consider these 137 ways to donate in support of Black lives and communities of color.

Call on elected officials to defund the police. Contact your state representatives and city council members and demand that they reduce police resources and reallocate those funds to education and social services. And sign the national Black Lives Matter petition.

Support Black-owned businesses in your community. Use tools like Black Nation, EatOkra, WeBuyBlack, and Support Black-Owned to discover ones near you.

Vote in November for candidates who will address racial injustice, police brutality, and criminal justice reform. Make sure all your friends are registered to vote. If you haven’t done so already, set up your mail-in ballot with your state’s elections office to make participating in the political process even easier.

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5 Ways You Can Help Protect The Ocean

Turtle in the Ocean - World Oceans Day - How to Help - Social Stylate

As a company, we are passionate about the environment and believe in making eco-friendly lifestyle choices to help contribute to environmental conservation. In honor of World Oceans Day, here are 5 ways you can help protect the ocean.

Use reef-safe sunscreen

Did you know that most sunscreens are made with ingredients that are harmful to coral reefs and marine life? Our client, Kindred Skincare, makes great organic, reef-safe sunscreens that are safe for you and the environment.

Reduce your plastic use

Ditch plastic straws, swap bottled water for a reusable bottle, use canvas bags instead of plastic, use a thermos instead of single-use coffee cups and lids, ditch coffee stirrers and plastic plates, utensils, cups, and avoid products that contain plastic microbeads.

Buy sustainably sourced seafood

Sustainability means “meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” Use the Seafood Watch app to find sustainably sourced seafood near you.

Participate in beach cleanups

The next time you’re headed to the beach, pack a few of those recycled paper bags you save from Trader Joes and pick up some trash while you’re there!

Donate to organizations working to reduce ocean waste

Here are a few we like: Oceanic Society, 4Ocean, and Ocean Conservancy.

 

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A New Era in Marketing

Marketing After COVID-19 - Trudy Boutique - Social Stylate

Trudy boutique – Photo by Kelli Wilke Photography

How has your brand navigated the COVID-19 situation so far? Did you adjust your marketing strategy? Did you adopt a different online shopping approach? Maybe you’re still trying to figure out how best to move forward in the current and ever-changing societal climate.

The Social Stylate team has been hearing a lot about business owners “pivoting” to meet today’s newest and unique needs. We agree that in many cases, change is necessary, and it hasn’t been easy. It’s essential to be respectful, aware, and sensitive to the world around us, and it can be difficult to know the right moves for your company in this ever-changing environment.

However, we think success in a post-quarantine world will demand that companies go a step further than a COVID-triggered pivot in products and messaging. Simply having made response-oriented changes won’t be enough. For lasting success, brands will need to be “pivotal,” establishing their authentic core and working outward from there.

Go back to your mission statement and why you started your business. If your plan has changed since the beginning, now is a great time to reevaluate and explore rebranding to best grow your company and start implementing those authentic, true-to-your vision changes.

Presenting your brand at its truest form, and not becoming who you think other people want your brand to be, will go much further in creating lasting, relevant, and valuable content for your audience. Establish your company as pivotal and you’ll see the quality of your client-base grow exponentially.

Tip: Don’t forget your roots! Remember, people follow your brand and shop your products because of you. Because they trust you, enjoy what you have to say, and believe you. Staying true to yourself will shine through and make you stand out in a crowd of companies who are bending to the will of the world instead of forging their own path.

Social Stylate can help you create pivotal branding and marketing for the post-COVID world. Our knowledgeable team offers expert brand messaging, marketing strategies based on the latest research, and authentic development for your brand or company. Contact us for a consultation to discuss how to brand for success in a new era.

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