- Who are you and what do you do?
Hi, my name is “j0ti” (Julie Taschke). I am an artist, wife, mother, grandmother, daughter, sister, aunty and art is what I do.
- Why do you do what you do?
I do my art for pleasure, as a release for my Bi-polar tensions, most of all because I can.
- How do you work?
Usually I work intensely, have to finish what I begin in a day, but sometimes I like to plan and take my time, changing my plans as I go.
- What’s your background?
I grew up in the middle of six children in a loving family in North Queensland. We had a lot of spare time on our hands, as many hands make light work, so drawing and story writing became some of my favourite pastimes. Childcare was my main working background.
- What’s integral to the work of an artist?
Imagination, freedom, communication and a desire to create is integral to the work of an artist.
- What role does the artist have in society?
An artist role is to share some new insight of their surrounding and imagination for viewers to participate in, appreciate, love, hate, communicate about, and invoke emotions.
- What has been a seminal experience?
I guess being hung in Parliament House, Brisbane, as part of a group show, not once but twice made a big difference to the way I viewed my art.
- Explain what you do in 100 words.
I used to get an idea and just go to my paper or canvas and paint, draw, create. I have learnt from others that sometimes it is best to sketch and plan what I do. Now I use either method, depending on what I am creating. I like my work to be spontaneous. Water soluble oils are a favourite and I am partial to using pastels, charcoal and ink but in recent months I have ventured into the world of glass and clay. I am now teaching art at a community centre near me and find it so rewarding to be able to share my knowledge with others who are interesting in listening and learning.
- How has your practice changed over time?
I began my art practice as a way to cope with trauma; I now use my art practice to share my feelings, insights and way of viewing the world through mental difference.
- What art do you most identify with?
Surrealism seems to be the style that intrigues me the most.
- What work do you most enjoying doing?
I really enjoy ink and charcoal, but any medium is good. Miniature works are the best for me but I am up for any size work really. I enjoy creating new life in old familiar objects.
- What themes do you pursue?
I usually pick a theme that suits my mood. If working towards a group exhibition then I go with the group theme otherwise I just pick a word and see what happens.
- What’s your favourite art work?
I am yet to pin just one artwork down as my favourite.
- Describe a real-life situation that inspired you
A real life experience in my art world was to walk through the Louvre in Paris, the Vatican Museum in Rome and to stand in a room with some of my favourite paintings by Salvador Dali, Picasso, Renoir, Monet, Chagall and Gaugin in London. These experiences have inspired me to create more freely and to realize that my meagre contributions to the world of art are different again from anything that I have encountered in these wonderful galleries.
- Why art?
I was not really into sport or school at the time I became interested in art. Art could take me anywhere and I could work on it anytime, even when at family functions, or in the car and it kept me calm when nothing else did.
- What is an artistic outlook on life?
Looking at the world from a different perspective, not just the role you are given, but the one you create for yourself.
- What memorable responses have you had to your work?
I have had a young lady sit in the gallery room, where my painting was hung in our group exhibition, and start singing the song that I had painted the music for within my painting.
- Is the artistic life lonely? What do you do to counteract it?
Artistic life can be lonely as you spend so much time within yourself. I share myself with others who are like minded, assisting in teaching others with intellectual difference and I volunteer with people who have Dementia in an Art appreciation group.
- What do you dislike about the art world?
It seems to be very clicky where I am, if you do not keep in with the “in” group you really have to fight to get noticed.
- What do you dislike about your work?
Each piece of work has its own character and sometimes the work just does not sit well with what I had set out to achieve. It does not deter me, if I do not like it I set it aside and come back with new eyes in a couple of days and adjust the character.
- What do you like about your work?
I like that my work is so different from most of the other artists that I exhibit with. It inspires conversation about the meaning of my work.
- What research do you do?
I research ideas I have for artworks, mainly to see if what I am thinking of has not already been done before. I also research topics that grab my interest such as dementia, autism, food sensitivities, mental illness and of course art styles.
- What is your dream project?
At this stage in my art practice this would have to be to hold my first solo exhibition before the end of this year.
- Name three artists you’d like to be compared to.
Salvador Dali, Picasso and Pro Hart.
- Favourite or most inspirational place
I have been to some very inspirational places as I mentioned earlier, but my favourite place to create is at home, under my gum tree.
- What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
Trust in myself, live life like there is no tomorrow, express what I feel so others may feel it too.
- Professionally, what’s your goal?
I would like to finish my Bachelor of Arts: Fine Arts degree, with some psychology and dementia studies included then work helping others (teens) who need to express their inner turmoil so they can live with an artist outlook on life.
- What wouldn’t you do without?
I would not do without me, myself and I and the freedom to express my inner most feelings in my art. This is what I think makes my life and art different.
This exclusive interview was originally published on the blog (on this site) on February 10th, 2016.