I’d like to introduce you to a fun and truly energetic Artist
Julee Hermann of Heart Collective
Julee’s Creative spirit comes out in everything she does. She creates unique heartfelt Jewelry and Mixed Media Art with a message. And recognizing a need for Art and Creativity in school and life, Julee teaches Art to student Artists in all age ranges. Her projects are always inspirational.
Julee, I'd like to talk a little bit about your Art. What type of Art do you create?
I am mostly using mixed media techniques to create art with a secret meaning often juxtaposing the old and decrepit with the shiny and new. I am mostly known for making tiny shrines, jewelry using soldering as the common thread.
How long have you been creating Art and what inspired you in the beginning?
I have really been creating art my whole life... as a little girl I liked to sew clothes for my Barbie and other fashion dolls. Both my Mom and my Paternal Grandmother sewed clothes for me and I loved watching those things come together. My father's side of the family is filled with a rich history of creative people from ceramicists to painters and musicians to teachers. I think that I was just steeped in creating, doing and making with the things around us from the very beginning.
What are some of the things you have done on your Artistic Journey that stand out to you?
My travels have informed my work from the beginning. Incorporating mediation, social awareness and whimsy into each of my pieces I really start to see my work as something that shows a part of me that I would otherwise lose. Spilling my heart a little at a time seems to give me a sense of strength from vulnerability that I think I would be afraid to share without the art as a buffer.
Wow, I definitely understand that Julee!
Who are some of your favorite Artists?
YOU! (aww Thank you Julee!) Besides the Diva, I have to say Judy Wilkenfeld, Michael deMeng, Jane Ann Wynn, Traci Bautista & SuziBlu come to mind immediately for contemporary influences. Each of them spills something of themselves every time they create – I am inspired. Judy, Michael and Jane have an effect on me that causes me to feel “normal” or maybe grounded is a better word... to want to manifest the ideas of history and keeping things that are totally mundane as sacred... “the sacred every day” is what shows up in my shrines. Traci & Suzi's work inspires me in a different way... movement, freedom and color... permission. All of them are consistently building on their work and workshops sharing themselves with us. I could go on and on about the plethora of visual joy I get from all of them!
What type of Art classes are you teaching to children and what age range are they?
Right now I am so excited to work with the children at my daughter's school in Orinda, CA. We are going to be doing some Art Booking in a class I call Express YourSelf! The kids are bringing images to class and we'll be making something of an art journal in reclaimed board books. We'll be experimenting with different painting techniques, writing/poetry prompts, and paginating a book by hand. I hope to offer this as a one day workshop in Richmond schools this Spring and branch out to schools all over the Bay Area next year.
That’s Awesome. What an Inspiration!
How do you feel about the Art provided in school (or not) provided to children today?
I don't really know too much about the art in the schools right now... being in a CA school we are down to the bare bones. I do think that it’s a sad state of affairs that a lot of art instruction is only coming in the form of “Enrichment Programs” paid for by parents who can afford those classes for their kids. Everything else seems to be aimed at getting the kids ready for testing. I should say, however, that our schools in this community are top notch and we happen to be really lucky to have such phenomenal teachers and involved families who make that happen.
What is the most rewarding part of this experience?
Helping others to express themselves is such an honor and the lesson I'm learning every day is that being seen by others is the thing that human beings crave the most. I can be that person in my classes... I get to "see" all of these creative beings come out of themselves. Some of the things I see students do and hear them say blows me away... truly brave, light filled beings!
What future Art plans do you have?
Oh my goodness... A book! I'm putting together my ideas for a book... I'd like to teach classes on TV some day! Can you imagine? LOL Nothing like putting it out there, right Steph? LOL Immediate future includes bigger sculptures/shrines... I'd like to build a body of work from some of the mixed media portraits that I showed you recently... those are mostly top secret, though! :) And building on my jewelry lines is a constant source of inspiration and work for me.
Where do you get your inspiration to do this?
I dream this stuff up, I guess, although I don't necessarily have these concrete dreams... I sort of wake up with a fuzzy idea of something I'd like to do and then I walk around with ideas and talk about them with people and then they manifest in these brave expressions of myself. I'm influenced by everything from music and movies to Alexia my 6 ½ year old little girl and the beautiful meadow and forest around my house.
What words of inspiration would you like to share?
I guess I would ask people to allow themselves they are creative. Let yourself think you’re creative. We are all creative beings. Giving yourself permission to be creative is the ultimate ticket.
Thank you for that fun interview Julee and we even got to see some of your beautiful work. You are a definite Creative Inspiration.
I wish you the best on your Journey. Keep your eye on Julee. So much more to come.
You can find Julees work on the internet, in Galleries and on her website at http://www.heartcollective.com/