Art & Autism with Juliette Hemingway
Q: What is the title of the cover piece of this magazine?
A: “Heart Strings.”
Q: What inspires your art?
A: My artwork touches a lot of different things; it’s usually pretty personal. All of my art is dedicated to my son, who has autism. In fact, that’s why all of the people in my artwork are blue. A lot of the pieces that I create are with him in mind, and this one is specifically dedicated to him because he’s always pulling at my heartstrings. The moment my son’s life began was the moment my art took meaning. As a mother of an autistic child, one can assume the impact of autism in our daily lives. It is ever present in my life, so, therefore, it is ever present in my work.
Q: Did you know as a child that you wanted to become an artist?
A: Yes, I’ve always known! I grew up on a farm and all I did was draw with my cousins. My family members were really big comic book fans, and we had a lot of old comic books. For a while, I wanted to do a comic book, but my artwork went in a different direction.
Q: How did you develop your unique style?
A: When I was younger, I wanted to be a realist artist – go to Italy and study with traditional artists. In my twenties, I fought against my own style, and I wasn’t comfortable with it. It
wasn’t until the early 2000s, once my son was born, that I started experimenting and seeing where my art lead me, rather than fighting it. It has gone through a lot of iterations, from raw beginnings that I have finessed over time. It really came together when I decided to finally embrace it and to see where it went. Each artist’s journey to finding their style is so personal – there are no cookie cutter steps to getting there.
Q: What is your medium?
A: My medium consists of drawing, digital (tablet), painting and collaging. I use a lot different elements. For “Heart Strings,” it started as a pen and ink sketch. I typically use a Wacom Cintiq Companion Tablet to add colors and other elements. I then have the artwork printed out and mounted, and I go back over it and paint. I may also add some collaging or gold leaf work. I will often reinforce the lines with black ink so they stand out more.
Q: What led you to a mixed media form of art?
A: Part of the reason I started incorporating digital as a means of a medium to do my work is because I didn’t like being bogged down in the thinking part of art. I wanted to BE the process of creating. With a tablet, my work exploded. I was able to explore and grow as an artist. I could create purely on emotion, instincts and imagination. I have endless resources and experiences to infuse into the process. The end result is a dimensional piece of art that is just as complicated and as simple as my world. Part of the journey of being an artist is not only the style, but the medium as well. The medium is an extension of you. It allows me to show what is inside of me, so that the world can see.
Q: How does someone go about commissioning you or purchasing your art?
A: People typically find me through my Instagram (@juliettehemingway) or at shows. My art can also be purchased on my website (hemingwaystudios.com).
Q: Do you have any upcoming shows?
A: Yes. I have upcoming shows towards the end of this year at Gallery Art Nou Mil·lenni in Barcelona (artnoumillenni.com), at the ST-ART 2018 European Contemporary Art Fair in Strasbourg, France (st-art.com). I will also be in Beijing in early 2019.
Q: Do you have an art guilty pleasures or interests other than your main artwork?
A: I’m expanding into digital sculpting right now. I also have these grandiose dreams of becoming a Pixar movie artist – my son and I have seen all of those movies.