Thursday, October 8, 2009

JuJu and the Wonderful World of Paper and Color

JuJu (aka Julia) with JuJu Creations loves paper! Each piece of paper she views with endless possibilities. What she creates is something new and different each time. After viewing her studio on Etsy I found her imagination is limitless.

Her cards are all handmade. She completes all the cutting and assembling herself. Her creations are very dimensional. Her love of life reveals itself with the vibrant colors she chooses in her art. She is always on the look out for new materials and techniques to create one-of-a-kind designs.

JuJu says, “I love handmade. It expresses individuality ("indie"), creativity and thoughtfulness. Now that's something you cannot buy from a manufactured or mass produced item.”

Her individuality does shine through with all of her creations. Enjoy this introduction to JuJu’s world!

How did you get your start in the world of art?
I have to confess that I cannot draw well and disliked art lessons in still life or painting when I was in school. I only liked the lessons on stamping with potato-carved shapes or drawing geometric patterns. I also drew girls wearing different clothes as I played out an imaginary storyline inside my head, much like playing paper dolls or girls wearing ancient Chinese costumes and hairdo influenced by the Hong Kong Cantonese ancient period dramas and Chinese wayangs. I drew one in my blog, see here.

If I have trace my roots in card making I would say it all began with my love for letter-writing and making pen friends when I was a teenager. I would copy and draw some cartoon characters or pictures in books, etc., or enclose a handmade bookmark and card. By the time I reached adulthood I had lost contact with all my pen friends but continued to make cards for my family, friends, and colleagues. Upon requests and much encouragement by my friends and colleagues, I started to make and sell my cards casually. It was in Dec 2006 that I finally mustered enough guts to setup my Etsy shop.

Do you have a ritual you perform before you start creating?
Not really except to have enough space in my desk to cut, paste and assemble my card together.

What do you like best, the creative process or the final creation?
Both actually. I love the creative energy when I am fully absorbed in the card making process, nearly oblivious to my surrounding. But the final product is what inspires me to make my next card.

What are your favorite art media, tools, and supplies?
I used to love punch art, but now I am eager to explore other new ways and methods on card making. I am excited to see very nice designs on the clear stamps recently. And, if time permits, I would like to learn how to stamp and use it in my cards soon.

I must have scissors, a few types to cater for different cutting needs. I hand cut everything from the cardstock to make the card base (I do not buy pre-cut or use a paper trimmer) to each detail in my cards except when I use a craft punch or embellishment, like buttons or beads. I am contemplating to buying new tools, such as a paper trimmer and digital die-cutting machine in the future, so I can save some time and effort and make more cards!

Currently I have been stocking up on patterned papers and cardstocks, ribbons, buttons, alphabet beads and rhinestone crystals.

When a creative block happens, what process do you go through to get the creative juices flowing again?
Some of the things that worked for me are:
• Reading craft books and magazines for ideas, inspirations, layout and new techniques;
• Looking at someone else's creations and asking myself if there is anything I would do differently;
• Taking out my sketchpad and doodle any "nonsense" that flows from my mind, or sketching some layouts and worrying about what I would use to do up the card later;
• Working on something simple or in a smaller scale such as a gift tag.

What do you hope your art says about you?
Now that you asked, I am thinking seriously about it. I guess it would be that I love vibrant and bright colours and believe the use of such colours in my cards would cheer up and delight anyone who receives it.

What is your greatest dream and greatest fear as an artist?
Time and money. Motherhood posed the greatest challenge on how much time and effort I can devote as an artist and indiepreneur. My dream is to have enough time to continue creating as an artist and sales/money to sustain this passion for card making. I do not wish for that day to come when I have to choose between my art and life due to a lack of either time or money or both.

What are your goals in art, and in life?
My goals would be to wear the different hats in both art, and in life well - to balance my role as a wife, mother, daughter, friend, crafter and indiepreneur.

Tell us a little bit about yourself—where you grew up, your life now, other creative pursuits, other interests and hobbies.
I am in my late thirties and born in a little red dot called Singapore. I have been living here from birth and have not moved anywhere else. I was trained and worked as a Secretary for over 10 years. I quit my last job in year 2004 to take a sabbatical. I enjoyed the time spent at home tremendously and being free from the rat race and office politics, so much that my sabbatical lasted longer than originally planned. After a long 2 years break, I started my Etsy shop in Dec 2006 and shortly became pregnant with my first child the following year. I became a Stay at Home Mum (SAHM) after my son was born in Dec 2007. I took a 1.5 years of maternity break to devote fully in my role as a mother and did not do any crafting or dabble in my Etsy shop business during that time. With ideas swirling inside my mind and itching to make cards again, I re-started my Etsy shop in July of this year.

Outside my crafting and Etsy world, I like to spend my time surfing the internet, reading, playing Suduko, listening to music, singing, traveling and photography. Motherhood, crafting and my Etsy shop takes the bulk of my time and I can rarely indulge myself in most of these leisure activities now.

Do you have an online shop or shops, a website, a brick and mortar shop, and/or a blog?

Thanks so much for stopping by learning more about me!

I'm Moving!

I am moving my blog to my website at AJ's Design Artz . I hope you stop by!