Hello wonderful people,
Happy Monday! Hope your weekend went well.
Albert Einstein once said, “True art is characterized by an irresistible urge in the creative artist.”
Today, we are featuring a creative, hard-working and passionate artist in our series of “Inspiring Artists”. Julie Petras is a 32-year old amazing artist who has always been creative and trying to explore new things. Besides working with photography and crafting awesome art known as “string art”, she is married to her best friend, Damon, and is a dedicated mother to three beautiful children, Liam (5y), Addison (3y) and Wyette (1.5y).
Let’s get to know her at a deeper level!
Julie’s Journey So Far
How did the path into this world start for Julie?
Since childhood, she always been a crafter. When she was pregnant with her second child, Addison, she started making a string art board for Addison’s nursery. Her initial work was quite simple as she says. The board had her name “Addison” written on it. Seeing the board, Damon, her husband, was amazed and believed that Julie needed exposure. He asked her to post the picture of the board on Facebook and check to see if anyone was interested. Damon was confident that Julie would get responses on the strong art board. Within an hour, Julie received 10 orders. She informed people that she could not take more orders because she was 8.5 months pregnant. She was concerned that she wouldn’t be able to finish the orders before the baby came. After seeing the overwhelming response, Julie prepared a list of people who wanted to order, and she promised them that she will definitely make more and complete their orders. As soon as she and the baby were comfortably settled, Julie returned to complete the orders and make more of the string art. Once she got started, she regularly posted pictures of her art on Facebook and sold the string art boards locally for over a year. This kept her occupied and it definitely gave her satisfaction in her passion. She started her own Etsy shop in 2015, named “Strung on Nails”. As of today, she sells her amazing art all over the U.S. Since 2015, a lot has changed, including that she and Damon had a third baby. Julie has taken breaks here and there with her passion as she has become increasingly involved with her kids. But one thing is for sure: Julie has not stopped making new art; her creativity continues to grow and blossom every day!
The journey to get to where Julie is today has not been an easy one. Hard work and dedication are two crucial traits that have brought her through this journey. Maintaining a shop and personal life is not an easy balance, but Julie is a determined and focused artist and has been able to pull through consistently. She says, “There have been weeks, months with no orders and she still continue to push herself through those hurdles.” As social media evolves every day, she is adept at accepting and incorporating changes and weathering any storm that she faces. She thanks her God, her family and her friends for this amazing journey so far.
There are many people in her life who always uplift her and provide her selfless love. The people in her life are so talented that their talent encourages and motivates Julie to create more wonderful art. She has met many influencers on Instagram as well. In October 2017, she had the great honor of going to “The Whatever Craft House” with 16 other talented women. For her, it was an inspiring event to learn from these other women and share their knowledge and experience. All of the talented women that she met at the Kansas Craftcation inspired her and pushed her to keep going. They believe in her as an inspiring artist and Julie’s hard work and creativity pushes her to keep creating her delightful art.
Wouldn’t you agree that her artwork is unique? I definitely think so! Every art work needs patience, hard work and time. So, let’s find out Julie’s process of making her string art –
She starts with a vision in her head. Vision is the core to everything. Then she puts that vision on paper. Once she loves the design on the paper and feels satisfied with it, she turns that into a sign. Damon, her husband, helps her with cutting of the wood. So sweet! She takes the wood piece and turns the blank piece into what she envisioned. Julie mentions that sometimes when the final piece is made, she loves it and sometimes, that final piece is nowhere close to her original vision. She is amazed to see how the whole process works from developing a vision to creating the final product. An interesting aspect of this process is that usually there are some items about which Julie is not so sure and you know what, those items sell the most. Hearing this part of story, I can relate it to one thing for sure – “Art is a Journey of Discovery.” We discover new aspects to life all the time and those aspects teach us so much that sometimes we can’t even explain that in words. It’s when we create art that we start understanding ourselves at a deeper level.
As far as string art is concerned, Julie is a self-taught artist. Initially when she started this journey, she pretty much used whatever she had at home to initiate the creative pieces. The materials included – scratch pieces of wood, nails lying around the house and some thread given by her mom. When she started doing it more often, she learned about the quality and started seeking out the highest quality materials. As of today, all of the materials – wood, nails, string, are different as compared to where she originally started from. Besides the materials, her techniques have evolved over time. She thinks that she strings differently than most string artists, but the important point is that she loves the way that she does it. Her friends and her customers love it and that is always one important aspect. Your work should speaker louder than anything else and Julie’s work definitely does that.
One aspect that Julie loves the most about her work
As a creator, she has the opportunity to stay at home with her kids and be actively involved in raising them. Her work has made her financially independent. Previously, she was a stay-at-home mom, but now there is an additional good feeling attached where she knows that she is helping her family financially too. Another aspect that Julie adores the most is that because of her art, she met so many wonderful people and friends, whether they are her customers or her other artists friends.
One aspect that Julie would like to change about her work
When you are the sole person involved in the business, it becomes hectic at times because there is a significant amount of work to be done. Because she doesn’t have set office hours, sometimes she has to work late or even during family time. Maintaining a balance between work and personal life becomes hard at times. There are moments when there is a deadline to finish and work will take over the whole house. The constant family support, their love and blessings help Julie overcome all of her hurdles.
What happens when Julie has creative blocks
When there is a creative block, Julie tries to switch to some other craft. She tries to make something for herself other than string art. This helps her taking a break from orders and further helps her in regaining her creativity. This is really inspiring – switching from one form of art to other is a true sign of a creative, passionate and talented artist. You can see the pumpkin sweaters that she made. Aren’t they adorable? Hats off to you Julie!
Julie’s advice for other artists
She said it very rightly that every artist feels low or uninspired at some point, it’s a natural feeling. Also, putting your work and creativity, which is a part of your heart out there for the entire world, where people are always trying to judge, is a scary feeling. Julie gave wonderful yet very important advice –
“Never compare yourself to others. What we see on social media isn’t real life. Comparison is a thief of Joy.”
Instead of feeling uninspired, other artists should do things that make them inspired to be creative in new and original ways. For addressing this, Julie tries to stay away from social media by logging off her account from time to time, focuses on her creative process and tries not to dwell on the things that brings insecurity to her art or the creative process. Every person has their own approach and I have tried Julie’s approach as well and I can vouch that it definitely works. This process of focusing on creativity can make artists feel more fulfilled and happy, it will also make an artist content with life.
Her artistic outlook on life
Seeing beauty in the every day. Finding inspiration in the color of the sky or textures in the trees. Everywhere I look I see God’s artwork. Only an artist can appreciate the nature that way. Do you agree? If so, leave a comment below😊
A quote that comes to mind when understanding Julie’s outlook is “Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder”!
Most important artist tool
Although she uses a lot of tools, Julie’s most important tool is “The Hammer.” She feels lost without it. Seeing her artwork, I can totally understand that. Besides that, she has a beautiful memory attached to it – it is the hammer that her dad gave to her when she moved out of her parent’s home at the age of 18. Although it is a $3 hammer, the memory attached with it makes it priceless. So beautiful! Your dad’s blessings are always with you. May you prosper like this!
Element of art you enjoy working with most
She loves working with wood. Her husband gives her the cut wood pieces and she turn those raw pieces into a beautiful string art. The whole process is so fun and energizing for her. The most interesting part is to see how the vision turns into a reality – an idea in the mind and that comes out the way you saw in your mind.
Crafting is her biggest hobby. The best moments are the moments she spends with her husband and her kids. They are her biggest priority. Besides all of these, she loves to bake and cook.
Favorite color – Aqua.
Favorite song – The list changes regularly, but she loves classic rock.
Favorite food – She loves peanut butter blossom cookies.
Favorite quote – “If you want to see THE good, you need to BE the good.”
According to Julie, she has faced times in life when she needed help and no one stepped up to help out. Learning from those experiences, she believes and spreads awareness that we need to help others. It is similar to the quote – “Treat others the way you want to be treated.” Some people think that is being selfish but it is simply said with good intentions and with the intentions of helping others, you will receive the same through reciprocation.
Superpower you want to have and why
Julie would ask for the power of invisibility. This power would provide her more time at home while her kids would play. What a wonderful thought! Also, with that power, she can keep an eye on her kids 😉
Dream project/ Next venture
Her dream is to expand her business to the point where her husband can stay home and work with her. She is currently working on building her social media accounts and SEO (search engine optimization) to reach more customers to grow. Please check out the links mentioned below and show her your love and support. We hope that your dreams come true! Our best wishes to you and your business!
Some of her artwork
Her contacts – You can reach her through any of the following links. After looking at such amazing artwork, check out her Etsy shop and place your order. For custom orders or further details, you can leave message either at her Etsy shop, Instagram or Facebook.
Email – firstname.lastname@example.org
I hope you like this blog. Julie is an amazing person and we simply love her work. Show your love to her and appreciate her hard work and creativity by leaving a comment below and checking out her social media pages!
You can follow Shivin Creations on Instagram and let us know if you would like for us to showcase an artist’s journey or their artwork. We would love to fulfill your requests!
Stay tuned for more fun blog posts…. till then adios 😊