There are few things we love more than a creative sea-sister. Give East Coast transplant, surfer and artist Julie Goldstein a pen and an AllSwell notebook and magic is bound to happen. Taking cues from the natural environment, the ocean and travel, Goldstein creates energetic multimedia works that are filled with life, history and adventure.
Get to know Julie below and be sure to attend our Encinitas, California drawing workshop we are co-hosting with her on December 9th.
Who / what / where is inspiring you creatively lately?
I am consistently inspired by women, the sea, and the camaraderie that naturally occurs in groups or societies where women rely on one another to create a bond based around friendship, sisterhood and motherhood. I share the stories inspired by historical facts and connect them to my life and relationships as well as compare the past with what is occurring in our present society.
What’re some of the benefits of putting pen to paper?
Writing is is essential, it helps organize thoughts, develop concepts and most importantly is a private place to document your life. I love to write my ideas down and journal just about everyday. When I create a new body of work, I always write down the concepts and ideas that come to mind after I research. Then I sketch and watercolor images that connect back to the writing. Finally, I develop the woodcuts.
What’s your biggest takeaway from teaching?
Teaching is a passion of mine. I love to share new ways to get inspired and educate both children and adults how important their story is and how to create concepts based on who they are and what they like. Currently I teach Printmaking at California State University, I enjoy watching my students ideas unfold as they develop both conceptually as well as in drawing and printmaking.
Tell us a bit about woodcuts.
I was introduced to woodcut printmaking in college. I fell in love with the process and results. I have been carving and printing for over 20 years now and I continue to learn new ways of developing this ancient form of printmaking. The most challenging part of woodcut, is that everything is reversed. I taught myself to draw and write backwards so that I can incorporate text into my works. First, my images are drawn onto wood. I like to work on a large scale, most of my woodcuts range from 2 foot x 4foot to 4 foot x 8 foot. Then I dye the woodblock, so that I can see where the negative spaces will be once I start carving. Then, I go around all of the lines with a knife and I chisel out the negative shapes. Once the entire block is carved, I use sanders and dremels to apply more detail and pull out the grain. Finally, I roll ink onto the block, place paper over the block and hand-print the positive shapes (or shapes that remain raised) with a wooden spoon. It is quite a process and I love it!
How has the ocean inspired you?
My love for the sea has always been a huge part of my inspiration. It is where I get my ideas. I can think clearly in the sea and often meditate to help see my concepts clearly. When I am stuck or need inspiration, the ocean is my place to go to help process my thoughts. I draw from my experiences in the sea surfing and swimming, the feelings and stories that evolve from the sea are timeless. For example, surfing with girlfriends or paddling with my son and husband, both images are captured in my sketchbook then processed onto a woodcut often telling stories about motherhood, marriage and kinship and our overall my connections to the sea.
Most recent creative endeavor. Go!
I just finished the body of work titled “The Songs They Sang” that is currently traveling around the world. It started in Hawaii and will end in Japan. It made a stops in Santa Cruz, Encinitas and next it will travel to New Jersey. Right now, I am working on a publishing a book full of stories and images of my art and sketchbook. It will portray my last 5 series of works, starting with Team Riders from 2004. I am also developing a new body of work that I am very excited about and designing more product for my line SWMwithme as well as a children’s book that I working on with my husband. I am excited about all of the new projects that have been inspired by my personal relationships, motherhood and the sea!
Favorite art related memory?
Ahhh.. this is a tough one….hmmm.. there are so many amazing memories around my life in the art world. I have to say the most amazing thing that has emerged from life as an artist are the friendships and relationships that I have made. They are so authentic and genuine. The humans that have come into my life because of art have inspired me, supported me and I am beyond grateful for these connections. My other favorite memory is from 2007, when we opened “The Happening” in New York City. The art world was so inspired by what us surfers, skaters and creators were doing. It was a fun time to be making art and exhibiting internationally!
When did you last put your AllSwell notebook to use?
I use them every single day! I have become obsessed with them and rely on them for my daily notes and sketches. Seriously, this concept is genius, by far my favorite journals ever!