This week, we caught up with young Cumbria based artist Juliet Patrick. Juliet creates incredibly detailed digital paintings that focus on subjects that bring her joy. She is also looking to open up commisions for pet portraits in the future. Juliet is very talented and is definitely an artist to follow so you can keep up with her stunning work.
Tell us about your history with art
I used to draw on my walls as a kid. Random scribbles and weird forms. My parents were always encouraging of me (and my older sister, Jen) to create and would buy us these thin sketchbooks. I played a lot of online games as a kid, and would draw into photos of avatars for in-game currency, which is a fun memory I’ve just unlocked in my brain while writing this answer. One day, Jen bought a graphics tablet in/around 2014. I was able to borrow and use it for my school work, and it was then that I found the main media that I love to use. I still occasionally like to oil paint and make acrylic pour paintings.
I began with, and still mostly focus on, portraiture when I digitally paint. I think there is something satisfying about capturing the way light interacts with skin and hair. I really developed my digital painting skills during my time at sixth form. It was a time where you had to make a certain amount of pieces in a certain time frame, and so I was making so much then. I used to do a lot of self-portraiture then.
Since then my priorities have changed; I haven’t had the same type of drive to create. It takes a lot of energy. At sixth form I had to do well at art to get into uni, but my degree doesn’t involve drawing or painting anything now (I study art history). Especially as the main/easiest way to get feedback now is through Instagram likes. It encourages a level of production which isn’t realistic for those who this isn't their job (and even then if it is your job) you know? And then a cycle of demotivation begins. But I’ve been keeping up making things occasionally, it takes quite a while usually to make something which I’m pleased with. Also, as of the past few years I have enjoyed drawing animals, but I’m still working on trying to capture their personalities more. I work from photo references, and have been testing out expanding how I utilise references and trying to make my works more dynamic.
I think I usually just stick to what I feel is safe as it is beyond aggravating to try out new approaches when you already know what works for you - it’s just trying to find ways to elevate what I do really while balancing my degree. Because I obviously know I can improve a lot but I’m still satisfied with what I can make if that makes sense? Recently I’ve painted when I have these random energy boosts and moments of inspiration through the day (which is rare because of lockdown which has been messing up my vibes!).
What inspires and influences you as an artist?
These days I really just draw what I like and love. I like to capture my friends and boyfriend a lot, or people’s pets! I am a massive animal lover. I think that everyone is influenced by every interaction they have had in their lives, which goes beyond art making. The artists I looked at during school, those lectures I’ve attended at uni, the people who appear on my social medias. They all inform what I make to different extents.
More specially though, I always look to artists I can relate to, or their work speaks to me particularly for colour and textures. Artists like Yanjun Cheng, Soey Milk, Rembrandt, Van Gogh, and Frida Kahlo inspire me to push myself creatively.
How would you describe your art style? ‘Not-quite-there-yet?’ probably for my digital paintings. I’m constantly adjusting what brushes and tools I use and how to frame what I draw. It’s semi-realistic, not heavily stylised really. Yeah semi-realistic.
What does your art mean to you? My art is usually quite devoid of explicit meaning since finishing sixth form. I found that during A-Levels or GCSEs you’d have to give it deep meaning to score high, and so I would then. It would be quite therapeutic then to get my personal experiences out in a creative way as I’d been through some stuff as a teen. But to create now with deep meaning would be disingenuous. It still is therapeutic, rather than getting stuff out, I like to make things which bring joy. I’d prefer my art to just be happy stuff, cute stuff, stuff I like, that I share. I guess that is meaning in itself actually.
Do you have any future plans and goals for you and your art that you'd like to share with us?
I think one day I’d like to open up commissions for pet portraits! It would be cool to earn money more consistently from this (I’ve had 3 real commissions before). Techniques and media wise though - I want to use more colour! I want to oil paint and acrylic pour again! I want to try soft sculptures! I like the thought of making more abstracted works, ones which purely bring me joy for their texture and/or colour. Maybe one day I’d like to make some art which would piss people off (‘this isn’t art!’) because that’s always quite funny too.
You can follow Juliet on Instagram at @juliet.png