Raised on a cattle farm in South Gippsland, Victoria, Julia grew up like most country girls, playing tennis, learning piano, doing jazz ballet and even riding the occasional horse. She loved drawing and making things and often entered her artworks into the local show. In the midst of her awkward teenage years, Julia found herself prematurely thrust into the limelight riding on top of a giant potato along the main street of Koo Wee Rup. As she fidgeted with her tiara and begrudgingly threw minties at the crowd, her title of Koo Wee Rup Potato Festival Queen was etched into her mind forever.
Needless to say, not long after she mysteriously disappeared to the big smoke of Melbourne and buried herself in live music, late nights and alternative fashion choices. Her Design School hopes were dashed when she forgot to turn up – a lot – and was quickly booted out after only 6 months.
But Julia soon got a job in a TV cafeteria, where she made toasted sandwiches for Daryl Somers and Bert Newton. It didn’t take long before her hand drawn sandwich signs were noticed and she was catapulted to the Channel Nine art department. Here she began working as their News Courtroom Illustrator and learned how to make ‘video graphics’ on a Paint Box. Awesome! She even drew the weather isobars for Rob Gel at a time when Tracy Grimshaw was a rebel and Brian ‘told’ us.
This job went on for years and years and thankfully Julia distracted herself by making music with her housemates and playing in bands. She was one of the founding members of Melbourne electro group SNOG, contributing to several albums and singles and produced music videos for the band. She also played keyboards with Indigenous pop-star Christine Anu, occasionally hung out with the Bangarra Dance group, and travelled as far as Asia to play live. But she eventually figured out that show business wasn’t for her and handed over her keyboard to the guy from Wa Wa Nee, so she could go get a ‘real’ job again.
After quitting everythimg – the band, her job, her town – she moved to Syd-er-ney. She decided she wanted her designs and drawings to move. So much so that she became a motion designer, working for many years in TV & post-production at places like Foxtel, Channel 10, The ABC and the NGV.
Rewind to 2000, and Julia returns to Melbourne to complete a graduate diploma of Animation (Film & Television) at the VCA. She wins the award for Best Animation for her short film Angel Food. Yay! Angel Food screened in loads of International Film Festivals including the Clermont Ferrand Short Film Festival in France, and was a finalist at the Sydney Dendy awards and Melbourne Short Trips Film Festival. Julia then embarked on a super-dooper ambitious film called Glossy, which even received funding from Screen Australia. Double Yay! ! The film took years to make but was finally completed in 2011. Glossy has screened in Los Angeles, California, Korea, and was awarded a Silver Ace award at the Las Vegas Film Festival. It was also nominated for Best Animation at the Female Eye Film Festival in Toronto and awarded Highly Commended at the W.O.W. Film Festival in Sydney, Australia. The main legacy of this film were Julia’s talks at MIAF (The Melbourne International Animation Festival) where she gave a blow by blow account of how not to let your project get out of control. A lesson well learnt indeed.
For now, Julia is getting back to her roots and once again embracing drawing, illustration and her new obsession, the tactile art of textile design. She has loads of ideas and wants to make lots of cool stuff. Stay tuned!