Ask Artists: Connecting and Collaborating

callieCallie Garp Julia, you recently published an article with us about the Moriviví Art Collective, but we’d like to know more about you. Can you tell us a bit more about yourself and the work you do an artist and writer.

 

Untitled design (2)Julia Travers Sure. I’ve spent most of my life in Virginia and love spending time outside. I use art and writing to explore life and to connect with others. The artist interview site I founded, Ask Artists, helps me to promote, understand, and find inspiration from the creative work of others. I used to teach art and that reinforced my belief that everyone is a valid artist. I enjoyed being able to connect several of my interests by writing for Fab Feminist Art.

CG What made you choose this particular platform and structure?

JT I wanted to work with a five question interview that remained the same for each artist, so that each artist would be interviewed and presented in the same way and on equal ground. The questions are hard to answer, such as, “What is art to you?” and I always appreciate the artists tackling them and reading their unique responses. The questions can also be easily tweaked for musical arts, creative writing, etc. Using the same basic five questions allows many different artists to be easily juxtaposed and connected on the site. I ask artists to limit the length of their responses so as to create a relatively quick but engaging read. I have enjoyed working on the WordPress platform for awhile so stuck with that for the artist interview site.

askartists

CG You could say you are compiling a sort of virtual lexicon of contemporary creative people, with brief glimpses into their lives and practice. How do you determine who gets included?

JT What a nice description! The aim is to keep the site very inclusive. Artists of all types who have created a body of work that they would like to share and talk about are invited to contact me about the possibility of a 5 question  interview. There are times when the waitlist gets quite long and our one questions interview option (short focus posts) are also offered. The only work that is definitely excluded outright is work that I find promotes bigotry or abuse. 

CG What is your background in the arts? Do you identify as an artist, Julia?

JT Yes, I am an artist. I have enjoyed practicing visual art for many years, more intently starting in high school. I have a minor in Studio Art, a BA in Literary and Cultural Studies with a focus on Creativity and Spirituality, and a BFA and teaching license in Art Education. I taught Art for 7 years. I have worked in ceramics, graphic design, installation, community art collaboration, and sculpture, but most often return to painting and drawing at home. Much of my work and exhibits are on my art site. I also write creatively (poetry and fiction) and write articles for various publications.

A Fine Line

A Fine Line

CG How does your art practice intersect with your writing and marketing work?

JT Well I think art is a form of representation and communication, much like writing. Much of my art and writing end up telling some kind of narrative, or revealing a piece of one, and involve me connecting with my inner voice on some level and to some degree. It’s nice to take a break from a writing project to paint, or vice versa, though I am still exploring how to do that and not lose track of time :).

CG Do you consider your interviews with other artists for Ask Artists to be part of your own creative process?

JT I think I consider it creative for me because I write a few words on each artist, and because I designed the format for the interviews, but I consider it more of a creative conversation. I love to hear what art means to other people. As a former art teacher I love to give other people’s creativity an outlet, and as an artist I know how important that can be. At some point I’m going to answer the five questions on the site, but it’s low on my to-do list right now.

CG What do you think the people you interview gain from the experience of talking about their work?

JT I don’t know, it probably depends on the person. But I hope they feel heard and respected on the site, and that their voice matters.

-I hope they feel heard and respected on the site, and that their voice matters.-Julia Travers. Ask Artists.

CG What artists, writers, philosophers influence you as an artist and collaborator?

JT Wow, there are too many to name though I realize that’s a reasonable question. 🙂 Some of my favorite people and creators are: Alberto Giacometti, Nina Simone, Audre Lorde, Toni Morrison, Miranda July, Ryan Mulligan, Jon Rosen, Georgia Terry, J.D.Salinger, Thich Nhat Hanh, Sharon Salzberg, Pema Chodron, Tracy Emin, Magdalena Whoolery, Harrell Fletcher, Callie Garp :), and I could go on and on…

CG In some ways, you could interpret this project as a sort of internet community art collaboration piece. Does that idea resonate with you at all?

JT Oh yes, I love that idea. I have considered creating a forum aspect for the project where artists who chose to could share their openness to connecting and collaborating with each other, but it hasn’t evolved yet. I feel personally privileged to get to connect with so many artistic people.

CG How can our readers support the work you’re doing at Ask Artists?

JT I think the main way would be to check out the site and a few articles, and if they dig it, come back and visit again or share it with friends is they feel inspired. I run the site voluntarily and there is also a support/ donation page if anyone is so inspired. People who are creating with colors, experiences, sounds, words, food, or whatever works for them, are invited to contact me about an interview possibility, though there is a bit of a time delay on posts right now as we’ve had a great response. Thank you, Fab Feminist Art!

 

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Julia Travers is a writer and artist. She has a BA in Literary and Cultural Studies from William and Mary and a BFA in Art Education from Virginia Commonwealth University.

Founder/Director Callie Garp has a Masters of Fine Arts degree from  Tufts University. Keep up with Callie here.


 

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  1. […] As I have taken on more writing work over the last few years, I began to increasingly enjoy writing about artists and connecting with various creative people online. I am particularly drawn to street art and art with purposeful social connections. I wanted to present short interviews with the same five questions to many artists and to give exposure to some of the wonderful work I was coming across. I just made the hundredth post on the site. It is approaching its one-year-anniversary and I’m glad to say that I have now interviewed a range of amazing international artists. Fabulously Feminist Art interviewed me about the site here. […]



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