Dallas, TX, USA
Julie Flandorfer has lived in Texas longer than anywhere else, so she now calls herself a Texan. After receiving her BFA, she worked in the corporate world as an illustrator and production artist, before striking out on her own as a freelancer. The freelance life has suited her well.
It wasn’t until being diagnosed with breast cancer (early stages and treatable), that she realized how therapeutic her art practice was. Often taking a light-hearted and humorous approach to a serious issue that affects millions of women every year worldwide, Julie hopes to help those dealing with breast cancer by bringing a smile to their faces.
Over the past year, she has experimented with stop motion animation, hoping to take her quirky, colorful art into new dimensions.
Constantly creating and experimenting with art materials, I have come to realize just how important my art practice has been to me throughout my life. It has gotten me through tough times and good times. This became most obvious to me when I was diagnosed with breast cancer last year. During that time, I chose to deal with this diagnosis headlong, plowing forward, creating art that was light-hearted and humorous to help me through that challenging time. The female figure is essential to my work still today and I hope to address the struggles of women.
Ideas come to me fairly quickly and I just have to get them out, onto paper, canvas or in digital form, sometimes as an animation. It’s always thrilling to learn new techniques that push me into trying new technologies combined with traditional art forms.
The challenges of the past two years have made me truly realize just how short and precious life is. You might as well create what you want to create and not take life too seriously.
"Even though my children are older now (late teens and early 20’s) I am still very much their mom. I worry about them on a daily basis, try not to nag them too much and give them space to grow and become individuals. It’s a hard transition because for the past twenty years they have seemed like a part of me, as in my actual body, my mind and my heart. When they were little, I found a way to be able to still have an art practice while raising them. I started teaching art lessons to little kids in our neighborhood. Some of these I offered for free and some I charged a nominal fee to cover the supplies we used. I absolutely loved this! It was a win, win, win situation. My two kids got free art lessons, I made a little money, and I had a blast planning the lessons and creating the project examples. It kept me creative. Hopefully, I instilled in all these children the love of art and creating. It was very important for me to emphasize that their art creations did not have to be perfect and “mistakes” can be wonderful little accidents.
As my own children grew and got older, I added those age groups to my lessons. So the art lessons “grew” with us. During this time, I also painted portraits of children on commission and did freelance illustration and design for a children’s clothing line. Doing all of these creative pursuits was not only challenging while raising kids but was so rewarding. I felt I kept my finger in the pie (or rather, paint) all along. Now that they are older and I have more time to create what I want to create, I cherish those early years of working alongside children.
If you are struggling with finding time to create art as a mother, try shifting your focus to creating with your children. Just know that it does get easier over time. Well, finding the time to create gets easier. The worrying over them does not!"