We recently commissioned young local artist Julia Haney to create an original series of animal illustrations for Mikko. Four illustrations with a soft and subtle colour palette feature local animals that people are likely to see around the Hudson area: a barn owl, a fawn and a rabbit. These original prints make a lovely addition to a children's room or nursery but we think they're pretty cute anywhere in your home. :)
Julia's been drawing for years. Now 28, with a background in Communications, Graphic Design and Illustration, her watercolor drawings are whimsical, playful and charming. We recently asked her a few questions about her work:
A Q&A with Julia Haney
How did you first get into illustration?
Ever since I was a kid, I loved to draw and would pore obsessively over the illustrations in my favourite children's books. Throughout elementary and high school I was pegged as "that girl who can draw." I ended up studying Illustration and Design at Dawson College after having already completed a DEC in Arts and Culture at John Abbott, because I felt like it was a talent that I would regret not developing more. I'm glad that I made that decision- at Dawson I was able to pick up a variety of illustration techniques that continue to influence my work today.
What do you enjoy drawing most?
Since I'm a horseback rider, my go-to is to draw horses and animals in general. Over the past year however, I started pushing myself to draw more just for fun of it. A lot of what I ended up creating in those instances were little cartoons inspired by random thoughts and events in my life. It's quite liberating to just make things without putting the additional pressure of perfection on myself and I've become more confident as an artist overall as a result. My favourite medium to work in is definitely watercolours because there is always a bit of a surprise that comes from their fluidity. I find that I get the best results when I stop trying to control the watercolours by allowing them to blend harmoniously on the page.
Looking back to your childhood, do you recall the first thing you ever drew?
I don't know exactly what it was, but I recently came across a collection of some of my early childhood drawings and it appears that I liked to draw houses that show the rooms inside them (with details such as spider webs in the attic) and I also liked to draw princesses wearing tall, pointy hats sitting astride their noble steeds.
Our first original watercolour series by Julia Haney