Name: Julz Nally
Location: Portland. Oregon
At eleven years old, Julz Nally’s parents saw the way that their daughter had fallen in love with art and they enrolled her in watercolor lessons. It was that support and encouragement for creating that has led this Portland based illustrator to create Hummingbird Art Camp.
The idea for the camp came to her in the middle of working on an illustration project.
“I have over 20 years experience connecting with and teaching kids through art,” she explains, “So when the idea hit me that I could create my own art camp for girls, I ran with it immediately. I couldn’t think of a more joyful way to spend the summer than sharing my love for artful play and watching kids create in our own backyard.”
Julz decided to name the camp for the hummingbirds that visit her gardens and front porch throughout the year, as well as for the reminder that they provide to live a joyous, fulfilled, curious life. Providing a creative outlet for young girls during their downtime allows Julz to give back and foster a whole new generation of artists.
Her day to day life is also filled with artistry and inspiration; Julz is a self-employed illustrator after honing her wares out of college as a graphic designer, advertising art director, and apparel graphic designer.
“I’ve been my own boss for the past 11 years now, starting with my a line of graphic jewelry that I used to create and sell as Handmade Julz, to now illustrating and designing for clients,” she says.
The collaborative process of working with clients allows Julz to create a final product while still allowing the clientele to have the freedom to dictate their vision and direct the project. Her solo work, however, is a very different animal.
“The personal work that I create comes from my soul. Sometimes I make art inspired by what I’m eating which might become a pattern or something thought that comes to mind. When I’m just making art, it’s for me, and I will sometimes sell the original or a print if others are interested. I tend to ‘make art’ all day, in all aspects of life because that is the way my mind works. The world is full of magic and inspiration, it just takes slowing down to listen and take a closer look. Always keep a sketchbook and pencil nearby,” she advises.
That’s not to say that she lives her life cloistered away in her studio.
“I find that I’m happiest when I balance my week with time out of the house socializing, so I work that into my schedule in small ways. Currently, my typical day consists of figuring out our daily camp activities for Hummingbird Art Camp & designing and painting a piano for Piano. Push. Play. for summer 2018,” she says. (Piano. Push. Play. is a group that rescues pianos and puts them in several locations around Portland for the public to play and enjoy.)
In the future, Julz hopes to continue illustrating, both for clients as well as book publishers.
“I hope to collaborate with a friend on our own book one day filled with ideas for getting creative with nature and connecting with all of that magic within,” she says.
Even more exciting, next year Julz and her family will be going to New Zealand for a family art residency. Her eight-year-old daughter, Juniper, will co-teach a few workshops with her mother while the family is there. “It’s an amazing thing to dream up an idea and work towards that goal, believing that anything is possible,” Julz says.
And what aspirational words does Julz have for other fledgling artists and whimsical girls?
“You are unique and beautiful. Your differences are what make you so special. Keep dreaming big because if you believe that you can, anything is possible. Love yourself and who you are becoming.”
For her loving and lovely vision of the world and the art to be made within it, we think that Julz Nally is a very Cool Girl!
A $200 donation was made to Children’s Healing Art Project (CHAP) on behalf of Julz. You can donate here.