BackGround – Julia Blanka

Let me introduce to you, Julia Blanka, a graphic designer and  illustrator based in Adelaide. Through the portal of Julia’s pen and ink drawings, investigations into the seemingly mundane habits of regular people are transformed into pants-wetingly funny and cute fairytales. With owls. Lots of owls.

In her blog, Julia states one of the objectives of her pieces is to make people smile.


The lovely Julia was kind enough to give of her time to answer a few questions, so take note, people


Can you recall any situations or environments or objects or animals or
people which/who have inspired you to create?

I think I may have already been equipped with a paintbrush and easel in my mother’s womb. I’ve
always enjoyed being creative.

Do you have a set methodology for coming up with new ideas, or do you just
happen upon them during the course of your day?

Ideas usually pop up throughout the day, however a good brain storming session is vital and this
generally involves a day or two of complete solitude and relaxation (also known as being a hermit).

What do you do (or where you go) to open your mind?

Traveling and escaping my current surroundings always helps stimulate my mind for new ideas.

Do you carry a notebook, or voice recorder, or camera (actually, a phone
can do all those things, come to think of it…) wherever you go?

I always carry a notepad and pen wherever I go, and if I forget a pen (which I often do) I always have
eyeliner in my bag.


Do you remember anything from your first job hunt: interviews, resume,
method of contact…

I actually remember it to be quite depressing. A lot of firms expect you to have experience – I was
lucky enough to find a company who were willing to invest in me.

What would you suggest is necessary for a successful design/arts job hunt?

Find some experience, even if it means working for free.

How do you execute a great job interview?

1. Have confidence in the work you do and know you fit the selection criteria.

2. Be aware that an interview is a two-way operation. It’s not just you being interviewed, but you
also need to ensure the job is right for you by asking the interviewer the correct questions.

3. Be yourself.

Do you think you have to be memorable to become employed in design (or any
other field for that matter?

Having some point of difference that sets you apart from fellow candidates is always a bonus.

How the hell do you do freelance work?

Network, and I don’t mean having 1000 friends on Facebook. Network the old fashioned way.

How much sleep is enough sleep?

Sleep is a wonderful thing! Without it, I lose my ability to create. As a uni student I never cherished
it, but now with a full-time job, part-time study, casual volunteer jobs and a business on the side, I
would have to say, it’s my favourite thing in life (besides my cat).

Do you like to embrace new technologies in your work?

Embracing new technologies and techniques allows you to evolve and develop as a designer and
visual artist. I thrive on learning new skills.


What are some of the most powerful/memorable lessons you learned at UniSA?

Just because teachers don’t like your work does not mean you’re doomed for failure.

Do you learn best by doing, seeing, reading, hearing, or a mixture of
some, or all of them?

Doing and seeing.


What was your favourite 90s cartoon?

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – April O’Neil was my idol.

What are you listening to?

Currently? The soft murmur of the air conditioner.

What are you reading?

A collection of books about Africa and the Middle East – I’m hoping to plan a trip later this year.

Artists who inspire you?

I’m a big fan of surrealism and a black and white colour palette. So artists such as Nancy Fouts,
Lidia Groblicka, Patricia Piccinini, Hossein Valamanesh, Renee Magritte and MC Escher have always inspired me. My grandparents, who were both artists, have also been a huge driving force behind
my desire to create.

So, thanks again to Julia and I hope you can take advantage of her experience and the wisdom that springs forth from it.

Good luck to all,



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