I spotted Julie’s artworks a few weeks ago and I promised myself that no matter how busy I am lately I will find time to make space for her here in my blog. Even if it means quickly sticking her drawings with a chewing gum – nonchalantly – while I flash an innocent grin on the CCTV plastered at the upper corner of my office wall. Apparently, I have to be more cautious now since strict rules are slowly being implemented around here. Thank God that I’m still able to access my site. Otherwise I will go nuts.
Julie’s artworks are very simple and yet it caught my fancy because I admire consistency. She never fails to see beauty in ordinary things and that is something that we all should learn from. The typical Monday morning where we have to drag ourselves to work. The late walks at night coming from work, tired and hungry. The drinking in the bar. The lunch break at the local pub with office mates. The boring flat cheese sandwich. The vase that has been sitting on our desk since we started in the company. We don’t even know who it belongs to. Never bothered to move it. Never bothered to ask. The fish market nearby. The grocery store filled with common strangers lining up in the cashier. The buildings and the streetlamps. The traffic and the headlights. The beach and the barbecue grill. The cafe that serves the same kind of pastries everyday. Life has been a routine and everything has been too predictable. But this artist has made a way to capture the mundane and has turned them to colorful refreshing frames. She made life more vivid, more meaningful and more engaged.
INTERVIEW WITH JULIE C.H. LEE
Jen: Tell us a little bit something about yourself.
Julie: I’m Julie.Ching-Hua Lee. I’m 23 years old and born in Taiwan. But I lived in several places: Taiwan, Japan, Canada, New Zealand and Australia. I got very interested with Austronesion culture so I decided to travel and now I’m staying here in Papua New Guinea.
Jen: How young were you when you started drawing? Who are your greatest influences?
Julie: Elementary school. My parents and my eldest brother are the greatest influences in my life.
Jen: What’s the biggest challenge you have ever encountered?
Julie: When I was in high school,a teacher forced me to learn her painting style.In that period, I hate and want to give up painting.
Jen: But you never did. Which is why you were able to collect all these pretty sketches. 🙂 And we all have our own styles, we shouldn’t be limited by other people’s opinion. Creativity doesn’t have boundaries. It should always be free and authentic.
Jen: If you can travel anywhere you want to, where would you go and what would you like to draw?
Julie: Egypt. When I was a kid,I had visions of being an archaeologist. I definitely want to focus on some interesting artifacts and landscapes.
Jen: Your artworks are very spontaneous, like you draw on-the-spot subjects. Do you always bring your notebook and watercolor around?
Julie: Exactly. Painting is a major part of my life.
Jen: Where do you usually get inspiration from?
Julie: On the plane. When I’m traveling.
Jen: What is your most memorable artwork and why?
Julie: Once I went to a village here in Papua New Guinea, there were lots of kids looking at my painting. They were very much curious. They asked me,”Can you draw us?”. So I did.
As soon as they got the paintings, they were so happy.
I thought painting is kind of magic which gives people this certain amount of joy.
Follow Julie on: juliechlee