Feature: Artistic Eyes

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Dec. 4, 2013

It all started when Julie Langford, 28, was let go from her job back in July earlier this year. While she did get unemployment, the bills were piling up, a lot faster than the job opportunities were.

“I kind of hit my rock bottom, it got dark there for a bit, I mean, I was pretty depressed, when my friend, Melissa suggested that I do something to make myself happy… so I started drawing again,” Langford said.

Since then, she has started to use the power of the internet to promote herself and try to make an extra income to make ends meet. At first it just start out as posting what she made, but when people started asking her for prices, she was a little surprised but went with it anyways, she said.

“I was like, ‘You want to buy that? Those are just my scraps.’ But they did, and I sold my first piece, a watercolor painting, for fifty bucks.”

From there she scoured Craig’s List for ads looking artists where she came across a band looking for someone to make a flier for an upcoming concert. While she did the flier for free, just to start promoting herself, the band was impressed with her work so much that the talked the venue manager into letting her set up a table to sell her art.

“It turned out a be a bit of a bust, I had fun, but I didn’t sell anything,” said Langford, “but it was more about the self-promoting anyways.”

We she was a kid she got in trouble for making a lot of messes and coloring outside the lines in the coloring books, she said.
“It’s a stress reliever, or it was at first, but now I can’t imagine my life without a pencil, or a paint brush, or something in my hand.”
While she dabbles in all sorts of mediums from watercolor paintings to sketches, “3D Canvases” are pretty much her main focus, she says.

“Modeling paste is the best to get a texture and to get it going… the most fun comes when I don’t have a vision for the piece and I plow right into it- I’ll keep messing with it, and changing it up until it feels complete. I’m not afraid to rip stuff off [the canvas] and start over.”

These 3D canvases are typically modeled one of two ways. Some are like a normal panting with the added element of texture to give the picture more depth, others are crafted to where the focus is the third dimension that Langford constructs.

“I have got to be careful when I go shopping- because I see potential in everything- and if I don’t check myself- I spend all my money at Michael’s or Dollar General or Hobby Lobby buying stuff.”

She can spend hours shopping around for materials to use, and anything is fair game. In previous pieces she has used everything from party hats to pipe cleaners, muffin tin foil liners to yarn, Langford says.

“I’m really just try to be supportive of her, she’s doing great so far and she’s got a lot of talent,” Melissa Felkner, age 33, best friend and former co-worker of Langford, said. “She’s been there for me though a lot of my tough times, and I’m glad I can be there to help her though hers.”

“It’s pretty cool to watch her work on something too, because, she really gets into it.” Felkner said.

For Langford, she refers to her crafting time as almost meditative.

“It’s really Zen, like I’ve been diagnosed with adult ADD, so completing things have always been a challenge for me, but this art is something I can do, that I can focus on- and when I’m working, I forget about everything else. It’s funny, sometimes Melissa will have to come over and remind me to change positions occasionally so I don’t hurt my back.” Langford said.

The next event she is participating in is the Pancakes and Booze Art Show, on Dec. 7, from 8pm -2am. the event is for ages 21 and up and has a $5 cover charge which includes all-you-can-eat pancakes.

Click for more information on Artistic Eyes or the Pancakes and Booze Art Show.

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