Characterised by a love for the retro aesthetic of the 1960s and 70s, we came across artist Julia Ockert’s nostalgic work recently and just had to share. “Buyers admire my 1970s scenes because the works feel authentic, inviting and a little wistful. These paintings encourage an emotional experience similar to an old memory. They are almost a way to bring a piece of the past into people’s lives,” says Julia.
Originally from Sydney and now calling Canberra home, the former digital designer turned full-time artist has transformed her passion for painting into a flourishing profession. “The rise in social media was crucial for my transition as it allowed me to successfully market and sustain myself financially,” says Julia, who works primarily with watercolours and oil pastels and sells original paintings as well as very affordable framed and unframed prints.
While Julia is loving the career pivot that has seen her transition the business from a creative sideline to a fully-fledged concern, the process has come with its share of challenges. “I’ve had to become competent in marketing, advertising, finance, SEO, self-promotion, market trends and managing my time. Having said that, the perks of running your own business can be incredibly rewarding. As long as the discipline, motivation and passion is there, I believe it can be an option for many people.”
Julia’s advice to budding artists emphasises the importance of uniqueness, experimentation and having the courage to embrace new styles and mediums. She also suggests learning about how to run a small business through audiobooks, YouTube and other artists. She also highlights the importance of using social media to your advantage.
While Julia’s most popular pieces are her detailed nostalgic ones, the artworks that revolve around coffee have been well liked too. And as for her favourite work, that often changes but lately it’s been ‘The Temptation’ which was her most technically difficult watercolour painting to date. “I almost gave up on it a number of times,” says Julia who acknowledges the almost sombre feel of her work. “Even though it sounds a bit depressing, I’m particularly drawn to imagery that portrays loneliness, introspection and stillness.”
Julia’s tips for how to incorporate art in your home
- Take the time when choosing artworks; avoid impulse buys by revisiting artworks after a little while to ensure a genuine connection.
- Professional framing makes all the difference; stick to timeless black, white or timber frames.
- In smaller rooms, one large piece can open up the space, while multiple pieces can make it feel cluttered.
- Follow artists on Instagram and wait until they release work you feel a connection to. Pinterest is also a great source of inspiration when it comes to choosing how to style and display pieces.