"Humble Beginning"
Julia Boersma – “mad artistic scientist”, fascinator of biological structures, forms and aspects of life, digital art creator, experimenter of her fascinations, conveying digital art into fusions of photography, sculpture, collage illustrations, software and many more. She is a final year student of Artez Fine Art Institute believing in self – development. Being involved in the fresh digital art field, Julia depicts her impressive visions through metaphysical illustrations that search mystery of life. She is an artist searching for the answers revealed by few or none. I had a great chance to exchange thoughts via the virtual world and to explore just the tip of the iceberg of the mind and soul of this unique person.
Julia, how could you describe yourself as the creator of your work?

A friend of mine once called me “mad artistic scientist” and I think that’s strangely accurate.

Did you graduate from an art school or are you a self-taught artist?

Actually I’m still a student. I’m on my final year at the Artez (www.artez.nl) Fine Art Institute.

The word self-taught is a bit dubious when you put it in contrast with an art school based education. Even when you are attending an art school, you still teach yourself. Since art is an everlasting study, the idea is to teach the students on how to teach themselves.

Could you tell me about your inspirations that highly influence your artistic work?

I had always been fascinated visually by the microscopic world and biology. When my father died last year I was confronted with a conflict between the concept of consciousness and the physical self. This sharpened my senses to an emotional baggage making me aware of our own biology that can be brought to the table. Such emotional kick initialized my fascination towards biology related to Metaphysical problems like the mind/ body problem.

Even though I am an atheist and the questions I ask myself can be seen as very different from those that depict religious views I often look at religious arts. I do this because we do have one fundamental thing in common. We both include our metaphysical views on life in our work. A lot of the examples of western religious art were funded by the church. But we should not forget the fact that what they depicted was actually believed by the artists themselves.
Are there any sources of your inspiration like books, movies, music, etc.?

One of the books that have inspired me intellectually is “The art instinct” By Dennis Dutton. I have always trouble wording how artistic creation would fit into the evolutionary context of the human being but this book explains it in clear and elegant manner.

I’m fascinated by the more modern cultural history of the bizarre by which I mean series like the Xfiles. To me, the arts always had a sense of shaking ones concept of reality that corresponds well with this.

How about your own piece? As far as I am concerned you wrote your own book. Could you tell me something about that?

About two years ago I self published a book called the “Visual Hypotheses”. It was a visual exploration of the most popular edges of science.
"Visual Hypotheses"
Which fields of art are strongly connected with your presentations?

I think we are on the verge of a new field of art; a primarily digital one that functions on social networks.

Consider that a constant aspect of being an artist is not just making art but wanting to show it to people. Once I did a small test to see how many people I could reach with a digital work inside of 5 minutes. I posted it on 7 Facebook groups and counted that this could reach over 100.000 people with an interest in the arts.   

Until recently the digital form was almost always second to the physical one. For example the printed photo was more important than the original digital file. I suspect that this will change places within this new field. The digital file will take priority over any physical form it might temporarily take such as prints or multimedia installations.  

I suspect that the financial aspect of this new field is going to have to be very different as well. This is why I’ve started experimenting with different ways to enable people to support the arts and /or artist that they appreciate. I was inspired by the way freeware software functions so I put an option on my blog to donate one euro or an amount of your choice. I think an option to buy portfolio e-Books and slideshow screensavers might be the next step.  

My mentors often tell me I’m working in a field that has not been invented yet. This might well be but when I look at how fast this field has developed in the last 5 years I have absolutely no worries about that. And I’m far from alone in this position.

What message would you like to depict through your works?

I want to point out how bizarre reality can feel; in particular the reality of being human.

What techniques do you use that genuinely express your message?

I guess it would count as mixed media. Generally speaking I use the computer.

I combine my photos, drawings, collages and virtual 3D work, using a wide range of software such as Photoshop, Sketchbook, Zbrush and Blender.

Could you tell me about the idea – experiment that lies behind your blog, presenting your works of art without background information or conceptual theory?

When you look at an artwork and someone tells you how you are supposed to interpret it you lose the ability to enjoy your own interpretation. And as an artist you lose the honest and objective interpretation and feedback the viewer might have. So to test how and what my work communicates I purposely left out background and conceptual information on my blog.
"Brain out of the vat"
In your opinion what characteristics should a good art school have?

The most common problem I hear is that the arts by nature really do not fit very well inside an educational system because of its innovative nature. So the most crucial aspect I can think of for an art school is its capability to adapt.

How do you perceive the future of digital art which is still a fresh field of creativity?

I suspect that the future of digital art is very much linked to the developments in online social networking.
The online social networks will continue to give outsiders the ability to follow an artist. The best thing about being a very online orientated artist is that even if you make very specific work that only relates to 0.01% of all people they will be able find you. Of course the software will keep getting more and more user friendly. And I can imagine some new interfaces getting on the creative playing field. Just look at the development in the game industry.  The Kinect from the Xbox and all the WII toys are perfect for creative expression.

From your observation who is the recipient of your work?

My audience mainly consist of people that in some way have experienced a conflict between the body and the mind. I don't have a specific audience in mind when I make my work. But I think the people who relate to me personally and intellectually the most will be most likely to appreciate my work.

"Cognition Storm"
Could you tell me about your future plans and projects?

My plans for the rest of this school year are graduating this summer and publishing a new book with an eye on the mind/ body problem.

I will take one school year off before starting my post graduate study. In that year I plan to do a couple of exhibitions including a duo exhibition with Surya de Wit. And I might start working on a book about the Ethology of arts if I could find some biology students to help me. 

Many thanks to Julia for her patience and creative participation on the EyeCandies Blog

Images: Courtesy of Julia Boersma

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1/18/2012 11:17:39 am

I'm a big fan of Julia Boersma and it's nice to know that her work is being featured in this blog. She's an outstanding artist that everyone should pay attention to.

11/29/2012 03:16:49 am

This post has helped me for an article which I am writing. Thank you for giving me another point of view on this topic. Now I can easily complete my article. Cheers

12/27/2012 10:56:08 am

Wow I am amazed, she's really a great artist, You can it on her work.

10/1/2013 05:32:49 pm

Many thanks to Julia for her patience and creative participation on the EyeCandies Blog


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