We had the good fortune of connecting with Julie Bonner and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Julie, what habits do you feel play an important role in your life?
There are a few habits that have helped me succeed:
Getting Off the Computer: I am a big believer in sketching things out from pencil to paper first. Jumping on the computer first limits you and you can easily get distracted.
Grab a Sketchbook and Start Drawing: This is how many of my concepts came to fruition.
Planning and Time Management: Once I sketched out my idea to create the Desert Dwellers Flash Cards I came up with a plan. Each day during my son’s naptime I would paint one of the animals. I worked my way alphabetically through the 26 of them. This plan helped me stay on track and take the guesswork out of what to do next. My time was limited and fortunately, this plan eventually paid off!
Sharing Goals: I had stated my goals of painting 26 animals in approximately a month. Although I didn’t finish them all in one month, by putting this intention out into the universe – I did finish my project. I recommend telling someone about your plan. This accountability and support can be crucial to suceeding.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
My art combines all of my passions. Painting, nature, design, education, and Arizona! I think my background in graphic design and marketing experience allows me to create art with graphic impact with well-thought-out typography and layout. I am most proud of my Desert Dwellers Flash Cards because it was a project that I created for my family versus a project for a client. It was so much work, but very worth the effort. It has helped me get more projects that involve both illustration and design which I love!
I got to where I am today because of:
My passions • Asking questions • Creating and adhering to deadlines • Marketing my work
None of this is easy and it can be difficult creating a stable income. I’ve had experiences of running my own business, working in-house, and doing a bit of both. It all takes a lot of work and investing in your goals. A lesson I’ve learned along the way is to get involved with your community organizations. Help others, mentor and volunteer using your skills for causes you feel strongly about. Reach out to experts when you have questions… I’ve found that 99% of people want to help and feel honored that you admire their expertise. Through these shared community experiences, you’ll create new opportunities whether it’s partners, vendors, customers, or friends!
I’d like people to know that they don’t have to be limited by stereotypes. I’m not only an artist, but I’ve always been an athlete. I also want to share that you can change throughout your life. When I was young I was more of a procrastinator and today I am more likely to be early. I went from being a night owl in high school to now being an early bird to workout as the day is beginning. A quote that helps sum this up it, “She designed a life she loved”…I love this and would encourage readers to make it happen.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Eat: Cup Cafe at Hotel Congress
Hike: Sabino Canyon
Hang Out: Ten55 Brewing
Shop: Pop-Cycle / I love Where I Live / Mildred & Dildred / Tohono Chul / Sibley’s
Murals: Joe Pagac
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I dedicate this shoutout to my son, Syver. He has changed my life! He’s creative, smart and was the inspiration for the Desert Dwellers Flash Cards. Prior to having him, I was busy running my graphic design business and focusing on design work for clients. After having him, I felt rejuvenated and craved fine art and creative projects. As I was teaching him the alphabet I wondered if there could be a more beautiful and locally-focused learning tool. That’s where the idea for Arizona-focused flashcards came from. I painted the 26 desert animals and designed them with facts on the back. These helped him learn how to read and really appreciate science. His class used them as part of their curriculum! Today I am really proud of him, the experience, and our little family business!
My parents Ray and Jane have always been supportive and making sure I had crayons, paints, and paper! It’s pretty cool that now I’m painting them art that they really want to hang in their home…versus the obligatory scribbles when you’re little! My fiancé, Jeff is supportive and encourages my artistic endeavors.
Portrait in dress by “Fletcher & Co”.