Saturday, April 18, 2009

meet the team - Julie-Ann Williams

As promised – I’d like to introduce you to the first of the team members here at ‘calligraffia’ - the ever delightful Julie-ann Williams Here in our homeland Australia, and most particularly our state of New South Wales, Julie hardly needs an introduction – as a commercial calligrapher, teacher, exhibitor, and ASC stalwart, her distinctive and delicious work speaks volumes for her talent

“Simplicity” detail - experimental work (2007/8)

I first met Julie when she became a fellow Guild Member of the ASC back in 1998 - as we are separated by many many kilometres (approximately 400 of them actually), it took me some time to really get to know her work and character - and I’m very pleased and privileged to now call her a dear friend. Rather than have me prattle on about how much I admire ‘our’ Julie and try to tell her journey into all things calligraphic - I’ll let Julie tell her story in her own words…

“My earliest memories of an interest in lettering was when I was 7…I learnt how to do “running writing” - a simplified Copperplate - in my Grade 3 Queensland Copy Book with a very sharp pencil.

Copy Book (19

After finishing High School in Melbourne, I moved to Sydney, and enrolled in a TAFE Showcard and Ticketwriting certificate course. Half-way through the course I became employed as a fully fledged ticketwriter, still having much to learn. I freelanced after hours doing hand lettered storyboards for advertising agencies and promotional showcards for corporations and shopping centres which enabled me to save enough money to backpack around the UK, Europe, and Africa for 2 years. (In my next life I wouldn’t mind having a go as a travel writer!)

In 1985, back in Australia, married and with the first of my 3 children in my arms, I was offered a job by my previous tutor at TAFE to teach the Showcard & Ticketwriting course…and so my interest and love of teaching began. Teaching calligraphy classes soon followed, and continue today.

After completing a Teaching of Calligraphy Certificate in 1995 and a further 3 years of formal study for the Diploma in Western Calligraphy accredited course in 1998 (designed by the wonderful Margaret Layson), I was awarded Guild level membership of the Australian Society of Calligraphers. Around this time I was invited by Margaret to teach 4 of the Diploma modules, and for 5 years relished this time and interaction with students.

Redesign of the Marriage
Certificate for the Australian Maronite Church by Julie-Ann Williams
Colours and symbols are specific to the Maronite Church
Original completed at A3 size and reduced to A4 for printing.

As well as teaching, I love learning, and to that end I plan to be a “student of life” for the rest of my life. I have gone on to study various formal and informal fine arts subjects…printmaking and life drawing are amongst my favourites.

I have been actively involved in the Australian Society of Calligraphers for many years, serving as President and Exhibitions Co-ordinator a few years back. I’m fortunate that my work as a professional calligrapher is constant, and when I’m not being a Mum, wife, friend, cleaner, cook or taxi-driver, I try to take time to play with just about anything that can be found on an art shop shelf. I am also learning how to post on a blog, thanks to my friend, blog queen Ronnie!”

Ha ha ha – blog queen indeed! – did I mention she’s also quite funny?

Julie is rather modest about her achievements – so that means I’ll have to tell all – Julie has exhibited in almost every calligraphy event in NSW within the past decade, the NSW Parliament House, Australian Associated Press and top-end wedding & event stationers are amongst her commercial clients. Julie has judged the calligraphy section at the Royal Easter Show in Sydney on numerous occasions, and has distinguished herself within her studies and practice as a calligrapher and as a wonderful President of the ASC from 2004-2007

AND (drum roll please) is the creative force behind our distinctive calligraffia title (there – up on top of the blog – nice isn’t it!) Julie is presently working almost non-stop within her very busy calligraphy studio...

... but I know that she is also cooking up a couple of special items for Calligraffia – so watch this space!

Just “be” Yourself – acrylics on canvas (2007).
The two large symbols are calligraphic interpretations of “be”, the second letter of the Persian alphabet.
It has been symbolised as the letter of creating....
the beginning of our communication with the world...
which begins with being ourselves.
Acrylic paint and inks, charcoal, 24crt gold leaf