| 5 for 5 | spotlight + giveaway

| 5 for 5 | with julia kostreva

leave a comment below to be entered into a drawing 
to win this beautiful 2013 day planner

julia kostreva is an illustrator, graphic designer and art director located in san francisco.
after studying graphic design and printmaking at maryland institute college of art in baltimore, 
she made her way across the country with some friends to san francisco, where she now lives.

julia enjoys all forms of printmaking, and her current favorite projects are
letterpress wedding invitations and screen printed posters. she recently went full-time
freelance after her time as lead web designer for hello lucky letterpress where she
worked on the website re-design and seasonal campaigns. 

she has been featured in several online blogs and books including: svpply, 
design*sponge, oh!joy, art director's club, designworklife, stylemepretty, once wed, 
martha stewart weddings, "studio on fire: iron beasts make great beauty," "design 
school confidential," "exploring materials," and print regional design annual 2011. 

Was there one moment when you knew something special was 
happening – that your art was to become your career?

When I was fourteen, I had been making websites for fun with geocities. I made websites 
for my drawings and just silly ones with photos and fun html effects like sparkles that trail
 behind your mouse. Then a local boutique owned by a friend's mom asked me if I could 
help them make a website. I was so ecstatic. At the time I was also helping Boy Scout troops 
and school clubs make screen printed tee shirts. They would ask me to make drawings and 
print them on the shirts. The same year, I took a painting of flowers to the frame store and 
the owner commissioned another painting for his wife to hang in their newborn's nursery. 
I was flattered and felt very lucky. I was earning money for all the fun projects, and it certainly 
paid more than babysitting or walking dogs.

When I graduated high school I only wanted to go to one college- Maryland Institute 
College of Art. At the time MICA was sending out the coolest book catalogs to high schools. 
One of them had a kind of kaleidoscope pinwheel on the front cover and they were printed 
in neon Pantone colors. It blew me away. I decided I was either going to go to this college, or if 
I wasn't accepted, I'd work for a year and apply again the next year. Haha! I tend to dive in full force.

What inspires your work?

Everything. Travel, memories, movies, my friends. My city. Living in San Francisco 
in general is a huge inspiration. The plants here are wild and incessantly beautiful. Everyone 
here has some kind of love for craftsmanship. I love this city, it matches my taste and style. 

Aesthetically, I'm very inspired by color and textures. There is a certain part of me that got 
into art by painting, and I think I still think of design with that part of my head. I also am 
very inspired by illustration - a lot of my friends in college were illustration majors. Years ago, 
graphic design and illustration were essentially the same thing. I like to keep drawing or 
some sort of hand drawn element in everything I do. It feels more real to me. 

Would you share a bit about your creative process?

I start with sketches and research. Just walking through the project in my head or 
with the client during the initial stages gives me tons of ideas. I make huge lists and 
pull forward the good stuff. I research what's out there right now. It's so important 
to have a conversation with the world as it's speaking to us in this very moment, and 
bring forward your own mix of past, present, and future. Then I'll scan my drawings 
or hand lettering, or I'll upload my photos. Then I'll re-work everything in Photoshop. 
Sometimes I'll print it out and edit it by hand, and scan it in again. Then it's either 
finalized in Photoshop or Illustrator, depending on the project.

Describe your workspace.

A few weeks ago I just moved houses from Berkeley to San Francisco. I was living 
in a 3-story house with 4 roommates who were friends from art school. 
I went freelance full-time last year, and about 6 months later, my boyfriend and I 
decided we were ready to take the next step and get our own space in the city. 
Now I have an office. My favorite thing about our new apartment is the light. 
We have light pouring in all through the house. My workspace is an IKEA desk, Epson scanner, 
Canon printer, Wacom tablet, Apple Laptop, and Apple Thunderbolt monitor. I've got 
a bookcase of design books, screenprinting books, and analog and digital cameras. 
I also have a big closet filled with bookcases, storage bins, and inventory for my online shop.

As an aspiring independent artist, was there any advice you received or any 
lessons learned that you’d like to pass on to other hopefuls?

Everything in the world is new and beautiful - try as many things as you can. 
Get away from the computer and go to a vintage shop, a record store, or a flea market. 
Find things that pull at you and come back to them. Go to the studio. Keep going. 
Work really hard. Work relentlessly. Do it for yourself. There's something out there that you love. 
Be on fire about it! Make it happen. Then do something else. If you notice yourself lagging, 
pick up the pace. It's that simple. And dang it, get a website, even it's just a flickr account 
or a nice blog theme. Try to clean it up every so often to be the most awesome version 
of yourself you can imagine, because that's essentially how everyone will come to know 
you and your work. It'll never be good enough, but that's the beauty of your ambition.

thanks so much, julia!

remember to leave a comment below, and you'll be entered
into a drawing to win the gorgeous day planner shown in the first photo.

the winner will be announced on friday, april 26 at 2pm cst.
good luck!

website  |  shop  |  blog  |  twitter  |  facebook  |  pinterest  | flickr


alex said...

love all of these! So colorful and pretty to look at! :)


Anonymous said...

Love them all!

Latrina said...

Julia's work is always stunning. I'd be honored to use one of her planners! And God knows it will get used -- daily!

jacklyn said...

love it as much as i love day planning.

Sarah B said...

Love this and her designs! Inspiring. :)
I <3 planners.

Anonymous said...

I've loved Julia's work for so long. Thank you for this great interview and for the opportunity to win one of her planners! --- Rita

Meeri Anneli said...

Absolutely stunning work. Love it!

Anonymous said...

I love the floral design you used on both the pillow and the phone case!


Kate said...

These colors are so perfect!