A gift from us to you from Jules
Jules Monson creates lively, colorful, line-based artwork with a modern, accessible feel and, usually, a touch of humor. Her work is clear, figurative and easy to connect with. We are thrilled to feature her work and get to know her as she navigates change in many, many ways this month.
Hi Jules! Lovely to have here. Could you please introduce yourself and tell us a little bit about yourself?
Hi Mallika!! I am honoured to be featured!
My name is Julia and I am a 32 year old illustrator/painter.
Could you tell us a little bit about your approach and work?
I always have a hard time explaining my approach and work because it’s deeply tied to my personal life/personality but here’s my best effort. I like my work to be relatable and tied to current events or the zeitgeist. I always allow for humour to enter. I am delusional and spend 80% of my day in a fantasy land filled with tall castles, folklore and eccentric characters. I use a specific colour palette and I try to focus on world building as often as I can. Spending so much time day-dreaming has helped me deal with some heavy moments. Escapism in my case is necessary for creating my visuals and I am grateful to have this portal into another world.
What about these particular pieces? How do you want people to feel when they observe them?
All of these pieces coaxed me into the relationship I have with change. The earliest piece I made in 2020 featuring myself has the words “I hope these changes don’t hurt”. This was a fear I coddled closely. The others I made as a way to gas myself up like YES CHANGE IS ON ITS WAY COME GET THIS MOTHERF*CKER!!!!! I’M READY AS HELL!!! What I am choosing I am not changing!!!! I WILL EMBRACE THIS CHANGE (even if I am scared daily by it). Sailor moon was my favourite show growing up. I idolized her and I found it so funny how she was an unconfident schoolgirl as Serena VS. brave and powerful as Sailor Moon. I hope people can look at this work and be reminded that change is best enjoyed with enthusiasm and a smile and to embrace it is brave and endearing. The “I miss you in a way that is changing me” piece was very personal and painted during a dark time in my life where I felt extremely alone and trapped, much like the rose behind glass. Others have mentioned this piece helped them grieve as well and that made me so happy to hear I wasn’t alone.
Our intention this month is “Change”. You mentioned that this intention is particularly poignant for you right now — could you expand on that?
Yes! My life has changed DRASTICALLY in the last year. I asked for a divorce in August. My relationship was 14 years long and it feels like I cut off my left leg. I am thankful for the time I shared with this special soul but the grieving process has been brutal and unforgiving. It’s sad to end things with someone you grew up with. Oh god I’m crying as I write this! I hope my next relationship lasts over a decade, what a beautiful thing to spend so much time with someone. I cherish the life I once had. I sold all the furniture, packed all the boxes. I left my apartment in Toronto, my studio was there and I lovingly made everything the way I wanted. I moved to Mexico for the last 4 months to heal and things have been…chaotic ever since. I don’t know what I’m doing. I flow month to month guided by my intense craving for adventure. If you asked me 6 months ago where I’d be, I would LAUGH if you told me life would look like what it does today.
How do you embrace or adjust to change?
In the last few months I have surrendered to the fact that there are only two knowns in this life: change and death (and death can be argued.. as a change no?). I throw myself into “awkward” social settings on purpose (like dining solo or dancing alone in a crowded place), I do things I know I am scared of like diving into underwater caves or initiating contact with someone new. I am able to adapt to most situations life throws at me because I practice my version of bravery daily. When you change your setting, your environment, the people around you, the food you eat, your perspective on life seems to open up so graciously and things don’t seem so bad from the other side of the room. I’m grateful to have the ability and resources to travel as much as I have. It has allowed me to adjust and bend to the changes of life.
We’re always curious about what people are listening to. What’s your go-to right now or in general?
I’m listening to a podcast my friend Bethany got me hooked on! It’s called Ologies with Allie Ward and I have learned SO MUCH by having it on in the background as I draw in the mornings.