Julia Martin

JOINED: September, 2022

My Website

“The lines and marks I make — whether sewn, scribbled, or scratched are my visual language for traversing the times in life we connect and the times we withdraw.”

Have you ever turned over a muddy rock and found life and decay teeming below? For me, what lies beneath is more interesting than what is on the surface. I allude to that turning-over-the-rock sense of discovery and shelter in my work by alternating the stripping of layers with covering up and editing. The lines and marks I make — whether sewn, scribbled, or scratched — are my visual language for traversing the times in life we connect and the times we withdraw. I explore the raw yet often poignant moments when our understories are laid bare. While revealing the active undercurrent of grief and gratitude in our lives, I am reminded to take care when exposing tender places throughout the process.

Examples of My Work

Upside Down Stamps

I was told they mean I love you. I don’t know if it’s TRUE, but it’s true for me. I mail most things with an upside-down stamp, except taxes. They get the leftover holiday stamps.

Things I could be a spokesperson for

Succulents in whiskey barrels, postcard correspondence, a well-placed thank you, kids coloring on their stomachs, wearing your hair curly, the game “run, jump, hug”.


Growing up, my favorite animal was the turtle. I was called a turtle because I carried everything in my backpack. I took copious notes. I was prepared. I didn’t want to miss anything. As I age, I am learning not to carry all of my literal and metaphorical stuff around.

Gangster Name

I am an epic spiller. When the movie “Dick Tracy” released, my dad gave me and my four sisters gangster names and mine was SPILLS. My middle child, Margaret, is “spills junior.”

Mix Tapes

 I feel something was lost when the mix-tape went away — listening to the whole thing without skipping over a song, learning about the person who made it for you, anticipating the transition from one song to the next. Making or receiving a mix tape is a love language. I still make a seasonal mix. David Bowie, Elton John, and Brandi Carlile are regular features.

What are the most comforting comfort foods?

Gorgeous eggs with tortillas, homemade broth in a mug, thick-cut bread with butter, cake donuts, chamomile tea with cream and honey, steamed artichokes, the perfect summer peach or summer tomato with olive oil and flaky salt, manicotti, Sarabelle’s oatmeal cookies or pound cake.

If you could have a dinner party with your favorite artists (living or deceased), who would you invite and why?

Nellie Mae Abrams and the quilters of Gee’s Bend for their patterned spontaneity, Ruth Asawa for her lines and forms, Paul Klee for his line work and use of color, and Bill Traylor for his figurative style.

Why do you create?

Because I want to plant what is missing. I wish to communicate sentiments that I do not have words for. I want to access the place inside me that is natural, not imitative. I want to reach that place inside of you and make something for you when you need it.
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