Happy Maker Monday!
This Monday we are featuring Julie McClements of Juleco Design! We love her amazing and positive typography prints. Julie uses her creative passions to bring encouraging words to those who may need them. A kind word at just the right moment can be all a person needs during a challenging time and it’s awesome that Juleco Design is there to help you say it. Julie’s shop is also great for finding your next inspirational mantra. We are huge fans of creating a space that inspires you, keeps you motivated, uplifts and reminds you of who you really are. Funny that it’s a Monday, as Julie’s prints are definitely the kind that make you jump out of bed, grab that coffee and fearlessly conquer the week ahead! Read on to learn more about Juleco Design and Julie’s journey.
: Tell us a few things about yourself!
: I’m Julie McClements, the designer behind Juleco. I have always been a creative person, doodling since I was no age. You will often find me behind my laptop or with a guitar in my hand. I’m a lover of typography, guitar and singing… (and as you will see in my work, I love monochrome!). I currently live in Bangor, Northern Ireland, with my husband David and work full time as lead designer at a full service digital agency called Eyekiller.
: What made you decide to start your brand, Juleco Prints?
: In my full-time job at Eyekiller my main focus is designing websites for a wide range of clients as well as lead the design team. I really enjoy what I do. However, I was missing the creative freedom I experienced when studying at art college and how I was able to express myself through my work. This made me consider doing something different with my creativity in my free time. I have also been on an ongoing journey with fear and understanding my own worth. Throughout this I have had wonderful friends helping me with wise words and encouragement. Knowing how this helps first hand, I wanted to use what I have learned to encourage other people.
: We love that all of your prints have positive, uplifting messages! What made you decide to create work with the kinds of quotes that inspire others?
: I have always loved typography and reading poetry. Many hours of my day are spent browsing online for creative inspiration and I discovered people sharing encouragement through design, mostly on Pinterest and Instagram. Exposing myself to this is so much better than what is shown on the news as it mostly focuses on the conflict and negativity in the world. I believe it’s more important than ever for people to encourage and uplift one another. United we are so much better! This was the main influence that started me designing these prints. I wanted to be part of something better, something more positive, and if that inspires others, then hopefully it’ll have a knock-on effect and those people will start spreading love and encouragement too. From my own experience, I know how powerful words can be, and how few words of encouragement can make a difference.
: You’re a professional designer and went to school for Visual Communication! How has your background in design played into the products you create f or Juleco? On the flip side, how creatively different is making prints versus what you do as a Lead Designer at a digital agency?
: I studied Design for Visual Communication at University of Ulster in Belfast, and graduated in 2009. This was as much learning about myself as well as the craft. The course taught me about the history, and basics, of design and exploring key principles and masters of it. It taught me the importance of communicating a message through design. Something I was really fascinated by was the use of negative space to emphasise the message. I always find this relates nicely to our own lives, and how the negative experiences help shape who we are. I see similarities between what I do at Eyekiller and what I do at Juleco. It’s all about solving problems or frustrations… be it making a website easier to use to complete tasks, or to uplift someone going through a storm. The processes and outcomes are very different, but the reason I do both of these jobs are quite similar.
: Clearly you have a love of typography! What are your favorite typographic styles to use? And how would you describe your personal design style?
: Oh, interesting question! I love keeping things minimal. Simple is best. Although it really comes down to the message needing to be conveyed, the emotion behind the words, and who it’s for. It is also effected by the mood I am in also. Whether I am feeling bold or fragile. Art comes from the soul, and it’s near enough impossible to remove ourselves from the things we create. I’m not totally convinced I have a style, although I hope I’m starting to create one! Perhaps we could call it minimalistic monochrome simplicity lol!
: We would love to hear about your creative process! Is there a specific mindset or environment you need to be in to create the best work? And for creating new pieces, if you find a quote that you think would be amazing for a print, what’s your process in finding the perfect type and layout to fit that quote!?
: It is really down to what I expose myself to. Be it something I have experienced that day, something I have heard or read, or even something that has challenged me and my character. I just zone out, focus on that, read up a bit more and get inspiration. Then headphones on and start creating. There are so many awesome creatives on social media who I look up to and encourage me so much. I am so thankful for them.
: What is the most rewarding thing about creating and then seeing your designs be enjoyed by others?
: I love hearing from people and that it’s helped give them a boost for their day. I don’t do this for any gain of my own. I just love doing it and I am learning as I go. With some of my prints I share a bit about what I am going through and battles I am facing. Sometimes people just need to know they are not alone and that comfort is so precious. To know what I create helps people on their journey and understand their true worth and value, it really is the best feeling. Ultimately, I believe we all just want to belong. Knowing we are all in this together.
: You are always exposing yourself to motivating quotes! Do you have a favorite saying that you remind yourself in your own life?
: I love this question, although I could list so many! My favourite at the moment is this: The one thing that you have that nobody else has is you. Your voice. Your mind. Your story. Your vision. So, write and draw and build and play and dance and live as only you can. Throughout my battle with fear and believing in myself, quotes like these help me start off my day. It helps me align my focus and attitude so I’m better prepared for whatever comes my way. I guess this is why I love sharing these motivational quotes. Promoting that you are loved, you have worth, to believe in yourself and embrace all your unique ways. When I share these things, they are all reminders for me in my own life.
: What are your future goals and plans for Juleco?
: I don’t like thinking ahead too much usually. But I hope to keep doing what I am doing, perhaps explore different tools to create and not always rely on a computer. As I conquer some of my own battles, I hope to get out there more and attend fairs so I can start meeting people and share my work in different ways. I am currently on Etsy and Cheerfully Given. These places are amazing and full of such inspiring work and people!
: Any advice for other designers or shop owners out there?
: Just to be yourself. Your creativity is unique to you, and only you can bring what you have to the world. Share it, step out and dare to be different.
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