Exploring the Cooper Hewitt Museum


We’ve always made it a mission or bucket list item to go to all of the museums in NYC. This has seemed pretty impossible because there are so SO many, but we wanted to check another off the list and headed to the Cooper Hewitt Museum in the Upper East Side. Yes, the one known for the rolling chairs. Social media has also somewhat dubbed it as the “Museum for People Who Don’t Like Museums.” Unfortunately, we DO like museums, so this wouldn’t be on our must-see list, but it’s definitely worth checking out if you want a quick, fun museum day!


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Feature Friday: Artist Julie Raven


Happy Screen Shot 2014-03-14 at 17.05.05!

5480_1080894111940_7507769_nWe are so excited about this Feature Friday and glad that it is the first thing we are posting after a short blogging hiatus we took to focus on school and finals. We first found Julie’s pieces on Instagram and were captured by her vibrant use of color. She draws a lot of her inspiration from nature and it is evident in her majestic paintings of lions, elephants, giraffes and of course man’s best friend, dogs! We love how her work is playful and free. She is not afraid to splatter, drip and experiment with her medias to create that extra layer of interest to her work. Julie took the time to answer some questions and make an amazing speed painting video, so read on to learn more about the artist and check out her process first hand!

What got you started?

“I had always been drawing and doodling while growing up, but in college is when art really clicked for me. It allowed me the guidance and access to materials to really explore my style and my interests.”

What are your inspirations?

“I love Art History and artists like JMW Turner or James Whistler because of their use of intense colors and contrast, which made me want to play with colors. In some of my figure drawing classes, I was introduced to the artist A.E. London and I was inspired by her wildlife art to focus on animals as a means to connect to human qualities and explore those qualities.”

Who is your favorite professional in your field?

“Currently, I really like an artist named Gabriel Moreno. His use of colors is right up my alley and his figurative art is so dream-like and surreal. I love looking at his works to get inspired.”


What are your favorite medias to work with?

“I love chalk pastels and watercolors. I can get some intense colors from them and love the tactile experience. I find they’re easy to blend and manipulate as well.”

What is your aesthetic?

“I love Hellenistic Greek art and the art of the Romanticists. Human and animal forms, and then a contrast of intense colors and a myriad of emotions with the quiet but powerful emotions of the Greek works and subdued colors due to the work of time… They really draw me in and overwhelm me with appreciation and ambition.”

Name your favorite go-to creative spot?

“I don’t have a physical place where I am inspired, as I tend to be inspired by music or images from my dreams. I do like to go running to get my creative juices flowing. As far as where I prefer to work, anywhere that I can spread out and be messy.”

What are your future goals/biggest dreams?

“I really would love to make art all day, and be able to run my own art store and gallery. I enjoy teaching as well, so giving lessons on art and art history are also in my plans.”


What is the hardest part about what you do?

“Sometimes just getting inspired or getting started. I have to write down my ideas and briefly describe them just so I can get started. I need to have a goal for a piece, or it’s really hard for me to sit down and just start working. It’s like I get stage fright when I look at an empty canvas, as all of the swirling ideas just seem to drain out of me as I figure out what I want to do.”

What have you learned in your creative process?

“I like taking commissions because I like when someone asks me to make them a piece. It gives me direction and I do well working with others. I also have learned that I have to write down my ideas and get organized before I can just sit down and start.”

What is your favorite piece of your own?

“I honestly love my piece The Night’s Soul and my Cheetah piece.”


Tell us a little bit about who you are?

“I’m a big nerd who loves Art History and painting who happens to work in IT during the day. I dress up in silly clothes and make up, and make a lot of messes when creating art pieces. I laugh loudly and I’m trying to figure out where to go with all this love and creativity.”

Any tips?

“Draw, paint, knit, sculpt, or whatever it is you do, every day. Even if you don’t feel like it. Just keep going at it.”


Speed Painting Video

Well that video was amazing! We loved having that inside look into how one of her pieces gets created. Everyone should check out Julie’s work on her Etsy page! There are tons of awesome pieces to gaze upon and she even does customized commissions. You can also connect with her on Facebook. Enjoy!