“Clever, Creative, & Colorful” – Interview with Artist Julia Updegraff

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“Shout out to anyone supporting me- 3 Hunna”

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Known for her exciting shoots and vibrant colors in her photos, Julia Updegraff is making quite a name for herself. Since our last interview about a year ago, she’s added thousands of tumblr notes and a photoshoot for “Lazy Oaf” to a notch under her belt. Read our interview as the “graphic goddess” talks about her recent work, the annoying shit she deals with as an artist, and much more!

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Your success has increased significantly over the past year. What do you think has helped to contribute to that?
I figured out how to use the internet a little better. & got a lot more active on social media platforms like Insta and Tumblr.

Right now, is your main focus photography?
For sure! I do a lot of different types of art, photography is just the one that clicks the most. It lets me do whatever I want. I used to think it was really boring till I discovered photography I actually liked.

Why the break from digital art?
Haha because the amount of work and hours put into doing graphic design doesn’t match up to what people expect and are willing to pay. Getting paid to do it made me stop loving it honestly. Getting paid to do things sometimes sucks as weird as that sounds. You can’t do your thing, you have to do what you’re told most of the time 🙁

What artists are you currently inspired by?
Fucktard, Prettypuke, Ren Hang, Uzi, MIA, and a lot more. But those are the top ones. They all make kind of out of the ordinary art that your parents probably wouldn’t like. But they’re really, really good at it!

In all of your work, the colors are extremely vivid. is that an important factor for all of your images?
I never really thought about the colors too much, they just happened. But since people started pointing them out, i’ve been thinking about how I should be using them a lot more.

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How much shit have you gotten for using all of the fruitloops in one of your shoots? how many boxes did you actually end up using?
A lot of people got mad at me from behind their computers, I thought it was kinda funny. Someone told me to get an infection hahaha. Most of the people got mad at me for wasting food. I only used 1 box haha.

What’s one of the most annoying things that comes with being an artist?
People not taking you seriously. The kind of art I like isn’t exactly polished & clean cut. So I guess it’s just my job to make people take me seriously.

You recently did some work for “Lazy Oaf “, what was it like taking photographs for such an established brand?
So insane to me because I’ve been obsessed with their brand for a long time now. I would stay up and wait for the collections to drop and watch their videos my whole senior year of high school. Half my wardrobe is Lazy Oaf. I would sit in the back of class with my headphones in reading their blog, then I got to actually see myself on the blog. Lazy has been a huge influence of mine this past year. They are really good people.They even hooked me up with some free clothes.

What was your first reaction when they contacted you?
My friend woke me up and I saw the email and that was probably the most excited i’ve ever been ever haha. Pretty sure I was even wearing their clothing when I was reading that email.

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If you woke up one day and the entire world was in black&white, what would you do?
Dance to Chief Keef, eat a salad, & go back to bed.

What are your some of your other goals as an artist/photographer? Any others that you’ve accomplished already?
I wanna work with the people I look up to and make a living off of my art while still having fun and loving it. I wanna visit Tokyo really bad and make art there too. Also I want to be a tour photographer someday and document tour life for a musician. & As far as accomplishments go, working with Lazy was a dream of mine I didn’t think would happen and it did. So I guess that!

Is it easier having your friends being the models in your photoshoots?
If the photo is staged, then models are easier because they are paid to know what looks good in front of the camera. But I like running around with my friends and just documenting it too. That’s how I started. Just documenting stuff.

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You’re actually going away to school soon! what school are you going to? what are you going for?
I’m going to Savannah College of Art & Design for photography. I’m really excited because everything I know I’ve taught myself so this will be my first time learning from professionals. Also I’ve never had the chance to use a darkroom or even learn how to use one and thats a huge part of film photography. So i’m so excited to learn that and finally be able to develop my own photos.

How important do you think social media is in terms of getting recognition as an artist?
Very very very important! If it wasn’t for the internet, probably no one outside of my city would know who I am.

@JuliaUpdegraff
www.JuliaUpdegraff.com
JuliaUpdegraff.tumblr.com

-Adriahnna C.

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