We had the pleasure of bumping into Julie earlier this year at Baselworld, outside the TAG Heuer booth, where she was creating an Autavia piece. Julie’s one talented individual who has recently gone down the path of creating watch-inspired artworks. We’re sure you’ll love her feed, but be warned – a follow might turn into a purchase.
NAME: Julie Kraulis
LOCATION: Toronto, CA
Tell us about yourself.
I’ve been drawing for as long as I can remember. I’m a freelance artist living and working in Toronto, Canada. I love learning new things; curiosity makes me tick. I spend most days in my studio by the lake with a pencil or paintbrush in hand. Outside is my favourite place; give me a mountain, an ocean or a trail any day of the week. I also love an interesting city to explore. Music, books, podcasts, family, friends and sport are a few of my favourite things.
How do you unwind?
Unwind?! That’s a nice idea. When I’m not drawing, I’m thinking about drawing. At any given time, there are at least five projects on the go, and 10 I want to get to. There’s always something to make!
A perfect, relaxing evening involves a patio, friends, food and wine. A nice alternative would be watching a tennis match.
What’s your daily watch? I don’t know if you have one…
The girl spending hundreds of hours drawing watches doesn’t have one… yet. Crazy, I know. Up until a couple of years ago, watches weren’t really on my radar. Now that I’ve spent all this time with watches, I have some nice ideas for my first daily watch!
What are you working on now?
I’m always keeping my eyes open for the next interesting project. At the moment I’m working on a few different timepiece drawings: some commissions, some collaborations and some independent. Most recently, I created a Moonwatch piece for the Omega Lost in Space event in London, with Buzz Aldrin. It was incredible – it’s not everyday you’re drawing in the same room as a man who walked on the moon!
How did you end up drawing watches?
The timepiece collection is an independent study I started about a year and a half ago. I wanted to start playing with objects and scale. Sometimes you stop seeing everyday objects, like really seeing them, and when magnified, something special happens. Making an object larger than life emphasizes abstract qualities and legendary design. You start to see line and form and balance. I’m really interested in exploring and trying to understand what makes certain designed objects timeless and cult classics. I wandered into the watch world because it seemed like an interesting subject full of rich history and detail – plenty to keep me busy for a good long while.
Can you explain the process, and what material you use? How does that impact the final result?
I start with heaps of reading and research. I collect details on the timepiece’s history, narrative and context. I let it all steep for a little while and eventually those details distill into a few different ideas for the drawing. I’ll sketch out preliminary thoughts to figure out the best design and approach. Next, I draw a fine outline of the frame. Then I look at the paper and walk by it, oh, maybe a few dozen times before I find the nerve to start. A blank page will always be intimidating, no matter how many times I face it! Rendering is the longest stage. It takes me approximately 140–160 hours for each timepiece.
I work with Staedtler Mars Lumograph pencils on gorgeous, velvety, hot-press Arches paper.
How do you choose which watches to draw?
I’ll draw any watch that piques my curiosity. The history behind these watches is fascinating. I’ve been focusing on vintage timepieces and I’m drawn to ones with interesting stories. A vintage watch is a pretty magical thing: a keepsake, a witness to lives, a companion to adventure. My long-term plan is to make collections based on different themes.
Being new to the madness of the ‘watch world’, have any pieces caught your eye? What would you like to own?
The list is forever changing the more I learn and discover, but the ones that remain at the top are Rolex Daytona, A. Lange & Söhne Little Lange 1 Moon Phase, Omega Speedmaster, TAG Heuer Autavia, Tudor Black Bay, Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso – the list goes on!
And finally, what do you love about drawing watches?
Learning. I love reading about a watch and its history. You learn about one and then it takes you in several directions. I love how watches spill into so many different worlds: culture, sport, etc. It’s also been a good challenge learning how to draw different materials and textures. Gold, leather, stainless steel. Brushed, shiny, flat surfaces.