We had the good fortune of connecting with Julia Deckman and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Julia, how do you think about risk?
My career and life didn’t begin until I started taking risks. Early on I avoided risk at all cost, but I came to realize that avoiding all risk also kept me from pursuing my passions and purpose. Being an artist is an incredibly “risky” way to live. There is no guaranteed paycheck or benefits every month; it’s a very vulnerable career and profession. But all the risk and uncertainty is greatly outweighed by the fulfilling life I now lead. I now view risk as inevitable. I no longer allow fear to dictate my decision making. Instead, I keep my goals and values in the forefront of my mind.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
The tools I use are brush and paint, but my true medium is COLOR. I am obsessed with hues and pigments, their relationships to form and each other, and how extremely subtle yet dynamic these relationships are. I have developed a variety of composition styles and approaches. Early in my career this gave me anxiety; who am I as an artist, and how do others perceive my work? But I have discovered that my color obsession is my through line, influencing all of my pieces regardless of style or composition. I grew up in Annapolis, MD and then fell in love with Charleston, SC when I attended the College of Charleston from 2003- 2007. I moved back to Maryland after graduation, but in 2012 I got the opportunity to make the Holy City my home. I believe that this move back to Charleston saved me in many ways. I woke up in the middle of a life I didn’t recognize, the path I had been headed down had nothing to do with who I really am. Charleston gently woke me up and gave me the courage to make some difficult decisions and major changes. When you make a persistent effort, this city can provide a supportive environment and community for creative passions. I began seriously pursuing my art career in 2014, using my sister’s kitchen as my studio space. For several years I balanced a fulltime administrative job with my art practice. I now work creatively full-time, am represented by The Miller Gallery in Charleston, and was named the 2019 Griffith-Reyburn Lowcountry Artist of the Year. This past year I opened my own art studio and retail salon where I exhibit and sell creative products sourced through local and small businesses. I also host guest workshops, Pop-up exhibitions, and offer venue rental options. It is my goal to provide exhibition and sales opportunities to fellow creatives and serve my immediate community with the means to engage with creativity and shop small and local. I feel incredibly fortunate and still have much I would like to achieve.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
There is no shortage of amazing food and drink here in Charleston! It would be impossible to do it all in one weekend, but I have a few favorite go-to’s I always like to share: If you’re in the downtown area my favorite places to eat and drink are 167 Raw (always a wait, but worth it), XBB for amazing Asian dishes, and Babas on cannon for a European style bar experience. I recommend the first Saturday art strolls on the lower peninsula, several galleries participate and serve refreshments. There’s also always a show to check out at Redux Art Center on upper King. If you’re in town for an open studios event, those are an amazing way to check out several local artists at once! Redux is a non-profit with over 30 studio spaces and rotating gallery shows. On James Island, come visit me in my studio and retail shop! I’m currently carrying products sourced through over 18 local vendors, and always have a pop up exhibition to view in my back gallery space. I also recommend the Sunday Brunch Farmers Market behind the Pour House (just across the street from my studio) for an awesome local experience. Live music, food trucks, live demos and several local vendors can be found at this weekly farmers market. Afterwards you can go grab a drink, oysters and hot dogs across the street at Bar George, my favorite neighborhood bar. If you’re able to have a beach day, there are several beach options but my favorite is Folly. There’s usually decent surf and several food and drink options out on Folly too, my favorite is lowlife bar.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I would be nowhere without my Charleston community. Redux Art Center & the Miller Gallery have been instrumental in helping me build and grow my career. I have also made incredible friendships with a network of fellow local artists and creatives. A sense of community is an unbelievably powerful asset to any business.

Website: juliadeckmanstudio.com

Instagram: @juliadeckmanstudio

Facebook: Julia Deckman Studio

Image Credits
Kate Blohm Ellie Caroline

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutAtlana is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.