We had the good fortune of connecting with Julie Mazzoni and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Julie, what makes you happy? Why?
Finding my sweet spot while working brings me joy. It is the place where I feel most at ease and there is a natural rhythm. With all that is happening in the world, it is harder than ever to block that out and focus on my art. I find that playing music helps and having a schedule with three to four hour studio time slots is best. Three to four hours is very important to be able to focus and make progress on a mosaic, which is an intense and time consuming medium in which to work. I actually find social media can help keep me on track as I photograph my work in different stages of completion to share with others. Another trick I use that makes me happy and keeps me moving forward in the studio is to have multiple projects going at once. If I hit an artistic roadblock on one project, I can shift my attention to another while the issue gets sorted out in the back of my mind. I’m definitely a maker and making art is something that I must do to be true to myself! Sharing my art brings it to a new level with fresh perspectives.
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.
I started making mosaics in 2009, just for myself. Then I made a few for family as gifts. It was really my friends that first commissioned works and encouraged me to exhibit mosaics. Mosaics were just for fun, and I started taking commissions and selling a few pieces so I could buy more supplies and keep going. In 2013 I started teaching classes, and that was when the shift to contributing to the household income became a reality. It has been a very natural progression in the size and scope of work that I have done. Mosaics as an art form are unique in that they are more permanent than a painting. The challenge is that the materials are more expensive and they definitely take more time to make, as each piece is hand cut and placed. Sometimes the substrate itself is hand-built. I have been slowly working on a Gardens of Georgia series, hoping to have an exhibit with that theme. Each mosaic can take a month or more, so it is a long term vision. I would like the world to understand the beauty of mosaic is both in the individual pieces and in the work as a whole, which is an allegory for life itself.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I’m not sure what we would do now! Definitely time in the studio. Here is the ideal, in a world pre-COVID 19.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I’d like to give a shout out to Marselle Harrison-Miles from The Art Place Mountain View for being the first to give me an opportunity to exhibit, teach and make a community mosaic. All the members of The Atlanta Artists Center have given me the support, insight and opportunities only colleagues can give. Then Amber Markay Byrd from Markay Gallery for validating me as an artist and her professionalism along the way. Lastly, the support from Spruill Education Center students and staff and Spruill Gallery has been invaluable moving forward in my career. My students have pushed me to new levels of expertise in different mosaic techniques.