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julia barker

she/her | behance | instagram | twitter

Hey, Julia! Hows things?

Quite stressful at the moment! It’s currently International Zine month so I’ve zines coming out of my ears, but other than that I’m happy and relaxing after finishing uni.

Give us some fun facts about you?

I am a qualified snowboard instructor, which is fun! And I have 7 tattoos (more to come)

So why zines?

For me, zines started as a creative outlet in lockdown. I used them as a way to be creative every day without any pressure for it to be ‘good’. From there I fell in love with the way zines can blend aspects of writings, illustrations and design into a little booklet of information. As well as the fact they can be about anything! The first (and my most

successful zine) I created was for my brother, I made him a ‘plant survival guide’ because he kept asking me why his plants kept dying. I enjoying writing as well as illustrating and zines allow me to do both.

You studied at the University of Bolton, did you enjoy your time?

Yes, despite covid happening and taking away some of the in person learning experience, I had a good time. The tutors were a massive help and I was able to develop my illustration skills and industry knowledge.

What advice would you give to yourself when you started university?

Document everything! It took me too long to figure this out. I would probably suggest doing projects on topics that you know a lot about and have a genuine passion for because you’ll be doing so much work about it you don’t want to end up hating it.

Why the ‘Colourful Creative’?

I wanted to keep the creative aspect of my life separate to my personal life. I came up with the colourful creative simply because I love colour in my artwork, I like creating things that are fun and colourful.

Lets talk... plants?

Ah, I could talk about plants forever. A lot of my work revolves around nature and

houseplants which I think came from how heavily I relied on them in lockdown. It gave me something to focus on and look after so I want to spread the plant knowledge to people far and wide.

Talk to us about the Fungi Club Zine, how did this come about?

The original fungi club was a mini zine I created in July 2021 for that years international zine month. It was only 6 pages and it had small illustrations of mushrooms and some

information about them. I enjoyed doing it so much that I decided to create a full zine for my FMP. 60 pages filled with hand drawn illustrations and information and fun facts about fungi. It was very stressful I won’t lie, but it is something I am still passionate about, so the stress and hard work pays off when people buy copies of it! I am currently planning on doing an issue 2 in the next year.

Any future plans?

I have quite a few zine fairs coming up, which I am really enjoying doing at the moment so I will be spending my time doing those. I have a few projects up my sleeve that I think people will find interesting.

You’re a proud advocate for the LGBTQIA+ community do you believe the industry is diverse?

Yes and no. I think in some ways it is starting too but at the moment it is very surface level.

As it has just been pride month, we have seen an increase in companies promoting how they support the LGBTQIA+ community with nice social media posts, or illustrators creating artworks specifically for pride month, whilst that’s good I think more companies should collaborate with different artists, illustrators and designers to really show their support through pride month as well as the rest of the year.

What do you think should happen to change this?

It would be helpful for there to be an association, community or platform of illustrators,

designers and artists could be part of to share their work in order to gain either freelance work or design jobs.

I want to start featuring more people on this platform so with this in mind, who are your
standout creatives?

my good friend Billy Peacock, they are an amazing illustrator/animator who not only creates fun relatable comics but is incredible at illustrating all things horror.

Cath Garvey is another illustrator/animator that I admire. I met Cath at a zine fair and

thought her illustrations and zines were just fantastic.

For my final question, what’s next?

What’s next for me is I am going on holiday for a well deserved break! In terms of

illustration and general creative practice, I would love to build a big zine empire full of

workshops, libraries and fairs available for people in the north west.


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