DSN seeks to support creative souls within our community through our monthly Artist Feature. Featured artists can submit images of whatever medium they express themselves through such as photographs, digital art, sketches, paintings, embroidery, and more. Artists then answer interview questions so that the community can get to know them on a more personal level. If you are interested being a featured artist by DSN please submit an image to our website blog submission page. We will contact you to conduct the interview.
This month's featured artist is Julie Mielke, a nurse whose preferred art mediums are photography, lead, and charcoal. Please enjoy reading our interview of this talented woman and be enriched by her art! The art piece she is sharing with us is a photograph of a teal butterfly in support of Dysautonomia Awareness Month.
1. What drew you to art? When did you start?
I started doing art in high school but when I became ill I needed an outlet doing photography is perfect for me because on my 'good days' I take the photos and on my 'bad days' I edit them.
2. What mediums do you work with? How would you describe your subject matter? What themes seem to occur/reoccur in your work?
In highschool I would draw using lead and charcoal, now I prefer photography. My favorite subject matters are people and nature.
3. Tell me about your piece. Is there something in particular that you wish to convey with this artwork or perhaps emotions or ideas that you running through your head at the time?
I took this photo while at a butterfly house and I ended up having a flare due to the heat inside the house. I remember thinking I hope my pictures turn out since I put myself into a flare to get them.
4. What does art do for you?
Relaxes me and helps keep my mind in a positive place.
5. When people ask you what you do how do you respond?
I am a disabled nurse who enjoys taking photos.
6. What inspires you? What are you currently reading, listening to or looking at to fuel your work?
My family is my biggest inspiration
7. What do you think the biggest challenges to creating art are? Do you have one that is particularly troublesome for you?
Due to brain fog, for me the biggest challenge in doing photography is learning how to do new things such as adjustments on my camera or editing techniques. Plus there are times where I am unable to take photos because I simply can not sit up, stand up or get my eyes to focus.
8. Do you have a piece that you are most proud of?
I don't have one particular piece I am proud of but tend to pick a favorite every time I take photos.
9. Do you have advice or life experiences that have influenced your work?
When both of my son's developed POTS I wanted to set a good example and show them life doesn't end when you get sick.
10. What do you want your work to do for others?
Make them smile
11. Do you have a motto?
'Never Give Up'
12. What three things never fail to bring you pleasure?
My Faith, my grandchildren and taking photos
13. Is there something you are currently working on, or are excited about starting that you can tell us about?
I was able to photograph my niece's wedding which I normally do not commit to due to the amount of work that goes into photographing a wedding but I made it through the day and I am currently editing all the photos.
14. Are there different skills or techniques that you are hoping to learn/try in the future?
Someday I hope to actually take a photography class because right now I am a self taught photographer.
15. If you could have an art class with any artist in all of time, who would be your top 3 and why?
My Father is who I would pick – he took amazing photos but passed away before I became interested in photography.