Julia GashExmouth, Devon, GB
Julia Gash is a British artist who combines her two passions of travel and art through her map like illustrations of places all over the world.
Julia’s distinctive handwriting is expressed as spirited and creative line drawings with flat and textured colour palettes. Over the past four years Julia has created a unique and everlasting archive of illustrations featuring cities, towns and regions from all around the world, which have been made into stylish souvenirs, art prints or tote bags.
Julia’s map like illustrations capture the character and cultural heritage of a specific location. Julia’s designs connect people with place, whether they are culture vultures on tour or locals who want to celebrate their city in style or love up their local. Her whimsical illustrations communicate a child-like vision and offer a playful and honest interpretation of the world in which we live. A cyclist wearing a hat can be found in all of Julia’s “Cityscapes” and this little figure symbolizes Julia: travelling around the world through her art.
Maps By Julia Gash
I live just by the South West Coast Path, which hugs around 660 miles of the English coastline, from the rocky cliffs of North Devon, through Cornwall and over to the gentle waters of Poole in East Dorset. At least once a week I walk this path. The Golden Cap is the highest point on the south coast of England and I have looked over to it as I walk the coastline near my home in Devon. I recently I climbed up and down the grass clad, golden cliffs of the Cap to the top. The sky was azure, hawks, and a helicopter circled below me and people on the beach were no bigger than grains of sand. The Golden Cap features in my illustration of Dorset, like a bright beacon, shining its light over the deep blue sea.
Lisbon is my new favourite city. Its beautiful architecture tells a story of a southern European city and port evolving over centuries, including St George's Castle and the Torre de Belem as well as the ancient Monastry of Jeronimo. The salty breeze of the sea blows in from the south and provides some much needed relief from the summer heat. Built on seven hills, Lisbon has a vibrant bar and cafe culture that rivals Paris and indeed many French people have relocated to Lisbon and its easy to see why when you have the sun, city and sand on your doorstep.
My favourite thing in my Cityscape of Tokyo is the fish I drew to represent the famous Tsukji Fish Market, which I have visited on one of my many trips to Japan. In my drawings, a fish can be the size of a skyscraper. It's all about what's important for me. I adore Japan and love drawing the decorative, arched roofs, such as the Mejii Jingu Shrine as much as the glass and concrete modernist temples of the commerce. I like to see the modernity of the Harajuku girls as much as the traditional dress and culture of the kimono clad Geishas. The old and new in a natural and man made world, compete for space in the super-size city that is Tokyo and help to contribute to its unique and charismatic culture.
My sister lives in Toronto, as does my Canadian licensee, and so I have visited this metropolis of North America many times over the last three decades. I almost moved there a few years ago but a spate of bitterly cold winters put paid to that idea. Sheffield was more than cold enough for me! I do however love drawing the cities and natural landscape of Canada. It's an amazing country, ethically and aesthetically, and I am therefore proud to create designs and products that enables Canadians and Canada-lovers like me to celebrate this evolving and inclusive culture. Moose and bears star in my Cityscape of Toronto as does the iconic CN Tower and Old City Hall. I've fallen asleep on the sand of Toronto Island and swam in Lake Ontario, and long to do it again.
I've had two fleeting visits to Singapore, squeezed in on business trips to Asia where I hop from one country to another in the blink of an eye. There's so much to explore in this tiny country and my Cityscape can only pick out a few highlights and even in the short time I've spent there I have vivid memories of the lush, green landscape. Walking through the enchanting, Botanic Gardens, eating Chilli Crab down by the Bay and having Afternoon Tea in Raffles Hotel were my highlights. I also loved exploring Little India and China Town, two contrasting neighbourhoods sitting together side by side. The magnificent Marina Bay Sands is an architectual masterpiece and makes your heart skip a beat when you look up and up at the tropical roof top garden.
I went to Madrid as an art student and the overriding memory I had was of standing in front of the most significant piece of art that I have ever seen: Guernica by Picasso. The Prado, which houses this masterpiece, is included in my illustration of Madrid, as is the Barrio de la Latina, the wonderful area of the city where the little tapas bars can be found and forms the only other memory that I have of the city. Gosh that rioja must have been good!
I've visited Paris for decades, first as a child when I was entranced by the Eiffel Tower, then as an art student where I spent a full day wandering the corridors of the Louvre. I returned to Paris a designer when I showcased my fashion collection in the city in the 1990s and came back as a retailer when I bought French boudoir lingerie for my lingerie and erotic accessories boutique in the naughties. I cannot count how many times I have been to Paris over the last few years as I have showcased my sustainable and customisable Cityscape souvenir brand at trade shows within the city. I like to stay in Montmartre as I love the village atmosphere and the hill at the top of which sits the sensational Sacre Coeur. I love to look over Paris from here and see the twinkling lights of the Eiffel Tower. I always tag on time for me in Paris whether it's chilling with a cafe creme at Les Deux Magots or taking time to walk amongst the trees of the Tuileries. The architecture is outstanding, the food is fabulous and Paris is indeed pretty as a picture, which I hope to capture in my eponymous Cityscape.