Lecture at Oregon Institute of Marine Biology

Posted by on Aug 25, 2017 in Events, Sea Critters

Back in June, I took a trip down to Charleston, OR to the Oregon Institute of Marine Biology to meet up with John Megahan, one of my MFA classmates from University of Hartford. While there I assisted him in teaching the OIMB Summer Biological Illustration class over the weekend, where we introduced students to basic observational drawing techniques and did some graphite renderings of assorted skulls, shells and specimens.

During the week, John and I gave a presentation for the Summer Seminar Series titled “The Alliance of Art and Science” covering the interrelated functions of art and science, how they overlap, and how they have benefitted each other. Below is the video I put together with audio recorded from the lecture along with our slideshow. It’s about 85 minutes long and split in to two videos, the first which focuses on John’s part of the talk on scientific illustration, and the second has my section on art inspired by science, art created with science, and science inspired by art.



Here is John’s blog post about the class and the lecture.

John’s webpage with his awesome illustrations.

More info about the Oregon Institute of Marine Biology. 

Drawlloween & Inktober

Posted by on Oct 31, 2016 in Blog, People, Sea Critters, Work In Progress

I’ve posted a few drawings for the #inktober2016 and #drawlloween2016 challenges. Both Inktober and Drawlloween are initiatives that give artists a prompt every day for the month of October. Artists around the world interpret the prompts and post them under their corresponding hashtags to Instagram. 

Here are the highlights of my own contributions:

Tentacle Tuesday

This is a hashtag I use frequently, because tentacles.

Man-spreading Mummy Monday

Don’t you hate it when someone is spreading their body parts all over the bus?

“Little Medusa”

This one wasn’t included in the prompts, but it is the title of a Groovie Ghoulies song that I was listening to during my bus ride.

Sea Critters- Works in Progress

Posted by on Nov 1, 2015 in Blog, Sea Critters, Work In Progress

For my art exhibit through Ghost Gallery at Solo Bar, I continued my “Sea Critters” series, featuring real aquatic animals that are unbelievably strange. The final illustrations can be seen in my portfolio archive, but here are a few behind-the-scenes images of the earlier phases of my process.

I start each illustration with tons of rough sketches, usually done with Tombow brush markers. For inspiration I doodled while watching  “The Blue Planet” and picked a few of my favorite species to illustrate.

I keep things gestural, focusing on depicting movement and crafting an interesting silhouette. As the ideas are refined, I draw more detailed images to gain an understanding of the animal’s anatomy. The Vampire Squid has spines along the insides of its arms and bioluminescent lights on the back of its head, and I wanted to make sure my final illustration was posed in a way that could show off these features.

These are the rough marker sketches that eventually became “Vampire Squid.”


These silhouettes are then cut out of fabrics that compliment the features and textures of the animal. Vampire Squid and Caribbean Reef Squid were both made from satin to capture their shiny qualities.

I have to decide which parts of the animal will be shown in fabric and which elements to embroider. For “Caribbean Reef Squid,” I embroidered all of the linear elements representing the tentacles and painted the specular, multicolor reflections of the body and the eyes.

Cut out satin for the body:


Embroidery of the tentacles in progress:


Detail of final tentacles:


Final image:

Exhibit at Solo Bar

Posted by on Oct 16, 2015 in Blog, Events, Sea Critters

Solo Bar presents new work by Seattle artist Julia Y!

Opens as of October 5th – Artist Reception Thur, Oct.15th during the Uptown Art Walk!
on view through Dec. 5th, 2015

“Julia Y has created a new series of illustrations portraying strange creatures from the deep sea.
Utilizing a unique mixed-media process, these images combine stylized shapes of cut-out fabric, patterns and textures, literal splashes of color, embroidered linear elements, and areas of detailed painting.Also, tentacles. Lots and lots of tentacles.”

Here are a few photos from the Art Walk:


Posted by Julia Y- Illustrations on Monday, October 5, 2015