The Wick - Interview Formidable Illustrator and Artist Julie Verhoeven The Wick - Interview Formidable Illustrator and Artist Julie Verhoeven
Monday Muse

Interview Formidable Illustrator and Artist Julie Verhoeven

Interview
Julie Verhoeven
Photograph
Panos Damaskinidis
12 July 2021
Interview
Julie Verhoeven
Photograph
Panos Damaskinidis
12 July 2021
London-based, Kent-born Julie Verhoeven’s impressive work spans illustration, creative direction and design consultancy, and has seen her collaborate with the best and brightest of the fashion industry. After training as a designer, she worked under John Galliano for four years before designing for Mulberry and Louis Vuitton and heading up brand Gibo. While her formal training is in fashion design, she’s perhaps best known for her work as an illustrator in the noughties when she collaborated with Vogue and brands including Chloé and Versace.

As the daughter of an illustrator and a graphic designer, and sister of a painter, Verhoeven has increasingly shared the family passion for art, incorporating sculpture, animation, installations and videos into her practice.

When she’s not holding often cheeky exhibitions all over the world or contributing to publications including Dazed & Confused, she also teaches fashion at Central Saint Martins and the Royal College of Art. She’s a serious contender for our busiest Monday Muse yet.

THE WICK:   Talk us through a typical Monday.

JULIE VERHOEVEN:   Despite the excessive clutter I live and work in, a typical Monday runs like military manoeuvres, without the physicality or company. A 5am alarm call from Ernie the cat, followed by a 6.30am swim, my favourite time of the day. If I get started at my studio sometime before 9am, psychologically I feel like I’m getting ahead of the working day. It’s downhill from there, as I’m fighting to get things done before I start to wane around 3pm.

TW:   Your work provokes and satirises manners, why is this important to you?

JV:   I don’t know. It’s a rather juvenile, guttural response, I suppose. I often feel stifled, and frustrated by my overmannered output, so I try to push it a tad and amuse myself.

TW:   What exciting projects have you got coming up?

JV:   I am working on a collaborative picture book with Scottish artist Alan Faulds. We share a lot of similar interests, fashion, performance, pop music and are making works together and independently, in response to each other. Alan is part of an artists’ studio collective, www.kmadotcom.art.

TW:   You work across fashion, illustration, performance, collage and film. Do you have a favourite medium?

JV:   My current favourite medium, by far, is video. Purely because I can crowbar in all of the above and then add music to amplify the ‘message’. I feel the most vocal in this medium and it’s a great editing tool to control my visual overload tendencies.

Get over yourself – nobody is really that bothered what you are doing. This is hugely freeing and grounding.

TW:   You’ve worked with leading design and beauty brands, including Marc Jacobs, Chloé, Louis Vuitton and Versace. Do you have a favourite collaboration?

JV:   I have an appalling memory, so the latest has to be the best and that was Marc Jacobs, and that is true.

TW:   Which book would you gift to someone else?

JV:   Peek-a-boob Too by Stan Austen. Crudely painted boob art with accompanying visual gags. You would have to be a saddo not to take pleasure from this book. I especially love it even more in the current climate of nipple censorship. There’s a high nipple count here.

TW:   As a teacher, what do you think is your most important learning from the last five years?

JV:   Get over yourself ¬¬– nobody is really that bothered what you are doing. This is hugely freeing and grounding.

TW:   Who is your ultimate Monday Muse?

JV:   There is a mannequin in my local Sense charity shop window who brings me immense pleasure daily. She has a stony power stare, inspirational makeup and great posture. This week, she is sporting the attire of an Ibiza bride… a white cowboy hat with floor-length veil, a white voile tank dress and one discarded satin shoe.


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