Local Works strives to create a comfortable and inspiring workspace for our members. One of the ways we do this is through collaborations with local artists. Each quarter, we invite an artist to display their work throughout the space—it’s become a revolving perspective that’s brought something fresh and interesting for us to admire and discuss.
Throughout the fourth quarter of 2016, we proudly displayed the work of Julia Deckman, a Charleston painter known for her candy-colored Charleston home and business portraits. We chatted with Julia about her love for Charleston and the many things that inspired her to create this collection.
How do you choose your subjects?
I am genuinely inspired by the restaurant industry here, so this series is actually very personal to me. I have real and personal relationships and histors with several of the establishments, and I imagine I will be painting more Charleston staples in the near future. For my Charleston Hospitality series, I began with establishments especially meaningful to me like Queen Street Grocery, one of my favorite “neighborhood” spot.
I used to live very close by and would often walk there with one of my pups to grab a smoothie or sandwich. The owner, Rob, is wonderfully supportive of local creatives and has even hung a few of my pieces.
What is your creative process?
I make sure to keep myself open to inspiration, wherever it may come from. Once I am inspired to take a certain direction, I use photography to help create my compositions. I take several pictures and choose my favorites to base my pieces on. But I try to remain flexible to change— a final piece will often be much different than how I originally planned.
What inspires you?
My greatest source of inspiration come from nature: light and color consistently blow me away. Whether it’s the sun shining, shadows dancing, or the ways the color of the sky or ocean can shift, I try to make a mental catalog of my surroundings. And now that we have smart phones, I try to take a quick picture so I can revisit the moment when I’m in need of a little inspiration.
Your studio is at Redux, is there a fair amount of collaborating and coworking?
I am extremely fortunate to work in Redux. I moved into my studio over this summer, so I’m a relatively new member and still forging friendships with the other artists. I am always open to collaboration, as well as advice and critique. I don’t have any collaborations currently planned with other Redux artists, but I am collaborating with other creatives on the “Charleston Charm” pop-up shop we are hosting at Candlefish on October 7th. I hope to have similar collaborations with my fellow Redux artists in the near future.
Why is supporting ‘local’ important?
Charleston is a truly special city. It’s the feeling of being a close community while in the midst of a large city that makes Charleston so special. This city feels like “home” to me, and I want to take care of my home and neighbors. If we fail to support our local businesses, we will lose the charm and sense of community that makes Charleston unique. And now that our home has become such a popular destination, we need to be extra careful not to lose sight of what’s truly important. What is important to the wellbeing of our city is making sure that there’s not a Starbucks on every block or an IHOP downtown for the tourists and college kids, it’s recommending all of the wonderful local places they should try (insert Kudu, Blacktap, C&B, Dixie Supply, etc).
We’re honored to have Julia’s work decorate our space and we hope you’ll come by for a tour to check it out. For questions about working at Local Works, contact us today!