At Home with Artist Julia Rothman

By: Kealia Reynolds At home with
Photo by Ashley Gallerani

I first came across Julia’s art while perusing the Hygge & West website for wallpaper inspiration. I became captivated with one of her designs (Foret in Midnight) and its intricate level of detail and precision, and quickly ventured over to her website to learn more about her and her artwork. There I discovered a myriad of beautifully designed products from bedding and clothing to books and mugs—all drawn by Julia.

Not only is Julia an artist, she’s an author and illustrator (her latest work of illustration is the very charming Brick: Who Found Herself in Architecture), teacher, and co-founder of Women Who Draw, an open directory of female professional illustrators, artists, and cartoonists. She works from her apartment studio in Park Slope, Brooklyn, which is where we caught up with her (and her Wheaten Terrier, Rudy) to explore the relationship between her artwork and her home.

Photographs by Ashley Gallerani for House Method

Photo by Ashley Gallerani

Tell us a little bit about your home.

I’ve lived here about nine years. I stayed so long because the rent is stabilized and the location is incredible. Since I have a dog, being half a block from the park is ideal. Also, I love my neighbors in the building and [on] the block. There’s a real community here.

You have a studio in your apartment. How do you balance work and personal life?

Somehow, I’ve managed. It has me keeping odd hours, for sure. I might work really late or wake up early in the morning and sneak in [the studio] before breakfast. But I’ve been doing it since graduating college, so I’m used to it. It’s a tiny room, but when I’m here, I feel energized to do something.

Photo by Ashley Gallerani
Photo by Ashley Gallerani

How does your home reflect your art?

Hmm…well they’re both cluttered! I like stuff and I like to draw stuff. I have a lot of art and objects from artist friends. I have a lot of art books. There’s no way you could walk into my apartment and not guess what field of work I’m in.

What’s your favorite detail about your home?

I love my bathroom. It’s 1950s pink and black tile. And a pink tub. It’s so classic. I’ve painted it a dozen times.

What do you like most about your neighborhood?

It’s a very friendly neighborhood. I have my regular spots and people know me by now—the bodega guy, the woman at the wine shop, the crossing guard. My neighbors and I have stoop nights where we sit outside and play games. We have an annual block party. This year, I face painted all of the kids. I grew up on City Island in a similar type of neighborhood, so it feels so comfortable and familiar.

Photo by Ashley Gallerani
Photo by Ashley Gallerani
Photo by Ashley Gallerani
Photo by Ashley Gallerani
Launch Slideshow

Where do you find inspiration for your artwork?

Mostly, it’s everyday things I see around me—an interesting storefront, a street scene, or friends hanging out. I am constantly taking pictures when I’m walking around. I save these in an album called to draw and when I have the time away from client work, I paint those [pictures]. It’s almost like keeping a diary.

If you had one piece of advice for artists living in New York, what would it be?

Meet people. Go to events and talk to people. There are so many fascinating people in this city to learn from or connect with. It can lead to a new opportunity, friendship, or collaboration.

What does home mean to you?

The place I feel the most safe, physically and mentally.


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