Julia Wertz

A career in art was unavoidable for me. It’s the only thing I can imagine doing for the rest of my life. Because of that and because of my own preferences, I accepted a long time ago that my life after college would be unstable and uncertain, as I try to make a living while finding my feet as an illustrator. My path was, is, and is going to be weird and winding, and at times uncomfortable. Attempts to pin down who and why and what I am don’t tend to produce clear answers, whether it’s about my brain or personality or shoe size. My choice to come to UNH, and study illustration at a college with a small art program that didn’t even offer my preferred concentration, was once again jamming a square plug in a round hole. The system needed to reshape itself to accommodate me, like always. I’ve learned to assert—both to others and myself—my own right to take up space, inconveniently-shaped as that space may be. Many kind people from a wide variety of disciplines were willing to get creative and help me Frankenstein together a college career that worked for me, and their support and patience is hugely appreciated.  My first “big break” came last year, ironically during the rejection of my BFA application: mid-explanation that the BFA program wouldn’t give me the flexibility I needed, Jennifer Moses noticed I liked D&D and hooked me up the Theater department to illustrate the virtual play She Kills Monsters. That ended up being an incredible and intense learning experience for me, and I owe Jen so much for that connection and other ones she started for me. A burgeoning freelance artist needs connections, and now I’ve made some important ones, in the last couple years especially. I want to tell stories and explore universes through art, and my winding path paved with dragon doodles is as uncertain as ever, but I feel as ready as I can ever be, and I welcome the unknown.

Cosmic Elements

Illustrations for the virtual play
She Kills Monsters.