Episode 003: Julie Olson – Children’s book author & illustrator

Julie Olson picture

When I was kicking around the idea for the Backstory Project, I made a list of people I wanted to talk with and quickly I realized I needed to expand my circle. My wife and I were chatting with friends when the topic of the blog and podcast came up. Our friend, Melissa, grasped onto the idea, and after asking some great questions, made a few suggestions. At the top of the list was Julie Olson.

Julie is busy, she’s quick to point out that her family of four kids takes up a lot of time. Even with that constant rush of comings and goings, she makes time for creating. Prior to recording the podcast, we had exchanged a few messages back and forth, through out and during our recording she exudes a quiet, thoughtful, confidence.

Thanks to Julie for talking with me, and thanks to Melissa Heiselt for making the connect.

This is Julie’s backstory…

Official Bio

I was born in Maryland, the 6th of 9 (that’s right, 9) kids. I had 6 brothers who loved to tease and 2 sisters who paved the way with good old mom and dad for me (the youngest girl). But, I vowed to be different than the bunch.

In 1994, I left my parents and 3 remaining siblings at home to attend Brigham Young University and to study illustration. In a family filled with doctors, lawyers, electrical engineers, teachers and statisticians…I was the odd man out. But I didn’t care and neither did my family. They were brimming with support and encouragement. Even now they are some of my biggest fans (along with my wonderful husband and kids).

In April 1998, I graduated from Brigham Young University with a BFA in Illustration and have been freelancing ever since. I’m enjoying it thoroughly and am glad to be realizing my dream of becoming a freelance illustrator. In 2010 I added the title of AUTHOR to my resume when my first picture book completely created by me hit the shelves. From then on, my focus expanded to being the full creator of books from start to finish. I love the process and seeing my ideas come to life in words and art together. I’ve now published over 14 picture books and have many more in my head.

But I must admit to you my other passion…my family. As crazy as it gets with 4 kids running around the studio, the kitchen, the yard, the grocery store (or wherever I happen to be), I love being a wife and a mom, and am lucky to share my life with them. They provide so much of the inspiration, the modeling, and the life of my work. I’m one lucky gal.

Want to connect with Julie? She loves to do school visits and teach at conferences for teachers, writers, artists, etc. You can find out more on her site jujubeeillustrations.com.

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