Starting in March of 2012, Treefort Music Festival has been a celebration of all amazing things Boise. Welcoming bands from across the Treasure Valley, United States and venturing from opposite ends of the earth, Treefort hosts artists big and small. Showing them the beauty of what Boise has to offer. The event offers a variety of “Forts” to explore during the four day festival including: Alefort, Storyfort, Kidfort, Skatefort, and many more!
“In 2015, Treefort was named the City of Boise’s Cultural Ambassador for being an event that genuinely reflects the energy across mediums that is happening in the Boise community and cultural scene, and for the vision of connecting Boise and its creatives with other communities around the region, the country and around the world”
By day Julie Pagen creates works of art with other people’s most important day as a graphic designer and layout artist at Wedding Chicks. By night she murals, and sketches her way across Boise. She admits to late nights at her studio plotting her many projects. She currently has four murals up in Freak Alley and is excited to keep seeing the space grow (even if that means her current work will be covered by new art)!
So, who is Julie Pegan?:
Just a girl with a talent that will hopefully keep her away from a cubical for the rest of her life. 😉 I love coffee, and nerdy 90’s tv, generally liberally mixed together. I grew up on Comedy Central standup specials (which might explain a lot about my odd sense of humor) and I wish the world had more documentaries about space and the universe. My hobbies include snowboarding, longboarding, yoga (regular, hot and acro), Aerial silks and hammock with the occasional flying trapeze day mixed in, and some hardcore people watching.
Who were your early muses and inspirations?:
Early on I use to think I wanted to illustrate comic books and so I was (and still am) into Super heros and the nerd culture. But as I got into college and started to realize how much repetitive drawing comic books require (repeating the same character over and over, is not really my jam), I started exploring other ways to use my talents.
I found that illustration was a good outlet for my sarcasm and sense of humor as I could give life to the images in my head that made me laugh. Adam Rex, a children’s book author and illustrator and the creative genius behind the movie Home was a large influence on how to incorporate humor into my work.
Today I still funnel my humor though my art, but the inspiration seems to come from all over. I find myself creating things based on anything from a unique color combination, odd things I over hear/read, or even what it is I am currently binging on Netflix.
You have a few pieces in Freak Alley right? How do you feel your art brings you closer to the Boise community?:
Oddly enough I had no idea Freak Alley would be such a huge part of why I am doing so much as a freelance artist these days. I just started on a whim thinking it would be fun to say I painted on a wall downtown once. it has since lead to 3 mural projects outside of the Alley so far, Tshirt designs, an album cover and art for a band, Illustrating a children’s book (and a second one lined up for later this year) and joining an artist collective. And that was just for painting pretty pictures on the walls downtown.
In college I was a graphic design intern for the Idaho Wassmuth Center for Human Rights (they are in charge of the Idaho Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial) that has since turned into even more freelance work now that I am no longer in school. I design anything from banners, buttons to books for the center and memorial.
Everything that I am involved in outside of my own personal work is generally aimed at making Boise a better place to live. Whether that is just making the space a little prettier to look at or fighting for and teaching others about basic human rights, I hope my work at least inspires a few others do the same.
Where do you want to go with your art?:
Uh oh, loaded question. 😉 I feel like this changes almost daily. Like I said before I really wanted to be a comic book illustrator for a while. Not too long ago I was bound and determined to work for Laika one day (They are a stop motion animation studio out of the Portland area that made the movies Coroline, ParaNorman, Box Trolls and Kubo and the Two Strings). On occasion I think it would be so rad to work on movie sets as a background artist (but who knows how you get those kinds of connections and hook ups) These days I am just trying to see where my freelance takes me. I love the way it keeps me doing new and exciting things all the time.
Besides being an amazing artist, what hidden talent do you possess?:
Quite good at wrapping gifts and folding origami. I drive a manual transmission car and can balance a checkbook. 😉 … (also see hobbies in the “who is Julie Pegan” response)
Who are you looking forward to seeing at Treefort this year?:
Honestly this is my first year where I have the to opportunity to take part in Treefort. I’m not even sure who I’ll see but Comedy Fort and Yoga Fort sound like a lot of fun.