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Julie Zielinski



Picture it:  a four year old girl sitting in a blue, miniature chair in her preschool classroom.  The teacher looks kindly at her while asking one of the most weighted questions a human being can answer, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”   It takes the girl but a moment to answer.  It came directly from from her heart, as most things do from a four year old.
“I want to learn how to draw pictures real good.”    

And so my life as an artist was born. From that day on I was the “artistic one” in a household full of kids.  Born and raised in Kansas City, MO, I was one of five children; three older sisters who have helped me navigate my life and a pesky little brother whose humor and energy brought life to any situation.  Our supportive parents encouraged our interests and took pride in our differences. They motivated me to follow my passion for art and kept my art supplies fully stocked throughout the years.

Growing up I idolized the artists and animators of my favorite Disney movies and hoped to one day impact the imaginations of children world wide with my creations as well.  Creating characters, scenery and stories which evoke a variety of emotions for the viewer is something I strive to accomplish with each piece I create.   

I received my Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Clarke University,  a small liberal arts college in Dubuque, IA.   While there I had the opportunity to be named Student Director of the Quigley Gallery of Art.  It was my privilege to coordinate with fellow students and visiting artists on the production of multiple art shows and exhibitions.    It was during my time at university that I had my first solo show, Searching for Inspiration, which highlighted my graphite drawing skills and gave me my first taste of exposure.   

After graduating I started teaching young children and fell in love with children's literature and illustration.  While teaching I discovered the joy of reading out loud to children and making stories come to life.   Writing and illustrating my own children's books became my new mission in life which strengthened when I became a mother myself.  In my opinion, children’s literature introduces children to the world of art, creativity and imagination. It is a window into the world around them and it is the responsibility of the author and illustrator to open that window.       

I thrive on the challenge each commission piece brings- landscapes of vivid bright colors, the loving eyes of a beloved pet,  the personality of a loved one brought to life in caricature form or a holiday scene painted on some old windows.  Each piece gives me the opportunity to become a better artist.  Creating things that make people happy gives me great fulfillment and I can't wait to see what my next project will bring.    

Currently I reside in Richmond, VA with my husband and two incredible little boys who inspire me with their deep, insightful questions about the universe and their incurable enjoyment of fart jokes.  Their hugs, smiles and cuddles fuel my creativity and keep motivating me to uphold the title my boys have bestowed upon me as the “best mom in the whole wide world”. 


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