We’ve been looking for an excuse to sit down with Joid’art’s creative director so that she can tell us about herself, her work and her jewellery for some time now. And at last we’ve found it! The design of the new Terrazzo Project collection has given us an opportunity to find out all about her, how she works and what provides inspiration for this artist and graphic designer who has lived and breathed the art of jewellery since she was very young.
In addition to being responsible for Joid’art’s creative direction, Cristina Julià is also a jewellery designer and has her own brand of objets d’art. Having studied Fine Arts and Graphic Design, she combines all of those facets with absolute ease, creating aesthetic synergies between her graphic work and her jewellery. The new Terrazzo Project collection is an example of just that, with the creation of a dialogue between graphic design, painting and jewellery design and taking a material as basic as terrazzo as a starting point.
This interview offers us an insight into the creative process that went into that project. Visit cristinajulia.com to discover more of her work.
Cristina, describe yourself in three words.
Creative, persevering and vivacious.
Tell us how your professional career has developed.
Despite having had close links to the worlds of fashion and accessories design from a young age, both through my grandparents’ textile factory and my father’s jewellery shop, I decided to study Fine Arts and Graphic Design and spend some time working outside the family business environment.
I worked as a graphic designer in a number of design studios and, little by little, I began collaborating with Joid’art, designing some collections and helping with the window displays for the brand’s stores in Barcelona. Gradually I became part of the company structure, I began to create collections and organise the creative department and now I am responsible for the brand’s artistic direction, working alongside a fantastic team that who throw themselves heart and soul into each new project.
In parallel, this past year, I have returned to my more artistic roots and begun to explore the field of sculpture and painting for my personal brand, CJAO. This activity has helped me to delve further into the artistic phenomenon and find the coherence between the different disciplines in which I work.
Your relationship with the jewellery industry all started with your family, when did you realise that you wanted to devote your energies to that world?
I don’t think I ever have. I used to visit the workshop when I was very young and my father would ask my opinion on the different collections that he co-created with the various designers and artists. I believe that the creative impulse directed me towards the world of jewellery because that was the one that was closest to me, but I also have a great love for a variety of other fields of art and design: graphic design, interior design, sculpture, photography… Oddly enough, I create jewellery without having any technical training in that area, but rather by surrounding myself with professional specialists who are the ones that have shown me where my limits are. Although it seems like a contradiction in terms, that is one of the things that works best for me. The freedom that not having a previous technical limitation gives you and being able to push the boundaries to the limit.
You are creative director of Joid’art and you also create your own objets d’art, how do you combine both those aspects?
I am the creative director of Joid’art, I have my personal brand of objets d’art and I’m mum to two beautiful daughters. By combining passion and wisdom. The best way I can
What are your go-to references when it comes to your creations?
In general, I particularly like abstract art, more often than not minimalist or expressionist, whether it is a painting or a colourful sculpture project. I don’t have any specific references when I’m creating something but I like to get the creative juices flowing by looking at works of art that are representative of those styles. If I had to name some specific artists, I would say Brancusi’s sculptures, Imi Knoebel’s three-dimensional paintings, Natalie du Pasquier’s installations, Katsumi Omori’s photographs, Landon Metz’s paintings… as well as numerous others that move me!
Can you tell us about the creative process behind the Terrazzo Project?
Well, as has usually been the way since my return to artistic activity, my creative process is multidisciplinary A dialogue between the different disciplines that I bring together. A sketch brings me to a shape, which gives rise to an outline on paper that is transformed into a volumetric prototype and gives life to the composition of a painted work.
Where do you think the painting you created especially for this collection—that five lucky people will be able to win by participating in our Instagram competition—should be hung?
It’s very personal. But I imagine it on a light-coloured wall next to a plant with very large leaves and a neutral-coloured sofa … I would love to see where all the winners end up hanging it.
Which of your works do you particularly like? Why?
I have a special predilection for the custom-made commissions I create. They are unique and represent a dialogue about the space and colours of the person who commissioned them.
Are you working on any projects at present that you can tell us about?
A large mural sculpture for a lovely house next to the sea in Cap de Creus.
What is your relationship with the world of fashion? What does it mean to you?
A relationship between the comfortable and utilitarian. I understand it as a useful way to express a certain way of looking at the world.
What do you think a piece of jewellery should transmit? And an objet d’art?
Jewellery, unlike other items you wear, is not useful in that it keeps you warm or protects you from the elements, and therefore it has a more important symbolic component. A piece of jewellery has to synthesise a type of architecture, values that you not only feel comfortable with but that you enjoy sharing.
What do you like to do when you are not working?
Walk, walk and reinvent the areas of my house.
Right now, the colour of clay.
An imperfect circle.
A ceramic bowl.
A work of art.
‘Objects Arranged According to the Law of Chance’ by Jean Arp.
Which, out of all the jewellery collections that you have created for Joid’art, are you especially proud of?
Geometria, Flowerbloom, Arp and Terrazzo Project because they are the result of a dialogue between the jewellery I create for Joid’art and my personal work, and therefore, I feel they are truer to me as a person.