With formidable, illustration skills, Julia Durgee paints the activity, buzz, and beauty of Maine.
She grew up drawing and painting cartoons, fashion designs, murals, and portraits in Albany, New York. This early work led to her apparel design degree from Cornell University and eventual freelance illustration work for Forbes.com and national branding agencies in NYC. In 2005, she was heavily influenced by the graphic novel boom and unearthed her talent for producing structured, autobiographical comic art, winning her an American Illustration Award in 2007.
Upon the market crash of 2008, she pursued her M.B.A. from the University of Notre Dame, believing the business world could benefit from more artists. In 2013, after marketing the magic of Disney World, she moved to Portland, Maine, to market the magic of L.L.Bean.
She revived her oil painting practice by studying painting en plein air on Monhegan Island with David Lussier, who taught her that a great painting contains just as much structure as a great comic. Plein air has also emboldened her to paint less-serene, crowded settings: a rock-climbing competition, a fundraiser, a rowdy, craft beer festival. Her powers of concentration are recharged weekly at her volunteer work, drawing portraits of energetic kids and teens at the Portland Boys & Girls Club.