Beautiful Bizarre Magazine Interview 2019

"Step into the world of Juliana Loomer (also known as Dragedalen Art), where magic, romanticism, and dark surrealism collide with ubiquitous force and then nurture the enchantment of one another. Acquaint your imagination with each protagonist as they peer from their mysterious surroundings, inviting you to share in their journey.

With distinct symbolism and emotional deliverance, her digital paintings communicate a story waiting to unfold.

Juliana Loomer has worked as a digital artist in the entertainment industry in California making artwork for major feature films for many years. With a Bachelor of Fine Art from the Academy of Art University, and experience in the high-expectation world of visual effects, Juliana has developed a painting style that not only fools the eye with the illusion of reality, but also inspires the heart.

Thank you so much for taking time to share with our readers, Juliana. Was there anything from your upbringing that fed your creativity and led to your artistic journey?

I grew up in Northern California and spent every free minute wandering the coastal trails in the fog. When you spend a lot of time in nature, and especially in moody coastal weather, it begins to work on your imagination and soul in a tragic/romantic way. You hear old stories of shipwrecks, lost spirits, even strange creature stories (Bigfoot) from your friends and family, so there is really no way, if you are artistically inclined, not to be inspired.

I think reading the book Mists of Avalon really rocked my psyche as a teenager and I wanted my life full of feminine magic and mystery. If you have never read this book it is about Morgaine, a priestess of the old ways, who is living in the transition period between the end of the pagan age and the rise of the Roman Empire in England. It is about the fading of the old ways into the mists of time and how it affected the characters and politics of the day. Heavy stuff. I think this book has unconsciously influenced every minute of every day of my life.

What is the most integral part of your work in terms of visual expression, style, and narrative?

I believe in multiple-dimensional reality, and I made (or found) my way to the world of the old ways described above; a life very much saturated in and dedicated to the reverence of natural energies and archetypal subjects for my work. This is everything to me and no story is more important for me to tell.

Professionally, I ended up in the film industry doing visual effects art and background painting. I learned visual storytelling in a realistic way, so that has influenced the expression of my work. I want there to be a sense of realism in what I paint. I want you to see the life in the eyes of my subjects, see their mood, see what haunts them because they are haunted and I wouldn’t be interacting with them if they weren’t still here for a reason.

How has it changed and evolved over time?

Well, I only started painting for myself (not painting professionally) about a year ago, so I guess the only way to describe what has changed over the past year is that the subjects I paint are becoming more “clear”; Their personalities richer. Their stories revealed in more detail.

Describe your favorite place on earth. In what way is it inspirational to the creation of your artwork?

In 2008, I reached full burn-out professionally (after working many years of 15 hour days). I took a month off to rest and see what I wanted to do next. During that time I was unable to sleep and after two weeks of intense insomnia I began to see – or hallucinate – visitations with a man who stood by my bed. He would only let me sleep if I wrote down a story he had to tell me. Since I was desperate, I agreed, and in 4 weeks I had a 600 page book about a woman who travels from California to Norway and all the things that happened to her that change her life (Child of the Jotun, on Amazon and iTunes).

After writing this book, all my friends told me I had to go to Norway to see if what I had written was real. I saved up and took my first trip to Scandinavia. About 5 minutes after walking around Bergen, Norway, I knew I had to sell my house and move to Norway – but no clue why! Coming to Norway changed my life for real, and now I live in harmony with nature on a traditional farm in the mountains following old ways but with the upgrade of fiber internet. Haha.

Norway is one of those places where more people practice the old ways than traditional religions, but it is done very privately. The connection between spirit and humans is easily accessible, as if the energy of modern life hasn’t washed out the doorway between the worlds. Now we live on a farm that has gnomes we have seen with the naked eyes on one occasion, a spirit of a milkmaid who walks a forgotten mountain path across the property, and an old lady who loves it when the radio in the barn is turned on. If you somehow don’t see these spirits, the epic views of the mountains and the dragon’s breath fog that flows through the valley here will get your artistic juices flowing. Impossible not to be inspired here."

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