Julie Kraulis: Making Time | Interview27 November 2019
Based in Toronto, Canada, Julie Kraulis is a visual artist who dedicates her time and work to a collection of graphite drawings focused on legendary watches, called MAKING TIME. She ended up in the “time world” in 2017 through serendipity, as she recalls herself, after reading an article about timepieces which awakened her curiosity. The artist thus discovered a fascinating world made of passion, history and craftsmanship. Since then, Julie – who is passionate about design – is trying to offer a new perspective on the horlogerie legends through her works. Watch Insanity found her on Instagram, where she shares insights about life in her studio and artworks requested by private collectors, brands, and the media, as well as her personal works. Let’s discover more about her ideas and her current and future projects.
1. When did you start drawing wristwatches?
I stumbled into watches a few years ago. I drew my first watch Fall 2015 but started focusing on the timepiece collection full-time in 2017.
2. Where did this idea come from?
I had been looking for a new subject to study in depth and serendipitously came across an article about iconic timepieces. I have always been enamoured by design and inspired by detail – anywhere and everywhere; in natural or urban landscapes, in mundane or exotic environments, in humble interactions or vast mind-blowing ones. Watches span so many different worlds and I quickly discovered there was much of interest to learn and explore.
3. Why do you find a watch an interesting subject for a drawing?
Timeless design intrigues me. I’m curious to explore and better understand how something remains relevant and passionately embraced over time. I knew I wanted to approach the MAKING TIME collection in a way that would highlight design and emphasize the magic of these legendary timepieces. A mechanical watch is an amazing feat of design and engineering, creativity ticking away on the wrist. When you play with scale and distort the context of an everyday object, you are able to see it with fresh eyes and perspective. I’m especially drawn to vintage timepieces. I love the soul in the vintage world and the idea that an object has stories to tell and secrets to keep. Patina has become one of my favourite things to capture because it represents all of this and adds an extra layer of charm and character.
4. What was the first model you draw?
The first watch I drew was a Zenith El Primero followed by a Cartier Tank.
5. And what is the one that stole your heart?
An impossible question to answer for there isn’t just one! I love a vintage chrono like the GMT-Master 1675 with a tropical dial as much as watch with a unique design like the Nautilus, Royal Oak or Tank. Sometimes my heart is captured by the overall design of a watch and sometimes it’s captured by a unique element like lugs, dials, hands, markers, etc.
6. What is your relationship with time?
This is something I’d like to explore further in the next phase of the collection. For now, I’ll just say that I am a stop and smell the roses kinda gal and relatively untethered to the clock most days, never the one to ask for the time or day or date…
7. Do you possess any timepiece yourself?
I have never worn a watch but since getting into watches, I’ve found myself desiring a handful and have taken my sweet time in deciding which ones might be for me. As an art student, I learned about the golden ratio, a principle the Lange 1 adheres to. I was smitten by the connection, as well as it’s exquisite design and finishing. I’ve been on the hunt for an early pink gold Lange 1 and have found a beautiful one at long last, soon to be on my wrist!
8. Is there a brand that you’d like to collaborate with, and why?
I have worked with a handful of brands and there are still so many I have yet to get to. I always welcome the opportunity to talk ideas and to collaborate on interesting projects. One of my pipe dreams is to combine my love of sport and watches with a collection specifically created for a tournament or special event. I’d also love to work with a brand documenting their history and iconic timepieces in some manner, perhaps a book or a themed collection of work. Too many ideas, too little time!
9. Who is your customer?
Most of the work in the timepiece collection has been commissioned. I have worked with brands and private collectors all over the world, as well as editorial work for leading publications. I also offer limited edition prints of independent pieces through my online shop and those find their way into the hands of just about anybody. Anyone interested in commissioning original work can inquire via email and I am always happy to connect on Instagram, as well.
10. Do you have any in Italy?
I have yet to work with collectors in Italy but I very much welcome the opportunity.
11. What are you working on right now and what are your plans for the future?
I am currently working on a special piece for TAG Heuer, the Monaco Piece d’Art movement. This will be given alongside the watch which will be auctioned off at the Phillips sale in December. I have an ongoing wait list and so I am always working on variety of commissioned pieces at different stages. I never know what exciting project or interesting collaboration is around the corner but I’m always game! The deeper I get into the collection, the more I’d like to explore the mechanical and conceptual side of time. I’ve got a ways to go and much to learn but I’d like to focus on these things.
By Valeria Garavaglia