We had the good fortune of connecting with Julia Rockowitz and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Julia, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
To me risk is relative. Relative to the degree you believe in the stories you are told. If you ask most people, I’ve taken a ton of risks in my life and career. I’ve moved cities overnight with nothing but my clothing, I’ve quit a kush job to sell greeting cards, I’ve picked up a needle and decided to be a tattoo artist and a whole lot more in between. The thing is – I never really saw those things as risks, I saw them as opportunities to push myself and grow and as a result, I get to spend my time doing something I actually want to be doing. I believe that ultimately, you’re writing your own story and you can do literally ANYTHING you want. Of course, I’m all for being thoughtful and rational but if you’re not pushing boundaries (“taking risks”) then you’re not moving anything forward and that’s ultimately what I want to be doing as a human.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I only discovered I was an artist a few years ago in 2017. I always knew I was super creative but hadn’t yet found an outlet. In 2017 I was struggling a lot personally and decided to doodle in my free time to relieve some stress. I started sharing my illustrations to instagram and pretty quickly the account took off. A few short years later and I have a greeting card line with my illustrations sold in ~500 stores worldwide and a daily calendar that’s sold over 50k copies. However amazing this all sounds, it wasn’t an easy road. I felt burnt out so many times over the last few years. I had no idea all that went into starting your own business and I’m still learning to be honest. But the biggest thing that I learned in all of my work with rockdoodles is that your heart has to be in it. Early in 2020 I realized that it was time to go inward and start creating from a space I hadn’t even yet discovered within myself. I spent a lot of time reading books, listening to podcasts, and working with plant medicine to open my mind and heart. Eventually I had a realization one night that I could translate the art I was longing to be creating – to skin. I ordered a bunch of stuff and started practicing tattooing the next week. I knew the second I picked up the needle that it was for me and I haven’t stoped poking since. (I do hand-poked tattoos!) Since I started, I’ve been working on fine-tuning my style and building a clientele. I’m most excited about a project I’m about to launch that I’ve been working on for months. I’ve created a language of symbols to bring life to the ideas and concepts that most people are wanting to translate through their tattoos. The ideas is, a client would come to me with an intention and we’d pull out the symbols that best match their intention and then I intuitively place them in a unique grid for the tattoo. It’ a process that provides the client with a deeply personal and one of a kind tattoo. I’ve created an environment where a client can come in for a tattoo and leave feeling refreshed, relaxed and touched by the interaction and lifelong art they walk away with. SO to wrap this long winded answer up, I think the most important lesson I’ve learned through my career so far is that if you’re going to be working for yourself, your heart has got to be in it. You can make a lot of money and get by doing something that you don’t really care that much about but you will never find fulfillment in that. If you’re not sure what you can be doing that will bring you money and fulfill you, my only advice is to go inward. Get to know yourself and watch what happens.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Let’s pretend the world is normal for this answer… Millie’s Diner for breakfast, Aroma Cafe for lunch, Ysabel for dinner and Pink’s Hot Dogs for the late night munchies. After dinner drinks at Bar Calo, dancing at La Descarga, and karaoke at Breakroom 86. Mid day steam at Tonic Wellness Boutique and a facial at Belladonna Salon. Shopping at Platform and thrifting at Melrose Trading Post. Hang at the Broad Museum, Huntington Library, Rooftop Cinema Club and catch a show at The Comedy Store. Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Absolutely, I love this question! Back in May 2020 I joined a small women’s group called Man In The Room led by Troy Eckert. The groups intention was to bring likeminded women together to discover the deepest sense of self and to awaken to possibility. I can without a doubt say that I am a different person from this group. Having a group of women to bounce ideas off of, vent to, receive affirmation from, connect deeply, display vulnerability to…the list goes on… was life changing.