I recently had a cybersitdown with the amazing illustrator Julia Sonmi Heglund. She is an incredibly talented lady who draws magical creatures and super psychedelic doodles while residing in Madison, Wisconsin. You can find several of her rad tshirt designs at Threadless. Besides drawing, making, and thrifting Julia also creates music with her boyfriend under the moniker Sonmi. She had many good things to say.
HD: Do you draw from similar influences for your art and for your music?
JSH: I think I must, but it’s never intentional. Somehow what i like aesthetically and musically just usually happen to connect. But i like a lot a lot of music…like anywhere from top 40 hits to 60s psych rock to japanese noise to finnish experimental toy bands to andean dance music with lots of panflute.
HD: Do you have a power animal? (seriously or jokingly)
JSH: I don’t know if it’s necessarily a power animal, but i feel a real kinship with those from the canid family…dogs, wolves, foxes. There’s just something about their look and their loyalty and their fuzzy faces that i like a lot. They have neat teeth, too.
HD: What was your experience like playing a show with Gang Gang Dance? Also, how excited are you for the new record?
JSH: It was so surreal. We were blown away when their booking agent said we could open for them, as they were and still are one of our favorite bands. I ended up being sick the entire month of the show, though, with an aggressive cold. my voice was totally shot. somehow we made it through our set, and GGD said they dug our stuff and bought a cd. Like I said, crazy. and NO ONE came to the show! whaat! so we just hung out afterwards. they are super nice folk. I can’t believe it’s already been almost two years since that show..
As for the new record: Oh my dog. I really hope this is the record that gives them the audience they deserve. They are really pretty next level.
HD: I know you’re quite busy being busy and making rad stuff like everyday, but are you playing any shows in the nearing future?
JSH: We’ve decided to take a break for the time being. we kind of went into hibernation this time last year, as well. it’s mainly because I haven’t had a chance to make new music in forever, and i was getting tired of my old stuff. the boy put this disclaimer on our myspace page, however, which i believe are our exceptions: “we’re not available for shows right now, unless you’re booking something super special. If you’re booking a show in a cave, a sunken ghost ship, a forest, the heart of a crystal temple, a tiny space with black lights, a round room, on top of a mountain, etc. let us know.”
HD: Julia, tell me, do you have any records on wax? If so, what’s your favorite listen?
JSH: Sooo many! Well, not a ton, but maybe 50 or so. I really enjoy the stuff we buy at thrift stores on a whim. there’s this one crazy record we have that i don’t even remember where we got. it’s called “Kaleidoscopic Vibrations – electronic pop music from way out” by Perrey & Kingsley. it’s super poppy, futuristic, warm, and somber synth music released in 1967, with the moog as a primary instrument. i also like “Switched-on Bach,” also featuring the Moog. Moog synth and vinyl just seems right together.
HD: I’m well aware of your psyche voice, but do you think you could rap?
JSH: hahaha! maybe if i practiced a lot. my words usually come out faster than my thoughts, so i’m very prone to stumbling around and jacking up sentences. i’d totally be up for trying it, though.
HD: Off the cuff, who are five artists you’re admiring these days? Old or new.
JSH: The list is huge! but here’s a small sampling of visual artists i’ve both recently discovered, and those i’ve liked for a few years now:
HD: If you could collaborate with anyone on any artistic project, who & what would it be? (pretty broad right?)
JSH: Jim Henson, I think. Can you imagine creating your own muppet? I recently just watched “The Dark Crystal” for the first time and was really taken aback by how much I connected with the character designs. He was an amazing man.
HD: If you could have all the kittens in the world where would you live with them?
HD: When are we going to collaborate on a fanny pack design?
JSH: No seriously, why haven’t we yet?! Let’s conspire soon. It’s going to be EPIC!