A Day In The Life Of A Professional Artist

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Brazilian-born artist Juliana Manara graduated with MA in Photography in Paris over five years ago. She then made her move to London, where she started to create art just for fun. As she began to earn some notable prizes and awards for her work, which in turn enabled her to sell some of her artwork, she felt this could become a lifestyle for her. And as the saying goes – the rest is history.

Today, she is an established artist and works from her studio in London. Her work sells around the world and has been exhibited anywhere from Saatchi Art & Saatchi Gallery in London to Gallery Rivoli 59 in Paris, to The State of Art Gallery in Hong Kong and Affordable Art Fair in New York. Her art has featured in Harper’s Bazaar online, Red Magazine, Photo Vogue Italia and the Sony International Photography Awards Book to name but a few.

Juliana also lectures at the Speos International Photographic School both in London and Paris. There she shares her knowledge and teaches about art in galleries, shooting techniques and studio lighting to aspiring photographers.

Every day is different in the life of Juliana and she gives us a sneak-peak into what her typical (and not so typical day) looks like:

I wake up around 7am and have a nice breakfast at home. I love coffee and I like to start my day just sitting, enjoying a cup and listening to a nice morning playlist. I don’t like being late so I always wake up early to have time to enjoy the mornings. Sometimes I have time to be with my partner, but sometimes I’m alone and I love to read art magazines while I have my breakfast.

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Copyright Erica Dezonne

My mornings are usually the same but my days are all different. They depend on my projects and what I have on – shows, lectures, big scheduled shootings and so on.

Normally I go to the studio. I take the train and get there at around 9am. I have to check all the equipment, the lighting and the background. I prepare and research the scenarios and settings for the shootings and start to shoot my projects. If I have a model, I need to direct them in what to do and everyone else involved in the shooting. Sometimes the shooting takes place outside the studio on location, so I am out in parks or crazy places and architectures doing the same.  

Twice a week I do lectures and I teach students from different nationalities how to shoot in the studio. They create projects and I need to direct them to achieve their lighting results and great sense of composition.  I am working on my own projects most of the days – so every morning I’ll be shooting until around 1pm.

I spend the lunchtime in the studio in the common area. There is a small kitchen with a table and chairs, even a nice winter garden with a little sofa. When I’m working hard I love to bring my own food. I cook and I bring my own salads, as I can be very selective with my food. When I have meetings with gallerists, or any professional involved in my day work, we go out for lunch. My favourites are Japanese and Lebanese. 

After lunch I work on retouching some images, selecting the best images and working on them. When I have exhibitions coming up, I spend late afternoons visiting labs and framers. There is a lot of work to do around the city. I spend most of the time on the tube with my headphone and music on, so I can survive to go around this crazy city in a happy mood. 

When I’m out I always have my sketch book with me. Ideas are always coming up so I use this time to create ideas or also to read. 

Usually during the week, when I have time, I love to walk around galleries or go to any cultural event. I am always taking part in gallery vernissages. The last good one I attended was at the White Cube gallery for a book signing of artists Gilbert and George – for me as an artist, to be able to meet and talk to them, that was amazing!

If I’m out at an event or just visiting galleries, I end up going for a drink in central London – I enjoy going to Soho from time to time – I like all its diversity.

When I don’t go to any event I really love being at home. If I’m not too tired, I take a walk in the park. I go to the supermarket and I enjoy cooking vegetarian dinner, having a glass of wine, followed by a film before going to bed. I cook soups, and delicious vegetarian dishes, inspired by Brazilian food.

Juliana’s work will be on display at upcoming exhibitions including The Affordable Art Fair in Battersea in March, The Other Art Fair in Victoria House in April, and she will also join exhibitions in Brazil and USA, as well as in Istanbul.

Zuzana Pagacova

Zuzana Pagacova

A native Slovakian, Zuzana has lived in London most of her adult life and calls London her second home. She loves the vibrant, yet somewhat unpredictable beauty this great city has to offer and the fact that it keeps her on her toes. Even after all these years, she keeps discovering new places and secret passages – London never fails to amaze her.
Zuzana is passionate about writing and has a degree in Journalism and Media. She loves yoga and meditation, open spaces, autumn leaves and exploring the world. As she believes in a balanced life, Zuzana is not impartial to a daily dose of celebrity gossip, a cup of strong coffee and cake, and the occasional glass of red wine.

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