Julia Jasinski, the artist who runs Schmoomunitions, is one of the three winners of the recent EFA Artists Helping Animals Birthday Bash – Win for Your Animals! Each month Julia donates 10 percent of the proceeds from her shop to the EFA Charity of the Month.
"My paintings are 90 percent of the time pictures of cats done in acrylic, gouache, collage and colored pencil," she says. "I also do dogs and various other animals I learn about." She has a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Art Institute of Chicago in painting and bookbinding.
"While studying art in college, I painted vaguely figurative work, more 'fine art,' but the paintings I hung up at home were the cat pictures I made for myself," she says. "I then kind of let myself off the hook with attempting to make serious gallery work and decided I'm only going to paint what I love even though it may be 'cute.' That allowed me to produce so much more work and it is so much more fun. I like my art to have a sense of humor, too." When she's not creating art, Julia works as a veterinary assistant for a house call veterinarian. "I truly enjoy comforting them and getting them on the path to health," she says. "It is what makes me able to wake up in the morning."
"When something bad/tragic/sad happens at work, I make little paintings of those animals. I like to think my paintings help the animals spirits pass over to the other side. Especially when the death is sudden, I worry those little souls are lost and I consider it a ritual to thank them and value them and get them moving on their journey," she says. " Often the people just leave their animal with us to euthanize and I feel it is my duty to make their last moments on earth peaceful and I tell them they are so loved, and that they can leave this pain-filled earth and go be free. And I apologize for the harm they might have received at the hands of humans."
Working with Angels Paws to Help Animals
Julia's favorite animal rescue organization is the Kenosha, Wisconsin-based Angels Paws. Angels Paws is a home-based foster rescue dedicated to helping shelter animals that would otherwise be euthanized. Though based in Wisconsin, Angels Paws rescues animals from Chicago Animal Care and Control. "The animals at Chicago Animal Care and Control are the first to be put to sleep," she says. "That's why I believe Angels Paws is doing a wonderful, wonderful thing by picking up cats, dogs and rabbits to adopt out."
Julia also cares for a group of feral cats that she's spayed and neutered through trap and release. "Angels Paws have helped me re-home my feral cats, too. I'm happy to say two years later -- everyone is fixed."Julia lives in Chicago, Illinois, with her boyfriend and many cats. Her vast gallery collection of her artwork can also be found on schmoomunitions.com.