There are a lot of new faces around here & so I wanted to take a moment to say, “Hello!” & introduce myself.  My name is Julie Fei-Fan (pronounced faye fan) Balzer.  Fei-Fan is my middle name & it’s Chinese (like my Mother). I’ve been told that it means “unique.”
I never thought that I would be an artist.  Growing up, I loved art class & making things, but I figured that since I couldn’t naturally sit down and draw realistically, I clearly didn’t have the talent.  If only someone had explained to me what I know now: drawing is a skill to be practiced & learned AND it isn’t the only hallmark of being an artist!
I lived in New York City for sixteen years, where I put my college degree in theatre to good use as a theatrical director.  While I don’t direct plays anymore, you can catch me singing show tunes most days of the week.
Around 2013, I decided to take the leap & make art my full-time career!  I was in the midst of getting divorced & it was a truly frightening time.  I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to support myself in this career.  But, I worked hard & got lucky, & thank goodness, it worked out!
About 2 years ago I moved back to my hometown outside of Boston and met a sweet man who agreed to live in an apartment filled with weird colorful faces, random giant eyes, & a lot of art supplies.
My Instagram feed is filled with art & craft & travel & more. I use a few hashtags to help keep things organized:
#julielovesart = museum/gallery pics
#balzerdesigns = items made with my licensed products (stamps, stencils, & more!)
#makeitartsytv = the TV show I host on PBS
#artjournaleveryday = hashtag I started years ago to encourage folks to share daily art journal pages
Plus: #whatjuliemade #julieinthestudio #whatjulietaught #julielikeseyes #travelsofjulie #balzervideo
I wrote a book: #carvestampplay & host #carvedecember — carve a stamp/day in Dec
If you want to connect with me in other places, I blog M-F, you can watch my daily adventures in my weekly vlog on YouTube.  My Mom & I host a sporadic podcast called Adventures in Arting (find it on iTunes). I’m balzerdesigns across social media. And I teach classes online & in-person.

Art Finds: Spending time on eBay led me to a barely-used set of 36 Faber-Castell Albrecht-Dürer watercolor pencils for $35, and three more used-but-new-condition art books (that I needed like more holes in my head) for a few dollars apiece. I have a pile of supplies that I need to start offloading, and I’m thinking of creative ways of doing it...😉 #getmessyartjournal #fabercastellalbrechtdürer #fabercastellwatercolourpencils #artjournalbook #mixedmediabook #carvestampplay

I've jumped into the world of hand carved stamps thanks to @balzerdesigns and #carvestampplay . . . . Today is only day #2 and this is stamp #3 - I'm completely obsessed already!!

Progress is slow but steady. 💪 I often have a desire to rush through a big block like this. I want to get it done! But, I have found that if I rush too much and don’t take breaks (a) my back and my neck are very unhappy with me, and (b) I make stupid mistakes. 😳😬😣 I cannot tell you the number of times I’ve cut into a line I didn’t mean to because I was rushing. 😭 Will I never learn?! 👀 This time through, I’m trying to remember that slow and steady wins the race. 🐢💨 🏆 Here’s hoping! 🤞 #stampcarving #botanical #blockprinting #printmaker #wip

Inspirée par le temps qu’il fait en ce moment ☔️ 🌧 comme je l’ai dit à @lonbulze ça ne sert à rien un tampon limace ! En tous cas pas pour l’instant 😇

Super fun challenge this month! Thanks to @balzerdesigns for prompting the challenge and thanks to @drawriot for prompting the prompts! I definitely have some favorites out of the 31 and I think my carving skills improved overall although I still need some practice with dots and small circles ;) January challenge will start tomorrow which has been a tradition with my soul sister @kristyscraps. This challenge is less thematic and more of kicking off the new year creating in some fashion throughout the month of January so stay tuned for the "arting" that will take place. Happy New Year to all. #carvedecember #stamping #arteveryday #carvestampplay #tagart #handcarvedstamp

No.31 December stamp carving challenge. Prompt: new year. Happy happy! #carvestampplay #carvedecember #stamping #handcarvedstamp #stampcarving #2018

No.29 December stamp carving challenge. Prompt: gingerbread. #carvestampplay #carvedecember #printmaking #stamping #handcarvedstamp #stampmaking

Thanks to @balzerdesigns and her amazing book #carvestampplay and her fun challenge #carvedecember I made my first repeating pattern stamp today!

No.28. December stamp carving challenge. Prompt: scarf. Used a pink eraser for the base. Also brought back stamp no. 23 for added pattern to the scarf. #carvedecember #printmaking #stamping #handcarvedstamp #carvestampplay

No.27 December stamp carving challenge. Prompt: candy cane. #carvedecember #stamping #printmaking #decemberchallenge #handcarvedstamp #stampmaking #carvestampplay

No. 26 December stamp carving challenge. Prompt: boots. I looked up boot treads for some inspiration, liked one of the Ugg boot treads and ended up with this pattern which really doesn't look anything like it but that's okay. #carvedecember #stamping #decemberchallenge #carvestampplay #carvedstamps

No. 25 December stamp carving challenge. Prompt: Christmas. Kept it very simple tonight. Merry Christmas. #carvedecember #stamping #decemberchallenge #carvestampplay #handcarvedstamps #printmaking

Ho Ho Ho! Wishing you very merry! 🎄 Here is a quick little rotating repeat appropriate for the day. Swipe left for the details. A simple pattern like this — in a small size — doesn’t take long to carve. The repeating pattern makes it appear grander than it really is! Even the simplest pattern looks fantastic when duplicated over and over (hello, polka dots!) On a personal note, I am on my way to Mexico this morning! 🇲🇽 I’ve packed my carving supplies (checked luggage btw) and the rest of my #carvedecember stamps will be done (hopefully) poolside! 🏊‍♂️ #stampcarving #stampsthatpattern #whatjuliemade #merrychristmas #hohoho #carvestampplay 25/31

No. 23 December stamp carving challenge. Prompt: snow day! I was working on a little knitting project so thought I’d carve some stitches, trying for a sweater effect. #carvedecember #stamping #decemberchallenge #printmaking #CarveStampPlay #handcarvedstamps #homemadestamp

The thing about #stampcarving is that it’s so much more than the carving. Printing is an enormous part of the art. After all, people who do this kind of work professionally are called #printmakers, not carvers. In the case of today’s stamp, you can see two printing possibilities side-by-side: squared up and at a 45-degree angle. Which do you prefer? How about a different color? How about multiple colors? How about a colored background? How about masked into a circle? The possibilities just go on and on. I could write a book about the possibilities! Oh wait, I did! 😜 #carvestampplay Carving is not the end of the art making experience, rather, it’s just the beginning! 🔛 #carvedecember #whatjuliemade #printmaker #stampsthatpattern 23/31

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