Art and Soul: An Artist Brings the Love to Her Work

May 9, 2014 | Sufism

by: Amber Safa Buckholz

Julia-JunkinAnyone who has spent time at the Land has seen Julia Junkin’s artwork: from beautifully handwritten Fatihas to whimsical reminders to remove your shoes, her signature touch has been scattered throughout the buildings like a scavenger hunt. Julia attended UOS for three years, graduating in 2004, when it was still called the Jaffe Institute. “My time at the University was the BEST!” says Julia with delicious enthusiasm. “The experience was priceless for my education as a human being, for my education as a spirit. I learn to understand my ‘self’ better, but Ialso learned how to see myself in another human being. The impact of cultivating that ability has been awesome.” Following her time at school, Julia carried her talents as an artist into her healing practice, often employing drawing, painting and other creative techniques in her sessions. For Julia, both creativity and spiritual healing tap into the dream world, an unformed and flexible space where self-discovery and transformation are more readily accessible. Although Julia believes she could have built a thriving healing practice, she found personally that she was only able to offer 4-5 sessions a week, maximum, because of the impact the sessions had on her own being. Julia Junkin A successful artist before she attended school, Julia also felt Divinely guided to keep the balance of her career in the art world, creating visual arts informed by spirituality and healing rather than a healing practice influenced by art. A few years ago, she launched the Little Altars of the Soul line, a series of images celebrating the feminine form in her many seasons and archetypes, such as the “Soul Sister” and the “Mender of Broken Hearts.” Her artwork has been licensed for everything from textiles to greeting cards, and the work has been well received commercially–but Julia says she was bored. Julia’s restlessness with her artistic career led her to explore beyond the physical world and into the digital space, where she noticed a surprising void. “Nothing I could find in the tech world was connected to the heart. Where is expression? Where is the love?” As an artist, as a healer, and as a woman, Julia felt this was a territory that needed to be explored. In response to this need, Julia is launching her most ambitious project yet: JuJu, an iPhone app that will enable users to explore and interact with art, and to become creators as well as consumers. The vision for the app is to allow an ever-changing catalog of visual artists to be discovered by the public, enabling them to build an audience and develop a revenue stream that has the potential to become far more profitable than traditional licensing models. Additionally, end users of the app will have the opportunity to interact and play with the art, creating and sharing their own visual messages from the artwork samples they access. JuJu is scheduled to launch this summer, and anyone who would like to be notified when the application becomes available within the app store can sign up by visiting Do you use the teachings you learned at school at work, or in your life? Please contact us at to share your story, or nominate a friend.