Artist and library lover, Juliette Crane

Juliette Crane is a full-time artist and adventurer. She loves nature, handmade things, and finding beauty everywhere in the world. Whenever possible, she paints outside, mostly in the grass surrounded by flower gardens and the tallest trees. She is an avid gardener and enthusiastic cook and would be delighted to have you over for dinner. When she’s not teaching workshops, creating new art for her online shop, and painting in gardens around the world, she lives with her bluegrass singing husband, Brian, in Madison, Wisconsin. Read more about her adventures on her blog.

How do you identify yourself as an artist (poet, fiction writer, painter, photographer, etc.)?

I’m a painter.

What is/has been your relationship to libraries?

Before I started this series of whimsical paintings, I was writing a novel for children about a girl who could jump into her drawings. I checked out books related to the genre I was writing all of the time for research and inspiration. Once I started painting, it was only natural that the library felt like an extension of my home where each piece was already hanging, so the children’s section at Sequoya Public Library in Madison, WI was the perfect place for my first local art show.

Have libraries informed or inspired your work, and if so, how?

I check out design and art magazines and books all of the time for inspiration. I also still adore fantasy and science fiction novels, which inspire my work.

Why did you decide to include libraries in your creative process?

As I had been visiting the library and checking out books a few times a week while writing my novel, the local library became a natural extension of where I found inspiration. The library is walking distance from my home and the best resource for me to browse, especially for random inspiration from magazines that I wouldn’t expect to find.

What can libraries do to serve artists?

It’s wonderful that the Sequoya Library consistently showcases new artists and their work on their walls.

As an artist, what would your ideal library look like?

I love the new Sequoya, which was recently re-modeled…the bright light is wonderful!

What specific libraries have played a role in your work? Are there things (spaces/staff/collections/programs) that stand out to you about these libraries?

I always visit Sequoya…the art magazine section is a lovely place to browse.

What resources do you use in your library(s)?

A lot of magazines and books.

How do you find out about events or resources at your library(s)?

Community bulletin boards and flyers posted around the library.

What does the phrase “library as incubator” mean to you?

To me it means the library as a space for new thoughts and inspirations to arise and a place for people to come together and share these things.

For more about Juliette’s favorite library, check out the Sequoya Public Library feature on the Library as Incubator Project website!

Interested in showing Juliette’s work or hosting one of her workshops at a public library in the Madison area? Check out Juliette’s website in the links above, or e-mail the Library as Incubator project at   We’ll put you in touch!

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