My Savannah: Juliana Lupacchino

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Savannah native and accomplished artist known as JULU puts her signature stamp on everything from walls to apparel

Written by CATIE MCCOY
Photography by MICHAEL SCHALK

IF YOU’VE STROLLED THROUGH the Starland District, stood in line for a kolache and cold brew at The Coffee Fox on Broughton Street, enjoyed a sweet treat at Doki Doki Ice Creamery or caught a glimpse of the marketing for this year’s Savannah Music Festival, then you know that it’s impossible to miss the colorful works of Juliana Lupacchino, also known as JULU.  

A Savannah native, Lupacchino earned her Bachelor of Arts in fibers from Savannah College of Art and Design before making the decision in 2018 to expand her work from canvas to walls to entire apartment buildings. In the years since, she has quickly managed to cover Savannah and many other cities with her fresh and vivid perspective on connection and color, one brush stroke at a time.

Artist JULU standing on a ladder, painting a mural inside Hotel Bardo
JULU works on a mural inside the new Hotel Bardo.

By sharing her work on Instagram and creating photo-worthy works that inspire others to snap photos and tag her in turn, Lupacchino has accumulated more than 20,000 followers and counting.

Today, she has “JULU’ed” just about everything, including surfboards, staircases, wrapping paper and matchbooks — just to name a few. Her professional portfolio includes marvelous murals spanning from Los Angeles, California, to Lacoste, France, and she’s even partnered with brands like Reclaim Creative, Howler Bro. and Slowtide to transfer her trademark prints to textiles, hats and beach towels. 

An artist this accomplished doesn’t put down the paintbrush for just anything. Here, Lupacchino shares how she spends her ideal day in her hometown.

When Lupacchino isn’t completing a mural in Copenhagen or collaborating with other creatives across the country, she recharges at home — a mid-century modern she has lovingly renovated. As a self-proclaimed “introverted extrovert,” she enjoys listening to her favorite playlist or experimenting with new materials.

Lupacchino is quick to admit that her typical day in Savannah rarely adheres to routine. That’s not to say there aren’t a few frequent favorites and exceptions to this free-spirited lifestyle, such as what she gleefully refers to as the “most consistent thing in her life”: an iced cappuccino and a scone from PERC Coffee. 

“In all honesty, I just love to work. It’s a lot of fun for me.”


Once she’s properly caffeinated, Lupacchino’s work often takes her to her second home: Dreamhouse Studios in the Starland District. As both a resident artist and one of the four founding members, Lupacchino is a regular fixture at the work space located above Starland Strange & Bizarre.

You may find her both leading and participating in an array of workshops at Dreamhouse, which range from collaging to crafts to a book club.

“In all honesty, I just love to work,” she says of her busy schedule. “It’s a lot of fun for me. I rush into the day, but I never feel anxious or pressured to work late into the night. If I don’t have any current projects for work — which is nearly never — I love trying and making new things, just for me.”

JULU holding an ice cream cone at Doki Doki, in front of the mural she painted.
JULU takes a break at Doki Doki Ice Creamery, in front of the mural she painted.

When she’s in need of something a little more than caffeine or creative juices to maintain her midday momentum, Lupacchino’s go-to for lunch is simple and classic: she opts for a sandwich, preferably from The Black Rabbit. 

“I’m all about a good sub and a Coca-Cola,” she adds with a laugh. 

Consistent with her oh-so nonchalant, creative coolness, Lupacchino adamantly prefers a $9 spicy margarita at her favorite dive bar, Over Yonder, over a $16 espresso martini from a downtown rooftop any day of the week. She’s happiest tucked away in a booth with her close friends and her “all-time favorite dish in the city” — a General Tso’s vegetable box. 

JULU sitting on a couch looking at magazines
JULU at her mid-century modern home in Savannah.

Lupacchino finds herself a frequent flier in spots that allow her to prioritize good company and catching up with friends, such as the intimate wine bar Late Air, one of her favorite places to end her ideal evening with a glass of their “funkiest red wine.”  

While her murals may be several stories high and her jet-setting career keeps her on the move, her home in Savannah keeps her grounded.

“With my schedule and location changing so often, winding down outside of my work is important to me,” she says. “My friends are also very important to me. I’m so grateful to have a city to come home to where I can prioritize both of those things while still creating.”

Find this feature and much more in the March/April issue of Savannah magazine. Get your copy today!