This quarter in my poster class, one of my assignments is to create a map of visual influenced. While working on my map I discovered the fantastic artist Jean Jullien. I found out about him because he worked on illustrations for a magazine called Weapons of Reason with Eve Lloyd Knight. The illustrations were done by 6 different artists to visual data about the arctic.
Jean is a French illustrator, currently living in New York. He works primarily with a brush, but also works with non-traditional surfaces (i.e. drawing on random objects). He does editorial work for many large publications, has had his own private show, and works closely with the musician niwouinwouin. Together they started The Jullien Brothers. I wonder what it could mean…
While Jean originally worked primarily in the style of colorful black line illustrations, he has expanded to do animations, installations, products, and even an app. In working with niwouinwouin, Jean often creates the art for music videos. These videos have ambient music and feel more like short animated stories than actual music videos.
After finding out about Jean Jullien I became slightly obsessed. If I hadn’t seen his work before I find that slightly surprising because he is prolific, and his style is right up my ally.
His work is work pulls you in by creating a delightful and snarky world. I am drawn to his style bold illustration style and brushed lines, but also heavily to the content of his images. A lot of his work seems to explore the wonderfully terrible obscurity of the world that we live in.
In an interview with Creative Review, Jullien sums up his work wonderfully, when talking about the design masters (Tomi Ungerer, Raymond Savignac and studio M/M Paris) that inspired his work:
For the young designer, what stood out in the work of these practitioners was that they had “managed to trick the system,” he says, “and deliver practical projects with a great dose of creativity and playfulness”. It was a revelation, he recalls. “You could be practical and yet entertaining. Even better, you could actively participate in people’s lives by bringing a bit of art into their everyday world.”
Jullien has heavily influenced my work. While working on my last poster I played off one of his poster concepts by blowing up the character and allowing the viewer only to see their torso. In the future, he has inspired me to play around more with paint and incorporating brushwork in my projects.
If you are interested in his work I would highly recommend checking out some of the videos that he has created, as well as his Twitter or instagram accounts. He posts regularly and you can see a wide variety of his work.
Additional reading if you just can’t get enough:
Handsome and Frank, Jullien’s agency features his work along with many wonderful illustrators.
The Creative Review interview with Jullien
Another fantastic interview with Jullien
* All work is by Jean Jullien, videos created by the Jullien Brothers, aside from the video about him, that was created by Handsome & Frank. The movies can be found at jullienbrothers.com, all other work can be found on jeanjullien.com.