Jean Jullien is a French illustrator that currently live in London and is continuously movement thanks on his incredible artistic versatility. The interview with Jean dates back to before the tragic events of November 13 in Paris – in the heart of the his city – who brought him to draw the iconic image that became famous around the world. With these words from his Facebook page Jean told about those moments: «I’ve given a few interviews about the drawing already but i just want to say that i did it in the most spontaneous and sincere way, as a heartfelt reaction to what was happening. It’s a drawing for Paris, for all the victims and their families. It is the worst way for me to be recognised as i normally try to make people smile with my work. This drawing is not about me, it’s not about credit, i don’t want to benefit from it. It’s a sign for everybody to share and show their support and solidarity. It’s a peace sign for all the other cities and countries around the world affected by such nonsense and violence.»
Your art is based purely on the caricatures. How do you create your pictures? Which is the inspiration?
«I don’t know that I’d say my work is based purely on caricatures. I like to think that my work is based mainly on ideas, the drawing is a way to express these ideas. I take my inspirations from the world around me. My work is very heavily based on social observations and everyday’s behaviours.»
Your pictures are so interactive. In your opinion, is this the future of visual arts?
«I think my work can be interactive yes, but less in a digital way than in a playful way. I think diversity is the future of visual arts, not just one type of art.»
Can you explain the relationship between your art and advertising?
«I work a fair bit in advertising as a way to sustain myself. Commercial work it is often more financially viable than self initiated work and it reaches an audience that wouldn’t necessarily look at my work otherwise. It is very popular in that sense and that is a notion that is very dear to me. Be it advertising for products or ideas: I like communicating to people.»
In your works there is often a sort of social criticism. Do you trust of images’s educational function?
«In an ideal world yes, but I think there has often been a thin line between educational imagery and propaganda.Rather, I am a strong believer in Images as tool for social discussion, something that makes people react and think.»
Art and the cities: is a possible union? Can the art cohabit with city?
«Absolutely, and we’ve had many exemples in the past. Be it with beautiful architecture, sculptures, installations, posters, etc… Art and the city have a long standing frienship.»
What was your most challenging project? And why?
«Le Nid, a bar I created with a 41m long bird, is one I often cite as my preferred because it mixes a lot of different aspects of my practice: visual identity, sculpture, signage, product design, etc… It shows the idea that my work is more about the ideas than just drawing. But I also love a lot of smaller projects I’ve done, like my collaboration with Olow (www.jeanjullien.com/work-192-olow.html), or my moving image work with my brother Nicolas (jullienbrothers.com) I really enjoy a lot of my exhibitions too, they’re a great way for me to express myself freely and create content to exchange with the audience.»
What are your goals and projects for the future?
«I’m working on a TV series with my brother, I have an exciting project with Kitsune, a series of skateboards with Almost Skateboards, a new book with Phaidon, a collection with Only NY, and many more exciting news that I’ll be announcing soon.»