A conversation with ace French illustrator Jean Julien

A conversation with ace French illustrator Jean Julien Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for chipingym.jpg
We're big fans of illustration. And London-based, French illustrator Jean Jullien is one of faves. We asked him a couple of questions about illustrating for magazines. It's all ace, read on.

Your editorial work doesn't just illustrate a story, it also helps tell the story. Talk us through the creative process from brief to newsstand.
It's as logical as answering a school exercise: you're being given a problem and you have to solve it visually in the best way possible. My approach is quite pragmatic, not very romantic. I think that's why my work is often quite minimal. I try to keep it as simple as possible in order to have as much impact as possible. 

Visually, it needs to be very striking and capture one's attention, then it can elaborate and tell a story. This hierarchy in image reading is the base of my editorial work. Given the visual swarm, I try to make my work easily identifiable. 

Do you have a favorite example of your recent editorial work? Why?

I really enjoyed doing the cover for Wrap magazine. It was very smooth and easy. The subject was nice and the wrap around cover was a playful twist. They let me keep it very minimal and shared their chromatic expertise in a way that made a lot of sense. The result seemed to have been well received.
Are there any magazines you'd love to contribute a cover to? Why?

I'd love to do a cover for The New Yorker, which is a bit like the holy grail of illustration. But I'd also love to do a cover for New York magazine, Brutus, Lucky Peach, Thrasher or Popeye.

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