When the London Graphic Centre asked us to commission the first creative to take over our new joint billboard project, Jean Jullien seemed an obvious choice. The massively talented illustrator has the perfect mix of technical skill and sly, funny ideas for us to let him loose on this exciting new showcase.
The billboard is an ongoing collaboration which will celebrate London-based visual talent in the heart of the London Graphic Centre, showing what happens when creative brilliance and the right materials come together.
Jean – whose work can currently be seen on posters across the London Underground network – was a perfect choice because he takes so much inspiration from the capital city.
“London inspires me for its diversity and open mindedness,” he told us. “People from all horizons and cultures converge here and somehow manage to live together while respecting their differences. It’s a beautiful human tale of modernity.
“I use observation a lot in my work; I love watching people and how they behave in the street, public transports, shops, restaurants. I find beauty in seeing a lonely figure in our sometimes austere urban landscape but my favourite thing is seeing people of all kinds interact with one another. “
You can see this is in his LGC illustration, “a tribute to how inspiring our daily routine can be.”
Jean’s mind may be restless but his approach is now quite standardised. “I use a black ink brush pen for the drawing – always the same one – and mostly recycled Muji notepads, although sometimes I also use graph paper for lettering and tracing paper for shading. I scan it and colour it all in on the computer – it’s much more flexible this way.”
He jumped at the chance to create a piece this big outside a gallery space (the billboard measures four metres by three metres). “I love working at a large scale. People are so used to see billboards selling them products that they often are happily surprised to see something this big used for a non commercial end. It’s just a very impactful scale to engage people, to catch their attention.”
You can see the billboard in person at the London Graphic Centre,16 Shelton Street, London.