London’s a little greyer now one of our favourite illustrators Jean Jullien is trying out a new life across the pond in New York. Luckily for us his agent Handsome Frank grabbed him for a little while before he scooted off and made this lovely little film about his work. It seems we always talk about Jean, but to see him draw and actually speak honestly about his practice is a true joy.
Jean’s pretty remarkable: in part to do with how unremarkable his artistic method is in a traditional sense. He purely draws characters with a paintbrush. “I use a brush to work, there’s something visually quite sincere about a brush because of the level of mistakes,” Jean says in the film. “There’s something very human about this graphic tool.”
It could be easy to shrug off his work when you see the pages and pages of it filling the internet on blogs and illustration sites (It’s Nice That in particular) but when you see footage of his hand clutching a big fat marker and drawing brazenly on to a white wall with confidence, it’s clear that Jean is so much more than just your average illustrator. Artists like him draw all day, every day, and the reason they can draw on to a wall and get it right every time is down to their professional, honed craft and pure love for what they do. For me, Jean is one of the best illustrators working today, and is creeping gradually into the skilled, national treasure level of Quentin Blake. New York is very lucky to have him, we hope they treat him well.