Police cars made out of fingers and caterpillar men munching on leaves, Jules Le Barazer’s imagination seems to have no limits. Having worked with world-renowned publications like Zeit Magazin, Le Monde and Libération, the Paris-based illustrator has covered a broad range of topics from technological experimentation to Mikhail Bulgakov’s Heart of a Dog. Each subject is, however, illustrated through an anatomical lens. “For my graduation project, I created a book about an amusement park that was built on a human body. Visitors could ride through the digestive system, eat liposuctioned fat or even climb over a silicone breast that was threatening to erupt,” Jules tells It’s Nice That.
Jules studied graphic design at university but found his niche in modules that involved drawing or sketching of some sort. After graduating, he went on to work as an art director at an advertising agency. “I still enjoyed creating food and body-related drawings in my free time. I used to showcase them on a custom website. I remember that the site’s menu was displayed on a hand-drawn hairy potato that had a Christian cross and a razor blade etched into it,” Jules explains. It was only a few years later when Jules received his first commission for McDonalds magazine. This also started his long-term collaboration with agent Talkie Walkie. Jules now dedicates the majority of his time illustrating for huge publications, appearing regularly in Le Magazin du Monde and Milk, or for personal projects.
“Medical science has been a significant source of inspiration to me for many years. I have a medical dictionary on my bookshelf and I read extracts as if they were poetry. A guide to hair transplant surgery will make me fantasise about potential landscapes,” Jules admits. The anatomically-minded illustrator’s link to medicine is clear; from his detailed exploration of a dissected frog to his experimental reconfiguration of human bodies. Limbs and orifices are clearly at the forefront of the artist’s mind. He even admits that, had he not pursued illustration, Jules would have become a doctor.
“Drawing offers wonderful opportunities to combat conventions so I try to approach each image as a new adventure,” Jules says. Despite his open-minded approach to illustration, Jules has cemented his distinct aesthetic style that translates every artistic venture. “Before I submit my idea to an art director, I spend a lot of time brainstorming and drawing preliminary sketches until I am sure that both my expectations and the subject matter are clear. Sometimes an image will only please me after I have finished it. I think of “aesthetic style" as something that is constantly under construction. Sometimes you have to let yourself be surprised by your own drawings in order to move forward."
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