Fascinated as a child by 90’s pop culture such as Power Rangers, Sailor Moon and Tekken, Paris-based artist Jules Magistry would spend time at his grandparents drawing all the characters he saw on screen and in books. Later abandoning drawing to the adolescent hedonism of drinking and partying through his teenage years, he would eventually return to the medium after quitting a short stint at law school and a longer stint in graphic design. “Working in publishing houses bored me very quickly and I decided that I would prefer to do small jobs and give myself time to refocus on illustration,” he tells It’s Nice That. “I worked hard for many years and now here I am.”
Jules’ early exposure to anime, manga and comic books is evident in his hybrid style of drawing, which takes inspiration from all of these art forms. Speaking on this, he says: “I try to design my characters like manga characters, and I use comic book panels to make the scenes dynamic whilst maintaining the simplicity of ligne-claire.” Influenced by the likes of Spanish comic book artist David Aja, Jules is similarly playful with the panelling of his scenes, often dividing them with physical objects within the illustration itself, as opposed to relying on exterior elements. “I always think first about how the panels can be organised and how I can use them as subtly as possible,” he explains. “Then I think about how I can mix a single illustration, mostly static, with other little panels to add actions and details.” After this he says it’s all about the colouring, focusing on primaries to give a strong “pop vibe”.
Thematically, Jules’s drawings explore topics of adolescence, masculinity and violence. The artist says he tries to question the relationship young males have with their parents, the authorities and other males. “I really began to focus on this adolescent period because it was hard for me to live it and just let go.” Jules describes the teenage years as a juxtaposition of the violence of manhood approaching and the innocence of childhood not far behind. His own was spent in the context of 90s France, during which time “we wanted to create suburbs like the ones in America, with beautiful gardens, dogs, children and lies.”
Speaking on the near future, Jules informs us that he will be showing his work in April at Palais De Tokyo for the Paris Ass Book Fair, and will be participating in an exhibition at Hasard Ludique in May. “But most importantly, I’ve been working (for a long time now) on my first graphic novel and I hope to find a publisher for it soon!”
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