3D animator and illustrator Julian Glander has epitomised the notion of collaboration in his new project Doppelglanders, which sees him track down another Julian Glander through Facebook and then create a series of works with his internet twin. Julian has used the other Julian’s landscape photographs as a backdrop for his blobby, pastel characters, creating new scenes and narratives. The project is a humorous nod to the pair’s creative beginnings and explores themes such as twins, doppelgängers, doubles and parallel lives.
Here we asked Julian and Julian to interview each other about the project, how they got into their chosen fields and whether alternate universes truly exist.
Julian Glander: Let’s introduce ourselves! I’m Julian Glander, a 3D artist currently living in Brooklyn, USA. Have never been to Hanover, Germany but I did take a tour of a pretzel factory in Hanover, Pennsylvania. I realize they are not the same thing. Your turn!
Julian Glander: I’m Julian Glander as well, 27 years old, and a student of laws in Hannover, Germany. But I will finish this year. I have been to New York, once. It was about 20 years ago, but still, I would say it is a win for me.
JG: Woah. You beat me, and you’re older. The score is not looking great for me right now. I found you by typing my own name into Facebook, which I know is quite vain and embarrassing. It was really an unsettling feeling finding out I’m not the only Julian Glander, after all these years of assuming I was. And that’s part of what inspired the images in this new series. I’m wondering if you feel the same way, or if you’re more zen about it?
JG: I actually found out about you a year ago, when I googled my own name. I think this is nothing to be embarrassed about. Everybody does this once.
I started looking through your pictures and wondered what the life of the other Julian Glander would be like. I thought you must have a really interesting life, judging by your pictures and especially because of you living in New York, a place I absolutely wanna visit again in the next few years. Mine in fact, is pretty normal. Tell me more about your life in NY and your hobbies.
JG: I love New York! I have met so many cool illustrators, animators, creative people because everyone is forced to move here. There are a lot of art galleries, of course, as well as some of the best DIY music spaces in the world.
Mostly I just sit in my tiny apartment and work on the computer all day, occasionally poking my head out to get snacks. I’m very flattered that my life comes off as interesting— I think that confirms the widely acknowledge theory about social media that anyone can select bits that make their life look glamorous, even a boring chump like me.
JG: Did you think about a collaboration for a long time, or was it spontaneous?
JG: The idea popped into my head pretty quickly when we became friends and I saw that you take nature and landscape photos. And then luckily we had some good back-and-forth messages; otherwise I would have been discouraged that I was bothering you and given up. It says on your profile that you’re studying Rechtswissenschaft (Law) at Uni Hannover, so can I assume the photography is a side hobby? Can you tell me more about your photographic process?
JG: I started photography about three years ago, when I bought my first proper camera. I also love travelling, both hobbies are just great to combine.
It all started pretty amateurishly, but soon I wanted to improve, so I upgraded my camera equipment over the next months and I learned a lot about various techniques. Over the years, landscape and night photography have become my favourite areas to explore. Last year I had less time to spend on photography. That’s why I started to concentrate on taking less, but more challenging, pictures.
Do you do your 3D designs for living, or also as a hobby? How did you get into the 3D business in the first place?
JG: I agree that trying to make a bunch of money as a professional artist is a tricky idea, but somehow that’s where I ended up. Maybe I’ll steal your identity and start practicing law. Or we could start a firm: Glander & Glander & Associates. Before I entered the third dimension, I was kind of bouncing aimlessly between different vaguely creative jobs. About three years ago I downloaded a free 3D modelling program and it just kind of clicked and I have been lucky enough to be able to support myself by working with some cool clients.
Our team-up resulted in adding some of my 3D characters to your photos, all in situations revolving around doubles, mirrors, identical twins and lookalikes. Let me ask your honest opinion, and don’t hold back: What do you think of the final pieces?
JG: When you asked me about the collaboration, I instantly liked the the idea of two Julian Glanders working together. Finding your name-twin, with comparable interests, is something, most people will never experience. The theme “doubles, mirrors, identical twins and lookalikes” is perfectly suited to this situation. I also like the cross between reality and computer designs.
JG: Do you believe the theory that everyone on the planet has one or more identical matches? What about parallel universes?
JG: I do believe in identical matches, as well as other universes, but maybe not exactly parallel. I think about it in a logical way. There is only a limited number of variables in the human body. There has to be at least one other person with the same variables. And it is the same with other universes. There is a reason why humans are the way they are. There has to be another planet with comparable conditions like the earth. Evolution there could easily bring the same species as on the earth.
JG: OK! Thanks so much for chatting with me, Julian Glander!
JG: Thank you Julian Glander for this opportunity to chat with my name twin.
About the Author
Rebecca became staff writer at It’s Nice That in March 2016 before leaving the company at the end of 2017. Before joining the company full time she worked with us on a freelance basis many times, as well as stints at Macmillan Publishers, D&AD, Dazed and frieze.