Thursday, May 24, 2007
David Julian - A Different Light
Drawing from multiple disciplines and deep imagination, David Julian's reality is in the eye of the beholder
DPP: Your range of work includes fine-art, editorial and commissioned commercial images. How do you decide which David Julian to present to a potential corporate client?
Julian: My clients choose the look. They've seen the work from my Website or in print and they know who they're getting. Commercial and editorial art buyers are almost always looking at my illustrations, but if they wander into the fine-art area of my Website, they often change directions. It's both a blessing and curse to be divided this way because it does make me hard to market at times. I try to keep my commercial work away from the fine-art community to present a clearer message of intent. Right now, the diversity works well, but in years to come, I may aim toward a more overall cohesive look.
DPP: Your commercial and editorial photo illustration is perhaps some of your wildest work. Do you struggle with the confines of a commissioned piece, or do you like the challenge of working within a set of predetermined boundaries?
Julian: The only predetermined boundary I like is a deadline. What I really prefer is a collaborative client who's not only willing, but wants a dialogue of possibilities at the outset, which we refine until we have a clear direction for the project. I want them to go through a part of the creative process with me whenever possible. One such client is an art director for filmmaker George Lucas, who really understands the collaborative process and loves my diverse abilities.
DPP: Do you have a preference for one body of your work over another?
Julian: Well, that's my problem. I've never been able to decide which part of my work to take away to ease my burden. Some nights I think, Which projects could I live without, so I could focus on just one or two things? I've exposed myself to a variety of pursuits and now I can't give up any of them. They all mean something to me. They all help me know myself and show what I care about to the world. I want to use my life to be present and creative. It's all part of my personal process of evolution.
DPP: How do you approach your personal work compared to commissioned images? Can you take us through the mental process?
Julian: I look at my personal work as a safe haven. I do some creative exercises to help me identify my thoughts and reactions, and prepare my intuition for photography or for my conceptual composite works. It's similar in effect to what athletes do before a game. They stretch, focus and sharpen their reactions.
DPP: Your Dreams series of toned black-and-white photography could be viewed as directly opposed to your photo illustration. Where the latter is typically bold, colorful and active, there's a quiet, almost isolated feeling in the Dreams series. Was this an intentional departure or a natural evolution?
Julian: It's definitely an intentional departure. The Dreams series is an ongoing body of work—a place wherein I can be totally intuitive with my eye and respond to what's in front of me rather than preconceive. It's a very meditative way of working, and creating the work evokes for me what you're seeing into it. Some of the visual language is from images in my own dreams, which I've then subsequently found symbolized in the real world and tried to capture in photographs. I tend toward the dark side of beauty, and as much as my early teachers tried to squelch it, I can't be who I'm not.
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