On Friday evening Parisians went to work at cafes, a soccer stadium and a concert venue. An American band from Palm Desert, California prepared to take the stage @work at their dream job. And then the trajectory of hundreds of careers changed.
This week @work tells only one story, of graphic designer, Jean Jullien @work and his response to terror in the City of Light.
A year ago, Jean Jullien gave an interview to designboom, answering the typical questions about his career choice, his approach, his influences and skill. As a young artist he was preparing his December 2014 solo show at Kemistry Gallery in London.
“I’ve always loved drawing, but originally wanted to do animation and comics (which I’m ironically just sort of getting into doing now). I applied to many schools but got rejected by all and ended up in a small graphic design course in le paraclet which was actually a blessing in disguise. despite its serious and practical approach, the course was run by passionate teachers who introduced me to the work of masters such as milton glaser, saul bass, raymond savignac, and many others. it made me realize that design and illustration were basically about making the everyday exciting and creative. design for the people, design for the routine, is what really got me into what I do today. the idea that art didn’t stop at the exit of a gallery, but that it could carry on anywhere and that by intertwining with real objects and things, it enhanced them and found a use.”
In response to a question about his strengths and skill, he responded:
“I don’t think of myself as skilled. not in my drawing at least. I’ve become overly critical and empathic at the same time but I’m not sure either of these qualify as a skill, although they are my number one working tool.”
On Friday, the world discovered Jean Jullien’s skill as empathy translated into a representational image that spread across the internet.
“Jean Jullien had just begun his vacation when he heard on the radio about the terrorist attacks in his native France that killed more than 120 people on Friday. While others around the world struggled to put their feelings about the violence in Paris into words on social media, Jullien, a professional illustrator, picked up his brush instead.
“I express myself visually, so my first reaction was to draw a symbol of peace for Paris,” Jullien, who says his friends and family are safe and accounted for, told TIME over Skype on Saturday from a location he did not wish to disclose. “From there it seems to have gotten a bit out of my hands.”
The last question in the designboom interview was “do you have a personal motto?”
His answer: “carpe diem or something like that.”