Pictoplasma focus: Julian Glander

Like all Pictoplasma guests, Julian Glander creates little fellows. His have been dipped in cotton candy and other similarly sugary substances. They live a merry life, star in comic strips, music videos, short films, adverts and illustrations but they particularly shine when they get to frolic in GIFs!

Julian Glander, GIF portrait

Glander also made a video game. It’s called Lovely Weather We’re Having and is probably the typical gamer’s worst nightmare: it has no goal and involves a lot of weather data.

Julian Glander will participate to the Pictoplasma conference in May. There’s little chance i can make it this year. As a consolation prize, i get to interview some of the conference speakers. It’s not quite as fun as being in Berlin for the festival but it still allows me to get to know some really talented artists:

Animated looping valentine buddies for Nickelodeon on-air department. AD: Stef Shank

Hi Julian! You work a lot with GIFs. I’m like 99% of this planet, i love GIFs but i can’t explain why. Since you work with them closer maybe you’ve developed your how rational explanation about the appeal of GIFs. What do you think make GIFs so irresistible? Why do you like working with them so much?

They’re so tiny and compact — like one little morsel of animation. Just one bite. I think they’ve taken off recently because they’re so easy to digest — you can basically read a GIF instantly, and if you like it you can let yourself be hypnotized by it for as long as you want. I like working on GIFs because it’s a manageable format to convey a single composition and concept. Some animators think of GIFs as short movies but for me, they’re more like illustrations that have just ever so slightly been brought to life.


Lovely Weather We’re Having

Lovely Weather We’re Having

Lovely Weather We’re Having, the video game you developed together with Eugene Burden is ‘goal-free’ and about the local weather.
Why did you want to make a goal free game?

As a working adult, I’m pounded down relentlessly by goals, challenges, and time limits, so when I’m thinking about what media I want to consume, that’s not really something I’m looking for. For me, the best video game experiences are when I go a bit “off the track” of the game — driving around aimlessly with the radio on in Grand Theft Auto, walking through the tall grass in Zelda and hearing it swish-swish against you, that kinda thing. I still think Lovely Weather We’re Having is a “challenging” game, but not in the traditional way– more that it challenges you to stop and reflect for a bit.

Also, weather is either this extremely boring topic people resort to when they’ve ran out of things to say or the source of heated debate about climate change. So why has the weather such an important role in your game?

That’s one opinion! For what it’s worth, I think weather is incredible, and borderline magical. What makes it an interesting premise for a game, IMO, is the commonality and bigness of it. Weather conditions run all of our lives and we’re totally at the mercy of the environment.

NASA, GIFs based on responses from Tumblr’s Answer Time with Astronaut Scott Kelly. Production Strategist: Margaux Olverd

You live in Pittsburg, right? I’ve only been there once for a week and i loved it. It’s one of the two only cities in the USA where i could move. Could you tell us about the visual art scene in the city? Which local artists or designers would you recommend us to have a look at? And does the city inspire your work in any way?

Ahh, Pittsburgh! Actually I moved away last week after living there for two years. I’m back in New York, for some reason. But the ‘Burgh is a great city for artists because the rent is cheap, and there is a really neat (if comparatively small) local art squad. Some of my favorite inspiring Pittsburgh creative folks are Xtina Lee, Dan Allende, Paolo Pedercini, and Mr Rogers (RIP!)

Any advice you could give to young illustrators / students who would like to have a fulfilling career as an illustrator/’art person’?

Embrace new technology. Embrace the brand new things that your professors and mentors say are “just trends”. It’s the best way to find a niche for yourself.

Please Look At Me, a weekly comic strip on Vice.com. Editor’d by Nick Gazin

Promotional GIF for Jamie XX’s hit song GOOD TIMES ft Yung Thug + Popcaan. Via XL records

Night Time, A comic spread for issue 14 of Faesthetic magazine

What are you going to present at Pictoplasma?

SECRETS! That’s the key word on my brain as I put together my talk. I’m going to be showing off some process secrets and behind-the-scenes methods that I don’t usually share, as well as some “business” secrets and pitch work that hasn’t seen the light of day. So basically, by the end of the talk you’ll have everything you need to become Julian Glander and steal my life. It’s gonna be must-see stuff!

Thanks Julian!

Catch up with Julian Glander at the 12th Pictoplasma Conference & Festival on 4 – 8 MAY 2016 in Berlin.