Sit Down With Our February '21 Featured Artist
Julien Raynaud is a 33 year old artist painter originally from Marseille, France. This young artist is a story-teller, fulfilling his art with great stories from his adventures around the world or impromptu people he has met; It’s a love story.
Julien’s art offers colorful geometrical figures inspired by his past. Full of sincerity, love and hope, he tries to paint a more positive picture of life with less cruelty, always keeping his child’s eyes on the world.
His incessant creativity always brings him towards new projects from exhibition to private collections or collaborations in France and overseas; NYC, LA, Hong Kong and much more.
What is the biggest challenge you have overcome as an artist?
My biggest challenge as an artist was not to listen to people who told me that an artist painter is not a profession, that I will not be able to live from it. That a real job was needed. At the age of 23, without any diploma or art studies, I left my job and my apartment to go to Los Angeles for three months to try my luck. There I was introduced to a very nice person who then offered to exhibit my works. I had nowhere to paint, I prepared the exhibition in the garage of the shared apartment in which I was staying, with some spray paint . I will never forget this moment which represents for me the beginning of a very beautiful adventure. Or my passion for painting made me surpass myself and overcome my limits. It was in 2011, ten years this year …
What are your main artistic inspirations?
My inspirations keep evolving, there are so many talented artists, in all fields. But what has never ceased to inspire me is what probably inspires me the most is and will remain nature. The colours that we can find there whether by a sunset or the colours of a bird ... the shadows, the movement of the water, the transparencies ...if I had to give names of artists I would say Le Corbusier, Matisse, Picasso, Nicolas de stael for the balance and his use of colour.
Is there a particular supply that you could not live without?
It all starts with a sketch, which I colour in Abstract acrylic ink or Sennelier’s water colour. This is my starting point to start a canvas. A few times I use my iPad depending on what I want to do. But nothing can replace the feel of paper. When I paint my canvas the supplies that I will not be able to separate myself from is of course Sennelier’s acrylic Abstract.
Is there an element of art that you enjoy working with the most?
I love to use acrylic inks, to do more abstract parts, or to dilute them to have a good transparency and to be able to make my shadows with them. You can really do a lot of things with it. I mix them a few times with the abstract acrylics when I want a particular consistency. Generally I use them to make my abstract backgrounds and then I paint with acrylics.
If you were describing Art to a stranger, how would you describe it?
I will tell him that for me art is the way to reflect what there is in the depths of our soul through what makes us vibrate. For me it is by the lines, the colours, the transparencies, the shadows ... It is very important to know yourself, in order to be as true as possible.
How do you stay motivated to create?
For me the secret is to always step out of your comfort zone and always try new things, so you never get bored. I have so much to discover ... sometimes ideas don’t come by themselves, you have to go find them, go for a walk by the sea or take a motorcycle ride helps me to have new ideas.
Did you always want to become an artist?
I never thought of becoming a painter. As a child I was very dynamic, I couldn’t sit still for long to concentrate. I never drew. I started painting late during a difficult time, I only thought of one thing, to get out of the pain that was inside of me. I had done graffiti a few years before, so it was natural for me to use paint as a medium. My first canvases were painted with spray paint. I painted because it was vital for me to express myself. It turns out that I couldn’t stop painting, it was out of the question for me to do anything else. I started selling my paintings to be able to paint every day of my life, people started to appreciate my work and when I went to Los Angeles and had opportunities I understood that it would be hard but if I work a lot I might be able to do it.
Is there a moment in your career that you are most proud of?
There are several moments that have marked me...To have been able to exhibit my work and to go to Hong Kong, New Caledonia and other incredible countries or to have met Prince Albert II of Monaco in an incredible place which without painting I would certainly never have set foot there. In those moments I remember when I worked in the factory … if you had told me younger than I would have done this I would not have believed you .
Do you have projects planned that you are particularly excited about?
I can’t wait to do my next exhibitions. The première will be in July with the Joyana Gallery. The place is amazing. A special series for the occasion will be made: (joyana.fr/ja/artgallery). The next ones will be on September 21 at the Outsiders gallery in Rouen, and in October at the Outsiders gallery in Lyon. This exhibition will mark my 10 years of painting in galleries. If due to COVID we will not be able to open to the public the exhibitions will be available on the galleries website. outsidersgalerie.com/26_julien-raynaud