The winter coat and its many layers uncovered in a series by Julian Adon Alexander

The winter coat and its many layers uncovered in a series by Julian Adon Alexander

He made this recent series of static, “unglamorous” scenes using graphite and toned paper, capturing people walking in a fluffy downpour, as well as the stillness and wonky buildings that surround them. To achieve the atmosphere Julian conjures so well, he says speed is crucial. “Once I sit down to draw, I don’t get up until I’m close to done,” he explains. “I think it’s very important to keep a similar energy flowing throughout the work. If I have an idea, it needs to get out.” During this process, he says light and texture are the most fun bits to work on, while buildings and cars, “anything that has to have straight and rigid lines”, is a bit more of a challenge. Something you’d never be able to spot from how naturally he turns them into part of the shifting landscape.

Some of Julian’s primary inspirations lie in anime and manga; “my all-time favourite artists in that space are Takehiko Inoue and Kentaro Miura,” he says, “who created amazing comics called Vagabond and Berserk; which I do recommend reading.” While these comics helped shaped the illustrator’s approach to narrative, Jordan Casteel and Jennifer Packer’s paintings exemplify the kind of motion and texture Julian hopes to achieve with his portraiture.

Although the weather has begun to turn and spring is on the horizon, Julian is – thankfully – in no rush to halt his work on this meditative series. “I started making these when it got cold out, but I honestly want to keep doing them even when it’s warmer,” he reflects. “I think this is the world I want my work to live in for a while.” We can’t wait to return to its comforting moments, even after things heat up outside.

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