Illustrator’s Sketch Unites the World
Read how this image drawn in minutes became a symbol seen around the world:
Time and art have a strange relationship.
Artists respond to what is happening around them in immediate, visceral reaction. Or they may absorb images and let them simmer for years, allowing their vision time to meld and come out later.
In the case of the attacks in Paris just a few days ago it seems having a visual image that reflects both empathy and a desire for peace has sparked more than one creative person.
Facebook has a feature where users can apply a French flag over their profile picture. Blue, White, and Red stripes cover millions of faces on that site.
One of the most powerful and simple images that has gone viral (powerful and simple are key components to something going viral) is a sketch by Jean Jullien. Just minutes after the attack, Jullien, who was away from Paris at the time on holiday, drew the iconic sketch that joined the Eiffel Tower and a peace symbol.
“It was done on my lap, on a very loose sketchbook, with a brush and ink,” he says. “I didn’t do any sketches. It was a reaction. The first thing that came to me was the idea of peace, that we needed peace. I was trying to look for a symbol of Paris, and obviously the Eiffel Tower was the first thing that sprang to my mind. I just connected both of them. You know, there wasn’t much work process behind that. It was more an instinctive, human reaction than an illustrator’s reaction.”
His “reaction” soon went viral after he posted it to Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.
Symbols are important to people. While they appear naturally in our dreams, artists and writers work to create symbols that will strike a chord. Jullien obviously succeeded. His image has been viewed more than 1.5 million times as of yesterday morning.
Our thoughts are with the people of Paris as they go through the stages of grief after these attacks. As artists, we appreciate what Jean Jullien has created. We recognize that his work has importance and relevance.
An artist can sometimes draw something that speaks volumes–no matter the language.
Peace for Paris, and the entire world.
Original article by Tim Nudd appeared in Adweek and can be viewed in entirety here.
Peace for Paris logo designed by Jean Jullien