Here at Chrome City we pride ourselves in having ultra-creative and inspiring homies throughout the Chicago area. Each week, the Chrome Chronicle will share a little bit about these incredible people and why we are excited to feature them as our #ChromeHomie.
Let us introduce our Homie, Julian!
Julian Gilliam, Art Director for Blast Radius and Visual Artist
Q: Explain your job position.
A: I’m a visionary and a visual artist; animator, painter, illustrator, fashion and photographer. By day I’m an art director in advertising where I work with top clients (Nike, HP, Craftsman, and Huawei) to create ads for TV, print, OOH, and social. I take the tools I learn in the advertising industry and apply it to my life as an artist. Call me LOGIK.
Q: What is your creative process?
A: I explore people, places and things around me and through travel. I then force myself into solitude because I’m a socialite who is riddled with FOMO. I learned to turn my outings into creative endeavors; at any time of the day I could be carrying my camera, paint markers and spray cans in my pockets to tag the city as I venture through it, and in my book bag I carry a sketchpad for doodles and ideas. Creating at a high frequency helps me stay fresh with ideas.
Q: What inspires and motivates you?
A: My family, my people, black people, the oppressed people. Where my family comes from; our aspirations are stifled and our self-esteem has been jaded. My motivation is the cyclical living conditions my family has been lead to believe is the only way to spin our wheels. Time goes by and we’re still there, still chillin, just still. To break that revolving door of oppression, it takes a change agent. There’s been information kept from us and I’m to learn as much as I can to exploit that information in the betterment of people.
Q: How did you end up in Chicago?
A: In 2009 I took a road trip to visit Chicago from my home in St. Louis and for the first time in my life I experienced diverse and talented people. In St. Louis, I’d stand out a bit because of my artistic nature, but in the world of Chicago my placement on the stand-out-creative spectrum had drastically changed. I had so much to learn, I was hooked, I did not want to waste another year in St. Louis. After 2 years of convincing my dad to cosign an arm and a leg for me to attend Columbia College Chicago, I discontinued my 3-year college basketball career to pursue the life of an artist and a degree in animation.
Q: What is your favorite part of living in Chicago?
A: Windy is a beautiful city with her gridded skyscrapers lined with the great Lake Michigan, but nonetheless the people are my favorite part. Chicagoans love Chicago and fellow Chicagoans, they’re energy permeates through the city. I have the honor of being surrounded by the most brilliant minds here in Chicago, they inspire me, the city inspires me.
Q: What has most influenced your career?
A: My peers influence me most in my career. I made it an obligation to surround myself with people I could learn and grow from. Chicago’s hip art & music scene has garnered unorthodox success stories. The energies of these artist are at arm’s length. Witnessing genuine hard working and creative individuals get rewarded is inspiring. I’ve learned to stay true to me and to go for it.
Thanks for being a #ChromeHomie, Julian!
PSA:Check out these dope shots of Julian walking in our Style of Sound fashion show at Disco!