Today, we welcome the artist Julian Faylona in our columns. Author of a rich and powerful universe, Julian skillfully mixes science fiction, mystery and horror.
- What is your artistic background?
I'm a self taught digital artist with about 10 years of experience. I did not receive formal training or education in art, and most of my knowledge and techniques have been developed or learned from observations, research, and with the help of other experienced artists over the years. Admittedly, I did a lot of experimenting over the years before I arrived at a distinctive style that I can truly call my own. - What artistic techniques do you use?
I mostly do art on a digital medium. Nowadays I combine 3D with other digital art techniques like matte painting and the usual paint brushing on programs like Photoshop.
- I have the impression that magic is an underlying theme in your work. What place does magic occupy in your life, in your work and in your inspiration ?
The concept of "Magic" in my works is somewhat different from what you'd expect from the typical trope of magic and sorcery that you'd see in the fantasy genre. What we call "Magic" is something that I prefer to label as a phenomenon that we've yet to fully understand, just as humans in the past tried to understand the procession of the stars, planets, and various other natural phenomena that occur around us. The incorporation of magic in my works is a fairly recent development, as I mostly focus on Sci-Fi elements in my works. I usually combine these two together at certain times. - What story (or stories) do you tell in your work?
The narratives attached to my artworks are varied at most. Sometimes I feel inspired that I would feel compelled to write a background lore to the pieces I make. All in all, I'd like to think of my entire body of work as a sort of a multiverse. Perhaps they all exist in different realities as some have postulated.
- Can you tell me about the creatures of the "Waning Void". Who are they? I see that they are covered with sigils, are they spirits? An alien civilization? Creatures from our unconscious?
I would definitely say they are an alien civilization. I'm trying to challenge the typical conventions of what we consider to be "alien". In popular media, it's common to see extra-terrestrial aliens depicted as technologically advanced beings, with their futuristic ships, weapons, communication systems, etc, with the assumption that they went through development and progress as we do right now, albeit sometimes in a different way, but still parallel to ours. The Hierarchy, as depicted in the Impressions of the Waning Void series are beings that possess tremendous agency over reality, due to their contract with an eldritch power that gives them the ability to manipulate reality. As a result, they gained insights that allowed them to divine the deeper mysteries of the cosmos and assimilate their scientific and technological understanding onto this new found paradigm. In truth, they are a very advanced civilization, possessing technology so advanced that from our perspective, they seem like magic. They are somewhat similar to what you'd see from the Hive in the Destiny universe.
- You have a series called "Dark", which really appeals to me because of its subtly eerie but above all mysterious atmosphere. What is the source of your inspiration? Is there a story behind these remains of forgotten civilizations that appears in a lot of the paintings ?
My "Dark" series is simply a section of my works that have horror themes to it. I reckon that for the sake of organization, I'd rather have them in a separate category. My source of inspiration for these artworks are random at best. Most of the time I simply put into canvas random thoughts or ideas I have in my mind. Although sometimes they may be inspired by other media that I have been exposed to recently.
- The painting "The God Machine" particularly appeals to me, can you tell me about it?
This piece was a subtle criticism of institutionalized religion and society's relationship with God, or whatever names anyone chooses to call it/him/her, the supreme source of all things. This piece was born from a conversation I had with a friend in which I made an analogy to God being like a divine vending machine to most people, where you insert a coin into the machine, and expect a result out of it. To some, prayer is nothing more but a conduit to obtain something to fulfill one's desires and needs. It's a pretty controversial subject to some, but one that is very thought provoking.
- We find in your SF series, although more luminous, this impression of humanity facing the grandiose. As much as Caspar David Friedrich showed us humanity in front of the power of Nature. But I have the impression that you show us a humanity facing a mysterious power which exceeds it, can you tell me more ?
While I'm not familiar with Caspar David Friedrich, I completely agree that most of my works dwell on encounters with powers that are beyond human comprehension. In fact, we humans deal with this on a regular basis on our own planet. Despite our scientific and technological progress, we still cannot tame or match the sheer power of nature and we are at her mercy when various calamities descend upon us. All we could do is acknowledge these things with reverence, and accept it as part of our lives. Then you have things that lie outside the boundary of our world. When we gaze upon the heavens, everything is defined by astronomical numbers, numbers that are too large for the human mind to make sense of. From distances in space, to the sheer amount of energy emitted by stars and other celestial bodies. When I see these, I can't help but realize how truly small we are in the grand scheme of things, knowing we are in the midst of these heavenly powers. And with the knowledge that we exist with the consent of circumstances that allow our civilization to thrive in this tiny corner of our galaxy, knowing those circumstances are subject to change without notice, as inhabitants of our planet in the distant past have witnessed and experienced. - On which social network can we follow you or buy your work ?