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JULIEN VALLÉE: Stop-Motion to go fast « DressLab : clothes+music+art
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JULIEN VALLÉE: Stop-Motion to go fast

Author: Luisa Bernal

Section: LAB

Date: 03.2011


The Canadian Julien Vallée began studying multimedia at university and did not take long to realise that what he liked most was visual communication.

While the majority of designers use computers as a basic tool almost exclusively, Julien leans towards a more handcrafted process where technology reaches another level. Julien Vallée pretends to establish a bridge between manually creates and virtual art.

We’ll let him explain the rest…




How would you define your work?
I believe that manual work gives the designer more aspects to work with, like texture and the three dimensions of reality. It allows you to combine different techniques in addition to computer generated work. I like these challenges: you have to think twice about what you’re doing and take more risks because you can’t rely on the ‘undo’ button. I also think it shortens the distance between the observer and the designer.




How did you begin making videos using stop-motion technique?
I began experimenting at university. There was no budget and all I had to make films with was a cheap digital camera. I didn’t want to hire a video camera because you could only have it for a couple of hours at a time. I was a nocturnal kind of worker in those days! I began making stories based on the low-fi equipment I had to hand and I developed a great interest in stop-motion. For me, paper was a neutral material I could fold to achieve whatever form I needed and create movement out of.

Does it involve teamwork? If so, how do you choose who you want to work with?
On a professional level, I would say I prefer to work alone on the creative part as it gives me more freedom, flexibility and concentration but I also like to involve people that come from other non-design related fields because they have a different vision and bring fresh ideas…on the production side, I like working with collaborators like the photographer Simon Duhamel, who takes the final photographs of the projects, like the piece MTV One, for example.




Do you work from prior sketches? How much room do you leave for improvisation?
I think I always follow certain unofficial guidelines through the process, but they vary according to each project and that’s the fun part. In a way, I believe that changing the way of working on each project helps to try new things, recycle yourself and prevents you from falling into a comfortable environment.

For me, getting rid of my habits and remaining unstable helps to shape creativity. If everything is planned from beginning to end, it’s just production. The only thing I am sure of when I start a project is that there’ll be a result and an end.

Depending on the time I have to work on a project, I allow myself to keep the creativity of the process till the final stage. Sometimes, when you’re submerged in the production of a piece, you realise the possibilities you never had in mind at the outset.




Which project have you enjoyed the most till now, and which has given you most recognition?
I think with regards to time spent on a project and satisfaction, I really like the video Globo Logos, which is a totally non- commercial project.



The one that got me most recognition was the image I created for MTV-One. When I get commissions, they often refer to the paper installation of the exploding television or they request it for publications.



Would you say your work is linked to music, fashion or other artistic aspects?
I think fresh ideas come when you are open to other points of view and artistic disciplines. Music is an art in itself and has always inspired me. If you listen to music, without it being associated to any particular image, stories and shapes are automatically generated in your head. It has a completely different sense if you see it alongside its music video afterwards. For me, when I work with a group of musicians, it’s like making a film of a book: the band gives you the opportunity to illustrate the story you have in mind.



What are your sources of inspiration?
It may sound like a cliché, but really, I get inspired anywhere. I think it’s important to keep an open mind at all times. It’s good for my work and it also lets me take an ever-surprising view on life, which I think is really important.

I’m rarely ever in place and not thinking about a project or an image to create there, or read a headline and not think of an idea. I don’t like taking things too seriously.




Soon you’re going to give a workshop at OFFF Barcelona, what can possible participants expect?
I think it’s going to be a lot of fun. The concept is simple and very open. I can’t wait to get inside people’s imagination. This type of events are really exciting when people are keen to get the best out of themselves.


+ info: Julian Vallée




  1. Noelia Lozano | DressLab : clothes + music + art / 16.01.13

    […] would you say are your influences? Working with paper, Stefan Sagmeister, Dan Tobin Smith, Jullien Vallée and studios that create more tactile works using still life, such as Plenty, from Argentina and […]

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