Julien Delval: “A book covering my past work would have been unimaginable 5 years ago. Not for a lack quantity or quality, but because it would have been but a collection of images, a disparate series of professional illustrations without meaning. Of course, there were dreamworlds, sketched visions and monsters knocking at the door, but not anything that I could have defended, nothing that would have come from deeper down or been truly expressive.
When Olivier Souillé and the Daniel Maghen Gallery gave me the opportunity to do these large format personal artbooks I was finally able to free myself from the constraints I’d got used to, doing cover art, playing cards and cartoon strips, and really let myself go. I’m truly grateful for their support and confidence in me.
I’d also like to thank the many editors, graphic designers, illustrators and authors that I have met down the years, while I was learning. It’s thanks to them that I’ve been able to enrich my palette and fill my notebooks with experiences. Being able to work on fantasy worlds like Agone and Ji was a great opportunity to discover the Angels of Chaos and the myriad of creatures that live in floating palaces, enchanted forests or rolling seas. All that fed into my bloodstream and soaked into my brain, which had already been irrigated by classical painting that my friend encouraged me to bring to the fore.
Today, thanks to Franck Achard and Jean-Christophe Caurette, I am very pleased to be able to present this work to you. It represents the preparation and the beginnings of an artistic journey. The road is still long, and I hope to make further stops along the way – to turn back and recall the path taken.