On Friday last week, terrible things happened in Paris.
Within very little time, graphic artist Jean Jullien posted this on Instagram:
In an interview with Wired, Jean shares his experience of creating the illustration. I was amazed to learn that it was an immediate reaction for him. It spilled out of him within minutes. In looking at Jean’s Instagram feed, it’s obvious that he is constantly creating. He posts a brilliant new image almost daily. I would like to propose that when you have practiced and practiced your art form, and then practiced some more, you have the ability to use your skill at a high level under great stress, sometimes even without mental exertion. You no longer have to think because your skill has become so engrained that your heart is free to simply express. Those daily exercises and disciplines to which I challenge myself are actually worth something cumulative. Keep going, soul. Incredibly, Jean got some criticism for posting his Peace for Paris image. A few people on social media — there’s always those few — accused him of using the attacks to gain exposure. Such a reaction makes me sad. For one thing, there is no way he could have known that it would go viral. It gives me a new perspective on some “reactionary art” I did recently after the shooting at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon.
Sometimes when tragedies happen, we need help to grieve well. That help came for me in the form of a song. As I listened, tears rolled down my face and I thought of the light that swallowed darkness whole in Roseburg on the morning of October 1. Listen here: http://youtu.be/xjRi_80irXY #iamachristian #roseburg #uccshooting #uccshootingvictims @noodlenicole18 A photo posted by Kathryn Taylor (@kiwikat07) on
I was so impacted by the story of these bold American martyrs who refused to denounce Christ that all I wanted to do was go home and create an image that would express my gratitude for their courage. I wanted to honor them. Unlike Jean Jullien who created the image immediately, it wasn’t until four days after the tragedy that I responded artistically. As I develop my skills, enlarge my visual vocabulary, refine my craft and practice my talent, that could change.
In another realm of creativity, Tony Anderson created this stunning piece of music in response to the Paris attacks. Close your eyes and listen…