Julius Juul is a Copenhagen boy without limits to his creativity. Motivation is a key word in his work and this is also what got him to New York, working his dream job and starting his own business at an early age. With constantly evolving ideas and no boundaries, there are no limits to this young Copenhagener’s career.
Tell me something about yourself.
Julius Juul: My name is Julius Juul and I am Copenhagen born and raised. When I was 22, I got the opportunity to move to New York and work for a big advertising company. I of course took that opportunity and worked there for about a year. Then I took matters into my own hands and just tried to get my hands dirty and worked with a lot of creative things. One day I am hoping to be absolutely satisfied with some sort of genre, but right now I am just trying out a lot of stuff. Trying to find what really gives me a kick.
What did you do before you went to New York?
Julius Juul: I have studied at the Danish school of Media and Journalism with a major in creative communication. In the end, it is an education that will make you an art director within the advertising business. That was my basic but I have always been very interested in making a lot of different things, such as design and creative processes. I have always been good at working with the visual aspects and communication.
In around 2007, I established my own company where I did a lot of different types of work, aside from my school work. This was even in high school. I made a lot of different logos and designs and so on. It became more and more serious and then I started getting more into making videos. I bought loads of gear and just got by the autodidact way. I tried to combine what I was learning in school and what I was learning on my own.
Visual identity design by Julius Juul.
Why do you think you started this early?
Julius Juul: I think I always felt that the most important thing to have, within any business, is motivation. It is the flame that makes you want to sit up at 3 am and add some tiny detail to something. It just always had my interest. Be it photos, movies, design or whatever, the visual design just always had my interest and all my attention. I really think that is the main drive. If you are interested enough in something, and it does not feel like work, when there is no clear line between hobby and work.
What was your biggest dream?
Julius Juul: My biggest dream was to make the best and the craziest things in the advertisement business. Then I applied for an internship at BFG9000 to a guy called Gerry Graf, who is an award winning creative director. I didn’t really expect to get anything from it but he was touring the world to find people like me. At that time I had made a webpage for him – about him, to make him laugh a bit and make him realize how much work I had done on it, and then I had topped it all off with a video (www.deargerrygraf.com) He gave me the chance to work with his agency: Barton F. Graf 9000, which was a dream, but I found that maybe it wasn’t really what I wanted. The advertising business is built on hierarchy and connections. The truth is that there are a lot of shitty advertisements but this isn’t because of the firms but more because of the clients. It is easy to make just what the client wants but that just does not give you good ads. Therefore you must have a good relationship with your client, so you can collaborate on the things you do. Working under client rules and the ad-hierarchy really took the fun part of the job away from me.
What are you doing right now in your own business?
Julius Juul: A lot of things are going on right now. I’ve started my own clothing brand with my brother, called Sons of William (www.sonsofwilliam.org), we have been working day and night on this and we’re soon launching our second collection and it will be huge. Aside from that I’m designing the visual identity and the interior in a restaurant in Nørrebro, Copenhagen. I recently designed two Copenhagen clubs called: Jupiter and Bambi. Furthermore, there is a newly founded furniture company, that I am designing a furniture collection with. I am in the making of an app. Things are going in all directions.
Who do you see as role models?
Julius Juul: I have role models in every genre. Visually right now I really like Jesse Kanda, who makes music videos and a lot of artistic motion graphics. But its hard to draw parallels from him to other genres like the fashion world, where I have very different role models. Philippe Starck is great. Not that I am interested in being an industrial designer but he impresses me with his ability to contribute to so many things. Within photography, Paul Young has an amazing eye for perfection. In fashion, Yohji Yamamoto and Raf Simons are classics, who simply changed the way we look at fashion today. I do not really have just one. I work in different fields, which makes it quite obvious to have different role models.
What are the thoughts behind Sons of William?
Julius Juul: The reason why it means so much to me is because with SoW I now get to be envoled in the entire process. It is extremely difficult because each time you send something out, it is a part of you and you need to be completely satisfied with every aspect. The main idea is to make something new and to add something different to the fashion world. To create a new manner of communication in the world of fashion. We are not going to have fashion shows or to give in to certain trends. We are trying to break the norms. We work with ideas and visions.
As the famous speaker Simon Sinek once said, “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.” All in all, it is about if you feel what you are doing enough. As a customer, you need to feel that you are becoming a part of something by buying into this brand.
We would like to expand the brand beyond fashion and are currently working on making mixtapes, collaborations and developing ideas. We are trying to boost the idea of our brand.
Do you ever feel bounded by limits of time or creativity?
Julius Juul: Of course, it is true that it is difficult trying to do everything, but I am just the type to go all in and I just want to make projects and learn new stuff constantly. I love the feeling of learning new aspects of everything. But yes, of course I can feel limited or limit to myself when, for example I feel like I do not have enough saying in a project. But I just try to push the limits all the time.
I think people like Kanye West are great because he just has a lot of ideas and he just wants to do so much. I think a lot of people misunderstands him. And excuses everything he does with him being crazy or super ego. It is great that he is just working outside these limits. His products might not be the best, but he is trying to get involved in so many things. When you do something with such a passion that you can’t just put it away, but you are really working with it because you can’t stop, then you know you are doing the right thing.