The Julian Glander Interview

Published On May 16, 2014 | By Madeline Weiss | Interviews


You see gifs on Buzzfeed and Tumblr all the time, and maybe have even used a few yourself. From sailing cats to booty-shaking Beyonce, gifs have begun to take on a life of their own and brighten our days. With artistic talent and a mind for innovation, some designers even build their careers around the looping punchlines. Quirky designer and newbie to Pittsburgh, Julian Glander is one of them, and he’s brought his fun, nostalgic designs with him.

Glander designs and creates gifs, graphics, and illustrations for big names like Subway, Budweiser, and GAP Kids. His aesthetic comes from another dimension; childlike, lovable characters in a deep graphic world dominate much of his work. He’s also the mastermind behind a new iPhone game, Cloudytown, several short films, and Monobrow VHS–a curated collection of animated media art.

You were commissioned by Gap Kids to create a gif. Can you tell us about the inspiration for the gif targeted at young children and their parents?

The only thing I remember about the brief was that it had to feature a cute animal, which is my number one favorite thing to draw in the universe. I was really pumped about it, but someone at Gap HQ must not have been because it never got posted anywhere except my own website.

We’ve been playing your game, Cloudytown on our smart phones in the office. What gave you the idea to create a game that puts out fires all over town?

I think with Cloudytown my goal was to make an iPhone game that’s really zen-like and peaceful, like a Grandma Moses painting or one of those Christmas village sets that grandmas always have. So a lot of grandma influences, I guess. When Cloudytown came out I got in a twitter fight with an 11-year-old who said “shit app DONT DOWNLOAD ALL U DO IS MOVE A CLOUD” (exact words). Can’t win ’em all!

You also create short films. How does that creative process differ from gif and app-making?

Short films are the toughest because they have to make sense and keep someone’s attention for a few minutes, which we all know is forever on the internet. But regardless of the format everything I do kinda follows the same process; just trying to make cool stuff that I’d be into if I came across it. Is that super corny? Oh well ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Glander’s work is soon to be all over the web as he continues to expand his virtual world. He’s among the artists on the gif archive, Giphy, where those in need can browse the work of those who create. In fact, he even promotes the site itself. With a motto like “writin’ emails, makin’ people happy,” we have a bunch of sweet things to look forward to from this fun-loving designer. You can check out more of his work here.

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