If you've ever pictured someone with mad skills, Julien Tabet is here to prove that there are things waaay beyond your imagination. He filled his fantastic universe with animals and gave them superpowers only by highlighting their characteristics. We talked about photo manipulations, inspirations, and passion, so scroll down and dive into a strange world of Julien Tabet. 

How did you find passion to create your designs? 

My passion for creation came very naturally to me. When I'm bored, I like to create. And I believe that passion and boredom are two very closely related things. I've always liked to make photo manipulations, to twist reality and to make it different. Two years ago, I decided to show my work to the world, via Instagram, and then it became serious with time, this simple desire to share my art opened me to a lot of incredible opportunities.

Are you a professional or self-taught?

I studied graphic design, but I learned all my photo editing skills on my own.
I must admit that these studies still helped me a lot to open my critical mind and to understand art and image composition.

Are your designs how you really imagine animals’ behavior?

Each of my images is inspired by the characteristics of the animal itself. Whether it is its physical characteristics or its behavior. I love to imagine that animals behave exactly as I imagine them in my creations.
Liberty by Julien Tabet
Stormy by Julien Tabet
Curious by Julien Tabet

Where do you take your amazing ideas from?

I find it very difficult to define where my ideas come from. They often come to me quite naturally, it's as if it's something that makes sense to me. If the idea takes too long to build up in my mind, then I know it's not a good one.
I think I'm inspired by what's around me, my experiences (and hundreds of talented artists that I follow on social networks). My best ideas often come to me when I think about something other than creation.

What was your very first design of the Fantastic Universe series?

My very first image was the cat under the ocean (Hidden). To me, this image is the perfect metaphor for what a cat is. ;) 
Hidden by Julien Tabet

Is there any message hidden in your designs? 

I like to let people interpret my work as they see fit. It is really surprising sometimes.

Which of your artworks is your favorite and why?

My favorite is the one I also hate the most, and it's - again - the very first of this series (Hidden).
At the time when I created it, I thought that this image didn't make sense. Then one day, I didn't have anything to post on my Instagram, so I thought maybe it was worth sharing it anyway.
People loved it, it was my very first mini buzz, so since then, this image has become a bit of a symbol of my work.

Can you share with us some tips on how to stimulate your imagination to be endless?

Imagination is very complex to understand and master. One of the best advice I can give is to never force yourself to create, you have to do it with envy and motivation. The problem is that imagination never appears when you expect it. Occupy your mind with something totally different, you will create new ways of thinking, and develop your imagination. In short, think about something else, but stay alert.
AquaBirdy by Julien Tabet
Dexterity by Julien Tabet
Morning Mood by Julien Tabet

For those who’d like to start their adventure with photo manipulations - what do you use to create them?

I mainly work with Photoshop, which is for me today the best software for photo manipulation. There are thousands of tutorials on the Internet that you can find for free. But if (like me) you don't like it, then just have fun and practice, be curious.

Do you create your designs by yourself, from scratch, or are they mainly photo manipulations?

I started by doing only photo manipulation. A big problem with this technique is that I soon found myself very dependent on the photos or image stocks that I use, which is very frustrating.
More and more, I mix photographs and drawing. My latest creations are 90% drawn, without having any incredible skill as a drawer.

Can you describe the exact moment you noticed your increasing popularity in social media?

In March 2018, I had the incredible privilege to be shared on Photoshop's Instagram page, a real honor. Suddenly people started to pay attention to my work. Hundreds of articles around the world followed, it went viral, and then it all went very fast
The key to success is not to look for success. If you do things with desire and passion, and if you spend a lot of time doing them, you will always succeed in making your dreams come true.

How is Instagram helping you promote and sell your art?

 Instagram is an incredible tool, because I think it's the social network that makes you the closest to the people who support you. I see it more as a book that showcases my work to the world. And what's amazing is that anyone can do it. Instagram brings visibility, and that's all an artist needs to make a living from his passion.

Do you have any tips for young creators like you, dreaming to succeed in their artistic field?

 Never give up, never copy. But still, renew yourself, and be inspired by others.

What are your dreams for 2020? :)

For 2020, I dream of diversifying my work. Exploring new creative mediums, making 3D, videos. Above all, I want to get out of my comfort zone before I feel trapped.

Julien's Instagram 

Source of Life by Julien Tabet
Monarchy by Julien Tabet
Out of the box by Julien Tabet