Julien Chung - Illustrator

A party of dapper little penguins on a milk glass launched Julien Chung's illustration career back when he was seeking a new creative adventure. Being a news designer for a major metropolitan newspaper was very serious business indeed, so drawing quirky animal characters was a way of lightening things up a bit.

Since then, inspired by the minimalism of poster art and postage stamps, his stylized characters and designs have graced products, from pet dishes to beer glasses, and books around the world, from Reykjavik to Tokyo.

With nine published books and several more in the works, Julien has earned accolades for his illustrations from 3x3 magazine, the American Society of Illustrators, the New York Society of Illustrators, Applied Arts, the Bologna Children's Book Fair, the Nami Concours and SCBWI. His favorite awards are the Glass Slipper Award and the Purple Island Award.

Making art and reading have always been a big part of Julien's life. An early childhood photo shows Julien (looking serious, but feeling gleeful inside) drawing one, just one, squirrelly dramatic line with a thick wax crayon on a large piece of construction paper and then tossing it aside to attack the next one (so says his mom).

His mom, an artist, had a lovely collection of children's books illustrated with woodcuts. His dad, an engineer, was a fan of modern architecture and Scandinavian furniture. Both tried to share their cultures with Julien by buying him two books: This Is Munich (she was Austrian) and This Is Hong Kong (he was Chinese) by Miroslav Šaýek, but Julien preferred This Is New York with its big red fire engine and gray skyscrapers on the bright yellow cover.

Julien has a fondness for airports, ice cream and illustrated maps. He collects stamps, pins and toys. Christmas is his favorite holiday. He lives near Montreal with his wife in an empty nest so high up they sometimes see a falcon or two fly by as they are sipping their morning coffee. It's kind of scary being so close to the clouds, yet awesome.

He was born in the Year of the Dog and has a soft spot for man's best friend. He enjoys drawing, sketching and painting dogs of all kinds. Snoopy, Snowy and Lassie were his best friends. Do not ask him to draw a horse. He cannot draw horses. And he just can't get monkeys right either.

Picture Books