Wemoto Artist Series with
Inspired by the New York graffiti scene of the early 1980s, Frankfurt based artist Jan Paul Müller works in an interdisciplinary manner and mainly creates paintings, illustrations and poster designs. Every time you look at his detailed works, you discover something new, like in a hidden object picture, and literally lose yourself in the painting. As a designer, his customers include big names such as Adidas, Doc Martens, Lufthansa and Montana Cans. He can look back on more than a hundred print or embroidery designs for t-shirts and thirty designed vinyl records. We are happy to welcome Jan Paul to our Artist Network.
For those that don’t know, what and who is Jan Paul Mueller?
My name is Jan Paul Müller. I am painter and draftsman.
You were born and raised in Wiesbaden and have been living in Offenbach for some time. Is there a specific reason or lifestyle that keeps you in the rhine-main area?
Most of my family and friends live there. If it wasn't for that, I would probably live somewhere else. But the dirt is the same everywhere.
You studied at the HfG Offenbach, one of the best-known german universities for design in Germany. Can you tell us something about your time there?
It was a wild, formative time with a lot of experience that made me what I am now. Since it is an interdisciplinary course, it is best to take as much as possible with you. I've studied almost everything except sculpture.
Your paintings are mainly monochrome with hundreds of details in it. What was the inspiration behind developing this way of painting?
Before sponsored by Montana Cans, I mainly painted in black and white for cost reasons. The love of detail goes back to the fascination of hidden object books and works such as those of Hieronymus Bosch.
„I usually start with a blank sheet of paper and write down ideas or make initial sketches. Then I let them work on me on a walk“
Last year you painted passenger suitcases in the Lufthansa Airport Stores at all major German airports. Can you tell us how it came about?
A friend introduced me to the conversation. Greetings to Sabine.
You also made artworks and visuals for the well-known club Robert Johnson for a long time. Are you still in the club scene and actively shaping it?
Yes, working in and for Robert Johnson has opened many doors around the world. The scenes of special music directions within house and techno are rather small.
When it comes to art, how do you kick-start the creative process? How do you approach a project?
I usually start with a blank sheet of paper and write down ideas or make initial sketches. Then I let them work on me on a walk and write notes on my cell phone which I later transfer to the sheet of paper, then I have a kind of mind map that serves as a guide.
How and where do you find inspiration and are there any artistic heroes that have influenced you in your work?
Great inspiration usually comes from traveling and related museums or visits to cultural institutions. For example, during a university trip, the pallazo del te near Mantua in the Works by Giulio romano or classic museum visits like the prado in Madrid. Generally exhibitions. A big influence as a child is definitely the New York graffiti scene.
Music has always played a big role for us. Is music also important to your creative process? If so, what records are you listening to at the moment?
I often listen to music when painting. Especially music that drives me a bit. When it comes to drawings, I tend to listen to podcasts or no music. Mixed from ambient to death metal. I've been listening to Pablo's Eye again since last year.