Today we’d like to introduce you to Julien Reux.
Julien, before we jump into specific questions about your work, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
Early on I struggled to figure out what I wanted to do for a career. I knew I was artistic, but couldn’t apply it to a job when I was in my late teens and early twenties. After many attempts at different areas of study, an old high school friend suggested to look into the theater as a focus. Enjoying the idea of working backstage in the world of production, I fully committed to dive deep into the world of live entertainment lighting design. Transferring from El Camino Community College, I swiftly graduated from Cal State Fullerton shortly after, with a degree in Theatre focusing on production design.
I had a difficult time looking for work in my field after graduation, though I ended up getting employed by a corporate production company in Northern California. There, I learned the basic understandings of proper production installations.
I made it to be my ultimate goal to be behind a lighting controller and have creative input of lighting design. Working at several production companies for that first year, I found that I was not getting the time I wanted to apply any design or programming into my skillset. Around late 2015, I was given the opportunity to work at a small music venue, the Echo, which enabled me to run lights for live music. This then led to the decision to step back from freelancing with all the outside production companies to prioritize lighting music.
After many months of lighting live bands and other club nights, I got a call from a management company looking for a lighting director to tour with a new artist. The first artist I ended up working for was Grammy-nominated artist Gallant. That first tour became the biggest networking connection which eventually spread to my now current clients. Ever since that tour, my career has been focused on designing and programming professionally for musicians, design firms and other live production.
I now currently design for artists such as Emotional Oranges, Sasha Sloan, Nombe, Wallows and many others and assist programming with design firm Lit Creative.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Personally, the road wasn’t particularly hard. It was more time-consuming. I made small sacrifices to focus more time on work than outside pleasure for a couple of years before I started to find a balance.
The biggest struggle was to understand how to use the resources available to you such as my budget, hardware, software, etc. Some other struggles were to understand that not every show was going to be perfect. I’ve made very obvious mistakes during shows, but those were all learning experiences as with any unfortunate life situations.
Please tell us more about your work, what you are currently focused on and most proud of.
My business provides touring design solutions for musicians ready to showcase their talent to a public audience.
I offer lighting and creative designs to complement the artist’s vision. My job includes 3D architectural stage renderings, programming and creating lighting show files and overall lighting design.
I’m very proud of the connections I have made in the music industry. My clients know me on a professional and personal level and I know my clients have full trust in how I approach my designs, and in my opinion, that is what is most important.
Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
I believe the most important quality for me is to be as personable as possible. I don’t want anyone thinking that this is just a measly paycheck to my bank account. Every design I do, I want to be special, no matter how big or small it may be.
Joey Brodnax, Nicole Lemberg, Laine Kelly