No Straight Lines

How video visionary Julien "Little X" Lutz creates his images

He doesn’t have clear recollection, but his mother says he’s been drawing since the age of 2. It’s not hard for Julien Lutz to believe, though. As long as he can remember, creating images on paper has been his passion. In fact, he drew all the way through school—not in art class—in all his classes. As early as grade school, Lutz, who is known professionally as Little X and is among the most creative video directors in music, was already designing party fliers. By high school, the Toronto-born artist was developing a talent in the mechanics of graphic design.

It was an internship in 1994 with the renowned video director Hype Williams that introduced the 18-year-old Lutz to film and video production and unearthed his talent in storyboarding. “Storyboards are the building blocks for filmmaking,” he offers. Now 31, Lutz is the founder and CEO of Sun God Collection, under which he directs film and video productions. He has directed videos, commercials, and TV projects for entertainers from Chris Rock to Alicia Keys and for companies that include Converse, Bacardi, and Chrysler. His latest production is a film due later this year about a Caribbean-American family, titled How She Move.

And he continues to draw. Lutz hones his talents through life drawing classes, which he’s taken for the last four years. Students in life drawing work with live models, often in the nude. “It is the purist form of drawing practice,” he explains. “You’re drawing in its most natural state.” He is also a lover of the classics in art. His favorite painter is Gustav Klimt, a 20th century Austrian artist and one of the co-founders of the Vienna Secession, a movement that rebelled against the status quo Academy of Fine Arts system. Lutz’s favorite work from Klimt is the “The Kiss.”

Most of Lutz’s designs are kept in his multiple sketchbooks and on his MySpace page (www.myspace.com/directorlilx). He was recently commissioned to create his own line, the X-Fit Collection, for Ice Gear Fitness Apparel (www.icegearfitness.com). Lutz encourages other art enthusiasts to foster their artistic side, noting that there are many professional outlets for such a passion. “Everything has design: chairs, tables, buildings, clothing,” he insists. “There’s nothing in the world that doesn’t have a design element.”

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