Creative Spotlight | Julian Bull
Published on 02 September 2022
Tell us a bit about who you are and what kind of creative work you make.
I'm a magician. I do a sleight of hand and illusion show with everyday objects like money, paper, ropes, cards, balls, balloons and many other things.
Where can we find out more about your work and get in touch?
There is plenty of information, videos and reviews on my website www.julianbullmagic.com
How does your personal history, culture or experience inform your creative work?
I worked as a street performer for many years. This required me to find very practical tricks that people can view from any angle with any kind of lighting.
Are there any special processes, techniques or tools you use to make your creative work?
You can do magic tricks with pretty much anything. When I'm walking around the shopping centre I look for items that can be manipulated with sleight of hand or could be modified for illusions. I try to watch as many different magicians as I can for inspiration. There is a really great magician called Rocco Silano who has won awards for his creative magic act. He would just do tricks with anything and everything - food, ice cream, milk, fruit, insects and paper - to create a really surprising, surreal experience.
What’s your favourite part of working as an artist / creative?
It is such an unusual, interesting job that takes me on many adventures that allow me to tell weird stories. I often do magic shows on this firetruck for this guy Max, who has converted the truck into a party vehicle. Last week I did a show for a Lego event with large Lego statues at Darling Harbour. Five-year-old Julian would have been very proud of me. I did a show not long ago for an Eid festival where the act before mine was this huge T-rex puppet. There was a guy with a microphone making t-rex roaring sounds and lots of children were trying to pet the monster. I recently did a gig for a pharmacy where I was doing card tricks for people waiting to pick up prescriptions. A month or two ago I did some roving performance at this six-hour long improvised musical show. The musicians were worried the audience would get bored, so they hired me to wander around the crowd doing card tricks. I thought their music for very nice, dreamlike drone music and stayed to listen for a while.
What’s the most challenging part of working as an artist / creative?
Travelling around so much all over Sydney and surrounding towns can be tiring and a bit lonely at times. However, my girlfriend often comes along with me which helps a lot.
Street performing is a great way to get large amounts of practical experience as a performer and to start earning a bit of money. I got my first few formal gigs from random people asking me for my contact details while busking. If you're working for a company, try to get positive reviews for their business, ask customers to look up their google listing for the company on their phone and leave a review that says positive things about you and the businesses' service also. It makes the customer look good, it makes you look good, it provides a concrete quantifiable way of measuring the quality of your service. It will get you many repeat bookings and you spend no money on advertising. If there are other performers, try to get good feedback for them also.