"[On Friday] I was about to go for dinner," Jullien told NPR's Michel Martin. "I turned on the French radio. I heard that it was an attack, and my first reaction was to draw." The result -- a minimalistic, rough peace sign blended with the Eiffel Tower, a ubiquitous symbol of Paris -- became, quite literally, an overnight sensation. When Jullien woke up on Saturday morning, he discovered his reactionary art had become viral. As of publishing, his original tweet is approaching 60,000 retweets. Though the artist isn't totally comfortable with his newfound notoriety.
"You know, it's putting me in a spotlight that I don't necessarily want to be [in], because I don't want to benefit from this exposure, in the sense that it's a tragedy first and foremost," Jullien told Martin in the aforementioned NPR report, adding, "The idea was just for people to have a tool to communicate, and to respond and to share solidarity and peace. It seems that's what most people got out of it. So in that sense, if it was useful for people to share and communicate their loss and need for peace, then that's what it was meant to be."
In the end, the symbol is a fitting testament to the positive powers of the Internet, as well as the united bond between people all over the world in a time of need. As a global population, we looked for the helpers. And in this case, we found one.
Wil Fulton is a Staff Writer for Thrillist. Follow him @wilfulton
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