Julian Ballen

Julian Ballen.jpeg

Diagnosed with autism at 4 years old, Julian, now 25, has taught his parents much about life and the real meaning of success.

Raised in Durham, North Carolina with his parents and younger brother, Jared, Julian is described to have ‘laser-like focus’ on three areas of interest - Disney animated movies, animals and drawing. It is said that Julian can sit in the middle of a Duke-Carolina basketball game, surrounded by screaming fans, and tune it all out to concentrate on drawing “The Lion King’s” Simba, his all-time favorite Disney character.

Julian’s love for Disney goes beyond drawing and painting, as he says the films “teach [him] how to live [his] life.” He expressed that “The Sword in the Stone” taught him about courage; “The Princess and the Frog” taught him you should always pursue your dreams; Baloo from “The Jungle Book” taught him it is okay to have fun; “The Lion King” taught him about family; and “Lilo & Stitch” taught him that “no one is ever left behind or forgotten.”

As an artist, Julian sketches and paints completely from memory, creating pieces so striking that people are blown away. His ‘laser-like focus’ paired with his incredible talent has led three of Julian’s paintings to be on display at the Mercury Studio in Durham.

Julian also volunteers at a local youth art camp and is the subject of his father’s book, “Journey with Julian.” 



Sample Art