In the age of new media and digital art, it can be easy to get over-stimulated and lose inspiration. Creative blocks are not always easy to get through, which is why we’ve collected tips and inspiration from a talented pool of New Media artists. Here are some of their top tips for finding inspiration:
Vitoria Cribb (@louquai), Multidisciplinary Artist:
“I read a lot about subjects that I’m interested in at the moment. Now I’m studying and searching more about artists who work with different media and how they handle the questions about their work and how they go about sharing their ideas.”
“I get my inspiration from so many places. Traveling, movies, music, nature, psychedelics, love, sex, great conversations, food, museums, architecture and of course, the internet.”
Blake Kathryn (@BlakeKathryn)
“Cinematography is a giant pull. Living in LA, I quickly adapted to the cinephile lifestyle. Mindless sketching, taking mental breaks through long walks, and recently browsing random library finds are all great conceptual fodder as well. In general, the more steps I take away from my practice, the more I’m able to dig within myself to pull out authentic ideas and feel confident in bringing it to fruition.”
Trimex Collective (@TrimxCrew)
“I keep a secret folder with all of my references that I can go back to for inspiration[…] Conceptually I use nature and abandoned architecture in society”
Alida Sun (@alidasun)
On mathematics and mythology as inspirations:
“They came from sustained rootlessness mixed with relentless curiosity and concern. I reckon they’ve morphed into something stranger and more intense as the end of the Anthropocene draws closer and closer — nothing like an increasingly urgent need to imagine ways out of the imaginable to fire up one’s creative visions, at least as far as I’m concerned!”
Chloe Gao is a Cross-Disciplinary Interaction Designer who focuses on the art of storytelling. We got to talk to her about her experience in interaction design, the most challenging projects, and what immersive art’s place in the age of Instagram.
How did you get started in interaction design?
I first heard about this specific term when I was at NYU ITP for my master’s, but now when I think about it, I feel like I have been doing interaction design since a long time ago. In my early years I did some theater directing. Part of my passion was to design the interaction between the actors and stage, for example, the lighting of the stage would react to what the actor was saying at a certain moment. I did not think too much of if as “Interaction Design”, but more as part of the storytelling, to highlight the moment. After two years at ITP, I have a better understanding of interaction design and start exploring different areas: space and architecture, and of course mixed reality on web and mobile. For me, the core of interaction design never changes, it’s all about storytelling.
Immersive art is becoming increasingly popular, especially in the age of Instagram. As someone who creates interactive designs, what do you make of this?
I actually hated it a lot in the beginning. I did not consider it as art. Now I have a more subjective opinion about instagram immersive art. As technology becomes an inseparable part of our life today, the way people behave has changed as well. Immersive art itself is a derivative of this interesting social phenomenon. It is the trend regardless of whether you hate it or not, because that is how people live their lives now. Many people criticize the quality of the instagram immersive art, because most of them are just a bunch of different rooms with differently colored walls where audience can take selfies. I also do not fancy those shows but it still has its positive side. Unlike traditional art exhibitions in museums or galleries, interactive art has lower barrier. Audience does not need to know too much background knowledge before they enter. It means to be fun and playful. Today’s immersive art shows delivered this message. They made more people interested in interactive arts. When teamlab started 18 years ago it also did not look so attractive, it takes time to make things right.
A lot of the images you shared on Instagram feature the use of the Cinemagraph. Can you explain what that is and how you have used it in your work?
I started to make cinemagraph before I went to ITP. After graduating from UC Berkeley, I moved to New York and worked in the fashion industry as a photographer for a year. Traditional photography can capture the moment perfectly well but different people have different interpretation of that still moment. That’s where I started to make cinemagraphs, to tell the stories behind that one still moment.
You’ve worked on a lot of impressive projects over the past few years. Is there any one in particular that you found to be the most challenging or significant to your career?
The big screen piece called MUSE(https://www.
Is there a particular artist who inspires you, or whose pieces you’re excited about?
Edoardo Tresoldi has been my recent favorite artist. I find out about him when I was doing research for my thesis. I have been fascinated with creating spatial computing art. His installations inspired me a lot. I also like Chemical Brothers. Their audio visualization is just amazing, especially if you go to their live performance. No other words can describe. I also started to do an experimental audio viz project with my friend. Hope we can show it soon.
Featured Image: ‘Ephemeral‘
Alida Sun is an interdisciplinary artist and post-industrial designer based in Berlin and New York. We got to chat with her about her mathematic and mythological inspirations, coming up with color palettes, and her work in projection mapping.
Art is visually stimulating. Lines of code, for most people, are not. But of course, the two become intertwined in the field of digital art. p5.js is a web-based programming language that works as open-source graphic library. In short, the platform aims to aid non-programmers in learning the fundamentals of coding through a visual context.
Lauren McCarthy, creator of p5.js noted:
“When Processing began in 2001, art and technology was still relatively new. One of the goals was to bring ideas like combining design and code out of institutions and to the broader public. Since then, Processing, and the space of art and technology in general, has grown tremendously.”
p5.js allows users to create shapes and basic objects, as well as providing a library that offers animation capabilities. The program also allows for interaction with HTML5 objects (another programming language) so the two can simultaneously be used on the platform.
Beyond exciting animations capabilities, many artists have been able to use the platform to combine coding with performance. Dancer and creative technologist Devon Frost used the platform to conceptualize and help develop Tap Encoding Decoding (TED), a program that uses signal processing techniques to determine what text a dancer is performing based on tapping and performing steps. They note that the program ultimately leads to “a performance partnership between the dancer and TED.”
For digital artist and former Decode Experiential panelist, Maya Man explains how she began working with the program to combine it with her dance background:
The platform also gives many options to correct work and trouble-shoot, something that is especially helpful for people who are not used to coding. Digital creator, Ben Choe, notes that after a three-year hiatus from coding, he was able to make a website in less than a day to showcase his 3D photo gallery:
One argument in the creative tech space is that many new technologies are not accessible to most people. Whether that’s from high expenses to creator bias, these are things that the Processing foundation has aimed to tackle. In their mission statement, the developers write:
Whether you’re just beginning your journey in creative coding, or are already an expert, p5.js offers a range of opportunities to advance your skills. There are also a wide array of resources and tutorials for beginners (a popular one being The Coding Train from Processing Board member Dan Schiffman, who offers Programming and p5.js tutorials). For more information on p5.js check out: https://p5js.org
Featured Digital art by Maya Man
Alycia Rainaud (@maalavidaa) is a digital artist and graphic designer based in Paris, France. We talked with Alycia about balancing her two careers, exploring psychology through art, and channeling her work through different mediums:
Hey! First off, thanks a lot for having me:)
That’s an interesting question. I’ve been studying and working as a graphic designer for almost 8 years, but in the meantime, I also fell into digital art 3 years ago. I feel that becoming a double-sided professional has always brought good tension and porosity into my work.
But of course, it’s always about trying to find a balance between both fields. Working as a digital artist for Malavida has considerably changed my way of apprehending boundaries between art and design, and I feel like I’m always more inclined to merge these two topics rather than thinking in a binary way.
To be honest, from an outside perspective, being really devoted to Malavida for the last year has obviously made me prioritize digital art over graphic design. However, besides that, I’m always trying to put together graphic design concepts and projects in order to get back to my roots. There’s something really comforting about the idea of being able to switch from a practice to another. Also, being able to experiment with different mediums and shapes is really helpful and handy for me since my work is mainly focusing on feelings. There are never too many possible options when it comes to visually translating emotions and psychology. I guess that’s why designers tend to call me an artist, then artists will call me a designer. The perception you have of someone’s work is definitely subjective, and since I’m not into labels, I just like to see myself as being both.
From the beginning of this creative journey, I always wanted to find an evolving signature look in order to represent my identity as an individual and my way of perceiving things. I guess that my style has slowly evolved through years of experiments with different techniques (photography, paint, generative softwares…), but I feel like the triggering point might have been when I started to switch from black and white to highly saturated hues. There was something really scary for me about using colors. I was always trying to pinpoint and express deep emotions but I didn’t know how to do it without using dark tones. I mean, being an edgy kid, black has always been my first love. However, with the aim of a non-binary thinking approach, I felt that it was somehow starting to be a little restrictive for my work. Learning how to visualize contrasted and overwhelming emotions with a full-color spectrum has considerably changed and raised my style until now.
Abstract art definitely has that adaptability factor. Most of my work can be stretched, cropped and resized without having to bother with elements getting out of the way. To be honest, I’ve always tried to apprehend work with a transversal approach. Being a print-oriented graphic designer in the first place, I’ve been told that somehow images were meant to take any type of shape. There are no rules ⏤well ok, except for technical rules maybe⏤ when it comes to where your work belongs. Having a process based on the analogy between digital and tangible also helps to be aware of the number of possibilities for an artwork to exist through different mediums. It’s a back and forth situation. That way, I’m just constantly trying to imagine new ways of merging abstract digital art with physical elements such as augmented books, shifting prints, decks, scarves, etc. Basically, every time I come across a cool object, I like to ask myself « could I merge my work with that? »
Obviously, there are so many brilliant and talented artists out there. I always appreciate that question since I can share my love for other’s work, especially Davy Evans, who has inspired me since the beginning. He’s one of my biggest influences ever, alongside Nick Thomm’s color spectrum, Dorian Legret’s edits/textures and Alexy Préfontaine’s (Aeforia) sensitive universe.
This week, we spoke to creative director @thisreo to chat about their artistic evolution, the future of fashion and technology, and the pros and cons of social media. Read more:
A few months ago, you shared a post that helped you come across a now signature style of yours. What was the artistic and technical process like?
The post you’re referring to changed the direction of my work in so many ways. Before that piece, I was making a lot colorful digital abstract expressionist pieces. People liked it but it wasn’t getting me any extra work. I was reading a lot on social media at the time on what generated response, and it was mostly about people connecting to other humans. The posts that performed best featured a face or a body. I looked at my feed at the time and it had none of that. I had a few pictures from an artist I connected with and just started experimenting with putting her in front of the colorful abstract prices I was making. When I posted it I finally got the response I was hoping for.
As a creative director, how have you seen fashion and technology grow alongside one another? Any notable breakthroughs in the past few years?
For as long as I can remember I’ve wanted to put a gif on a shirt. For years people have been trying to make it happen but it’s just not the norm yet. I felt like I was always standing at that intersection waiting for technology and fashion to meet. Then I started seeing 3D printed clothing/shoes and almost sculptural work like Iris Van Harpen and I was blown away because that’s obviously way more complicated than a gif on a shirt!
I recently saw an article about fully 3D generated clothing for photo shoots being more of a trend and it made me think fashion and tech are almost merging into the same thing. When AR is the norm we just might be downloading the newest pair of Nike shoes and “wearing” them instantly. You’d be able to see a shirt someone’s wearing, buy it and instantly be wearing it before you even walk past them. Exciting (scary) times for sure!
Do you find social media to be more beneficial or limiting in your work? Why?
I believe it has been both for me…on one hand, social media is where 90 percent of the brand work I’ve done for Dior, Nike, Adidas, Sprite has come from. It usually begins with someone from a creative team or agency reaching out to me through a DM and going from there. I’m incredibly grateful for the ability to connect with an otherwise difficult to reach company through social media. On the other hand, it’s also where I’ve been copied the most. I’ve had my work put on mood boards for when brands want my style but hire someone else (cheaper) to execute. It used to bother me a lot until I recognized that it’s all a part of being vulnerable and showing your work to the world.
Where do you typically draw inspiration from? Online? Or IRL?
I get my inspiration from so many places. Traveling, movies, music, nature, psychedelics, love, sex, great conversations, food, museums, architecture and of course, the internet.
Is there a particular artist who inspires you, or whose work you’re excited about?
I am constantly inspired by artists like
Summer is in full swing, but if you’re stuck indoors it can be hard to get into a bright, energetic mood. Luckily these digital artists have you covered; from neon color palettes to surreal landscapes, these are the top digital artists to check out this month:
Sam Cannon is an artist and director based in NYC. Sam uses placid backdrops and hypnotizing movements to create perfect dreamy and summery images.
Eugene Sharpe is a digital artist from the U.K. Eugene uses flashes of color and bright, blurred textures that make his page the ultimate neon zen space.
Musician, artist and photographer Ruben Wu is a pro at producing mesmerizing pictures. Using bold strokes of light against scenic outdoor backdrops, Rueben’s images evoke out-of-this-world adventures.
Yayoi Kusama is a pioneer in experiential and immersive art. Her playful polkadot “infinity rooms” can inspire creativity and fun through just the pictures alone!
Fanny Pápay is a digital artist based in Budapest. Mixing 80s surrealism with futuristic digital trends, her work brings a touch of summer nostalgia.
We hope these give you some summer inspo (or at least add a little color to your feed)! Be sure to check out more inspiring artists on our blog and our IG page!
Vitória Cribb (@louquai) is a multidisciplinary artist based in Brasil, who works in motion design and 3D graphics. We talked to her about her work and her process, what she does to stay inspired, and where she sees her work going in the future.
You’ve chatted with us a bit about Cinema 4D. Is there another program that’s helped you in your artistic development? Or one that you haven’t tried yet but are excited to use?
Blender is definitely a program that helped me in my artistic development. I started my 3D visuals in Blender and the fact that the program is free helped me a lot. When I started experimenting with this type of visual al, the tutorials that I found on the internet were mostly in English. However, I remember that it was much easier to find tutorials in Portuguese for Blender 3D.
I want to experiment with other software and tools to create 3D digital visuals. Houdini is one of the programs that I want to try-the results with this software really captivate me.
A lot of the work you share is very personal. What motivates you to share your work in the digital space?
I think the fact that I can share my art, my feelings and my questions with many people is the most important thing.
The Internet is a public space where you can share your opinions, values and so on. We can connect with the public and understand the issues and urgencies in communication and visual fields. On the internet, the artist and their art are more accessible to the public and the exchange is more active. You can meet another artist and exchange information on practices, tools and personal questions, even when you are both continents away. For me it is very enriching and it is a way to expand my horizons
Where do you see your work going 5 years from now? 10 years from now?
I think we are in a transition in communication and inter-personal relationships. Society is becoming more visual and sensitive, so I think digital art has the potential to bring different sensations to the public. Through combining this with other forms and techniques that we currently use to produce contemporary art, there is a lot of potential for interesting work . In 5 years my work, I hope, will go to physical spaces and will adapt well with other techniques and ways of representation.
And in 10 years I hope that digital art becomes more popular. I hope people understand its value and how developments in digital technology really reflect society.
What do you do to stay inspired? Any advice for artists just starting out?
I read a lot about subjects that I’m interested in at the moment. Now I’m studying and searching more about artists who work with different media and how they handle the questions about their works and how they go about sharing their ideas.
My advice is “just go and make your stuff”. For me, it is very important to understand who you are as an artist and what do you want to do without judgments. Especially with digital art, I think it’s important understand how you can produce your work; study the tools, figure out the best way to render, and learn how to get good results with your machine. After that, you can just create with your skills and enhance your knowledge with time and practice.
Is there a particular artist who inspires you, or whose work you’re excited about?
Recently I went to an exhibition of Harun Farocki in Rio de Janeiro and I’m really excited about his work and the way that he talks about technology and society. There are other artists that work with digital mediums that really inspire me: Harun Farocki, Tabhita Rezaire, CUSS, Andrew Thomas Huang, Mit Borras, Sandra Araújo, Fragmatista, HYDRA and CROSSLUCID are some of them.
From architectural innovations to celebrating emerging queer artists, these are some awesome installations to go and check out this Summer:
Where: The MoMa
When: June 28-September 2, 2019
What: Showcasing emerging architectural talent, the Young Architects Program challenged this year’s contenders to create designs for an installation that centered around sustainability. Floating fences, geometric tunnels, and skylit ceilings are just a few of the creative concepts these designers have to share.
Where: The Met
When: April 16-October 27, 2019
What: Berlin-based artist Alicja Kwade has created an extrodinary multi-media display that looks like a minature solar system, reflecting on time, space, and the mystery of the universe.
Where: Riverside Park, South
When: June 22-August 22, 2019
What: Viewfinding, an installation by Sarah E. Brooks, will be shown at Alternative Pride. The festival focuses on traditionally underrepresented queer communities, and aims to magnify their voices through their work. Brook’s sculpture features 26 different works from queer-identifying poets, which are engraved on the sculpture.
When: March 8-September 9, 2019
What: Featuring works from German sculptural artist Charlotte Posenenske, enjoy open-ended, minimalist, and fascinating geometrical sculptures displayed throughout the space.
Where: David Zwirner Gallery
What: Critically acclaimed experiential and sculptural artist Yayoi Kusama will have an exhibition at the David Zwirner Gallery in New York later this year. Not necessarily this Summer, but we’re so excited about it-we had to give it a mention!
So when you need a break from the beach day, or are just curious about what new art is popping up, New York , as always, has you covered.