• Interview
  • 12/31/2020 @ 2:07 PM

In my internet explorations, I'm always looking for work that just absolutely leaps off the screen. When I first came across the work of Blake Kathryn, I was astounded at the vibrancy and uniqueness of her work. We were able to catch up this week and I'm grateful to be able to share that with you now. Let's dive in.

Can you start by introducing yourself to our readers? Your name, Where are you from, how you would describe the work you make?

For sure. My name is Blake Kathryn, I'm a LA based by way of New York and previously Florida. I work in the digital medium, often blending 3D renders with a painterly overtone. My subject matter tends to vary, though it always touches upon the subconscious with an ethereal palette.

Your creations are magnificent, and feel like a fantastical retro futuristic dreamscape. It’s such a distinct style and so unique to you- what sort of influences have you drawn from in building up that aesthetic?

Thank you! I enjoy making them so to hear others finding an equal pleasure means a lot. I grew up a fan of Nintendo and Anime, especially Cowboy Bebop and Sailor Moon. Those early influences seemed to have intermixed over the years with my graphic design background, creating the sort of hybrid dreamscapes I largely focus on today.

I've always been heavily inspired by surroundings as well. Florida brought a love of vibrant palettes + tropical foliage, New York brought me a minimalist perspective, with LA finally setting in stone my love for Art Deco + sunset palettes. All in all, it's an evolving aesthetic and one I continue to be excited in pursuing.

Amazing, those influences truly shine through. One of the reasons I love your presence online is how open and inclusive you are with the knowledge you’ve accumulated. You actually stream your artistic process often and are very responsive to anyone who may have questions or ideas. That attitude is admirable, why is that a part of the way you share online?

Ah thanks, it has been a fun and recent addition to my workflow. Quarantine has been quite long and the streaming desire came when I was experiencing a wave of nostalgia for missed conferences, events, etc in the field.

Finding a twitch community really helped to close that gap and also pushed me to pursuing my personal studies more strictly by having a schedule in place. As for sharing insights, when I was starting out there wasn't a lot of folks I knew to ask for guidance. Helping others expedite their learning process feels sweet on the soul, I wish I had it.

Well put. I do feel like the internet has ushered in an age of collaboration unlike anything we’ve seen. There’s more access to creative technology and people can find and build audiences with much more ease. That doesn’t necessarily come for free though- do you experience any consequences from this hyper connectivity of our social media age?

I totally agree with that, and I definitely would not have found the medium I work in today without that connectivity. On the consequences side, I'm definitely not immune to the anxiety these communities can bring. I deal with it on a treated mental health level and have to limit myself on some platforms for my own well being.

On a creative level I feel social media has the dangerous potential to hijack a piece, "will this fit in my grid," "this dimension/palette doesn't perform well," "this subject gets great engagement" etcetera. I haven't always been immune to it and try to be extremely conscious now to not allow it to effect my own growth.

I'd hate for my work to blend into a sameness, and if you allow algorithms or internet trends to influence your vision it's quite easy to fall into.
Blake Kathryn

When did you first find your creative spark, and what advice might you have for someone who has just found theirs and is seeking to turn it into a career?

I went into college thinking I wanted to pursue a degree in advertising. When I explained to a counselor what excited me she very quickly turned me to graphic design which nurtured my creativity in a focused manner for likely the first time. Having those years to pursue design as well as dabble in other mediums really helped me find the correct path for myself–though my style would drastically change in the years to follow.

For those experiencing their first steps in the field just know diligence with your work, learning the fundamentals, and being open to experimentation combine into a fantastic cocktail. Every milestone comes step by step with your growth over time. Those practices, which I still follow, have allowed me to hone in to a flexible yet personal aesthetic- where I can equally pursue personal and commercial work.

You’ve been dipping your toes into the burgeoning crypto art scene, I’m curious to hear a bit more about your experience with NTFs. How did this come about for you and what excites you about the space?

Ah great question! I'm still quite fresh to the scene so I'll do my best to answer. It's definitely a fascinating realm to be apart of and I've had my eye on it for some time before finally joining via SuperRare and Foundation this past month. I've been fortunate to have frequented Art Basel + NY/LA galleries, one thing that always disgruntled me as a digital artist was the lack of presence in these critical areas.

My impression of cryptoart expands into what it can further evolve into: a platform for allowing value and a degree of preciousness to be applied to digital artworks in a manner equal to the fine arts. As for my place in it, I'm still finding my footing, but the community of creators and collectors has been inspiring to be a part of.

Amazing. Sounds like an exciting time for digital art. Thank you so much for taking the time to share your mind with us today!

Make sure to follow the incredible Blake Kathryn on her Instagram, her Twitter, and Twitch. You can find even more from her on her website.

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