• 04/06/2021 @ 5:03 PM

Surrealism has always appealed to me- as a lucid dreamer, the ways in which the subconscious world bleed into reality are of deep interest. Perhaps that is why I love the work of @chowzuh. We caught up on his art, his journey, and thoughts about the future.

First off can you introduce yourself to our readers? Your name, Where you are from, the medium you work in?

My name is Chewy Stoll, I am from Bellingham Washington and I'm a 24 year old self-taught 3D artist using Blender.

Awesome. Your work is such a stunning blend of surrealism and realism... the ideas are surreal and almost like dream worlds, but the textures and materials are so tactile and detailed. I'm wondering where you trace your creative roots to. What were early inspirations for you as you found your creative voice?

The explosive moment for me finding my creative voice was a near death experience I suffered in 2014 that caused me to go into a week long coma I wasn't supposed to come out of. Ever since that incident, my entire outlook and perception of life and self discovery was different. Everything seemed so clear to me after that.

My style is a synthesis of the tragedy as well as the introspective approach that follows the event. I had lost all sense of identity and structure in my life, I essentially had to rebuild myself one day at a time, Art was that outlet for me. Nothing seemed to give me the cathartic feeling like making a piece of art did. Words never did justice to what I was feeling after the event and so I felt the need to show the world, hoping for one of two things: someone else experienced something similar and could relate OR that it showed me something about myself that I needed to see.

I do daily art, and each day is a visual documentation of my headspace and my work in its entirety serves as a visual diary so I can track where my state of mind over X months, years, etc. My inspiration comes from life's hardest topics - death, loss, suffering, grief, sadness, etc. from an introspective standpoint. Most of my art is an invitation to view one's self in a different lens and offer some insight to the experiences I've been through.

Wow. Beautifully put, I can see how those topics come through in your art. There is such a clear consistency in the feeling I get from observing your work.

I love this concept of art as a visual diary. I feel the same way about photography, there are folders I have that bring me joy and others that are difficult to look at. Do you look back at your own work, and if you do, what is that emotional experience like for you?

Absolutely! One folder of mine is "off limits" where I don't look at them except for the anniversary of the event each year. That day I just unplug fully and explore my headspace. I tend to look back at my work on either a weekly basis or monthly basis and sort of check in with myself/where I'm headed mentally. It's often very challenging for me, but I think it's important to stare directly in the face of our own issues and struggles.

The more self-aware I allow myself to be, the closer I become to my truth. Sometimes I will look back and feel proud of how far I've come, other times I spiral backward; however, I believe having both of these feelings, as well as acknowledging them on a regular basis is healthy for balance.

Well put. The ethos of ALLSHIPS is that we are stronger together- collaboration over competition. How has the idea of community affected your creative life?

Community for me is everything. When I first started getting active in the NFT twitter space, I joined a few groups and we have talked daily for the past 5 or 6 months. It has really helped keep me grounded, motivated, and inspired. Plus, I feel welcomed, which I think is very important to organic growth creatively.

Without a sense of community, I don't think anything can reach it's full potential. I try to eliminate the idea of competing with other creatives and enforce the idea that together we can do much more than what we could do alone. If we help each other, we can all win.

I feel the same way, truly. The internet also represents infinite space in a way, so we aren't competing for limited room to have our work shown. Every phone is a portal into a deep universe of creativity.

1What has been you experience so far with NFTs? What are your hopes for the evolution of this new technology?

I agree 100%, the possibilities are endless. So far my experience has been amazing with NFTs. I've met so many amazing people and have never felt more inspired. The community is so involved and supportive, it has allowed me to blossom into the person I was meant to be.

My hopes for the future are that it provides new ways of financial security for creatives as well as just the general idea of DeFi is very exciting to me, it feels oddly like home. I also have high hopes that the new technology will bring a new sense of unity within various communities and industries.

Agreed, blockchain tech in general feels like a substrate where creative concepts can flow. I love how communities are recombining around it. Lastly- what advice might you give to someone who is earlier in their creative path?

I think about this often, even in my own journey. It sounds cliché and redundant, but it's as simple as not giving up. Learn something new every day, even if it's just a keyboard shortcut. Nobody was seeing my work the first few months, but you just have to believe in yourself and trust that you will get to where you need to be. And if not, you can say you tried.

I think often times people don't realize their goals aren't as far as they seem. Stay true to yourself and your vision, and most importantly, advance through life with love and an open mind. With enough persistence and a little bit of divine timing, anything is possible.

Chewy, thank you so much for taking the time to speak with us today. Your work is beautiful and your insights are profound. Such value in hearing your perspective. To the reader, you can find more of his work on SuperRare, Twitter, and Instagram.

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