• 10/26/2021 @ 6:04 PM

GMUNK! My man. So great to be chatting here today. Can you introduce yourself to our community? Your name, where you are based and the mediums you work in?

Hi there – my name is Bradley G Munkowitz aka GMUNK – I'm based in Berkeley, California ( East Bay for the Win )

I work mainly in Digital Art / Motion Design, Live-Action, Photography and Experiential Design – and usually bounce around between mediums and enjoy every opportunity to fully cross-pollinate between them.

I love how multidisciplinary your approach is, it really makes for stunning and transportive work. Let's start with recent events and then dive deeper into your journey to get to where you are today You are in the midst of a huge moment right now. Care to describe what has been going on recently with your work?

Well, currently I'm in the Sotheby's Natively Digital 1.2 Auction that ends in 24 hours – so that's been a lot of fun. I was also in the Christie's Proof of Sovereignty auction earlier this year so it's honestly been a bit surreal – obviously none of this happens without the Digital Art Renaissance we are all experiencing together.

Together is the key word here – without the vibrant community none of this happens – it's such a holistic experience what we've all gone through this year, it's been incredible to say the least.

Honestly, it's always been a dream of mine to make a living just doing my art – I've always done personal work, it's been about 40-50% of my output consistently for my entire career. But now I have the opportunity to raise that up to 75-80% and it's fucking amazing. Like I said, has always been THE main goal of mine and it's manifesting in beautiful ways, for all of us.

Also been an incredible year of learning an entirely new medium – it's a new set of rules and it's been fun watching all the OG's that I've run with for decades come out and mix with all the younger generation of studs, and we're all inspiring the hell out of each other. I've never felt more charged and inspired than I am right now.

So well said my friend. We are truly living through an incredible time, and as you say- its a world which we are building together, all feeding a wider ecosystem in which we can all rise together. It's pretty astounding how far we have all come in the past year. What an achievement to already have your work in the top auction houses in the world.

Where did the creative journey begin for you? Can you trace it back for us?

I went to school at Humboldt State in Northern California – I created my own Major combining Graphic Design, Film and Video, Journalism – so right from the get-go I was telling stories through Super8 and 16mm film, nerding out on Practical Graphic Design techniques and also learning all the Video-Editing Suites in the Video Journalism Department.

Around my final year I discovered Flash – a very quirky software that allowed me to mix all three mediums in beautiful, interactive ways using Cause and Effect, Triggered Events to Manifest these very interesting experiences.

From there I was recruited straight out of school as a Flash Designer and went to go work at the Legendary Vir2L Studios Europe in London, where I worked alongside these fucking design legends like Threeoh, DForm1, Designgraphik, KidDemo, Grayscale, Chapter3, SuperShapes and so many more –

THAT was my real design education – and we were so young and talented and it was honestly one of the most profoundly influential chapters in my career.

  • @GMUNK
  • @GMUNK

From there I got bored of File Size limitations and constantly optimizing everything, so went into Motion Design where I worked at Heavy, Imaginary Forces, BUCK, Engine, Prologue Films, Transistor Studios, Motion Theory etc etc – for about 10 years

And then got bored of that shit and started working in Feature Films – I designed all the holograms for TRON Legacy and all the UI Interfaces in Oblivion working with Joseph Kosinski, an amazing Director – learned A TON about VFX Pipelines and just the much longer process of Feature Filmmaking than Commercials from there I got bored of Techy shit and moved up to San Francisco to join a Robotics Studio called Bot&Dolly – which was my introduction to Experiential Design – and met some of the key collaborators in the next chapter of my career.

We spent a year at Bot&Dolly creating a Projection Mapping Opus called BOX, which is probably to this date, some of my best work. From there I went on a Practical Everything-Done-In-Camera kick – where I completely ditched Post-Production and capturing EVERYTHING in-camera for over 5 years, and that manifested in my love for LIGHT

LIGHT and MATERIAL became obsessions and still are to this day – manifesting in various ways through my work.

Since Bot&Dolly I did one more stint at Obscura Digital to learn about Architectural Installation work and Content Programs for 24 hour installations etc – so those learnings have been amazing for Experiential Design.

So that was a really long answer, but I've had a really long career – but honestly the DIVERSITY in my work is what keeps me charged – I've always kept an incredible pace and output without burnout because my executions and learnings are always changing – always in flux, there's always something new to explore, with new collaborators, in new mediums – the goal is always to feel the same charge from when I was a student and I feel like I've harnessed those methods for optimal flow for awhile now.

A creative career is a lifelong journey of learning. I love rejecting the idea of "mastery" and instead just work towards increased fluency in all the creative languages I approach. You clearly have a similar attitude, and it shows through What is some advice you would give to someone earlier on their creative path?

Yeah there's no such thing as 'Mastery' unless you're Hans Zimmer or Stephen Spielberg – that's what I love about Live-Action- the ceiling is Spike Jonze / Christopher Nolan and it's always so humbling.

My advice for something earlier in their creative path is to develop healthy habits!

Find balance in your life, prioritize family, friendships, experiences, and physical health as well.

the work will always be there, but it can't' be the only thing. Fall in love with research and dreaming, FEEL strongly – make long-lasting memories – find balance and your work will become so much better because you're a more well-rounded human being to be human is to FEEL – and the work has to convey that – and the only way to learn how to feel is to experience all that life has to offer.

Lastly- what are the best places for people to find your work and to connect with you and your world?

it's quite easy I'd say – just @gmunk on twitter, instagram, and vimeo. I'd say definitely go into the k-hole that is my website at http://gmunk.com to get a feeling for the diversity in the work, it's all over the place.

Honestly Dave, that's THE most important thing to me is that I keep pushing myself towards diversity and new learnings – I don't really care about anything else beyond my control - the only thing I have control over is what I'm doing in the moment and how that translates to inspired output with every endeavor.

A wonderful way to think about art and life in general, and I am so thrilled we finally got to have this deep dive conversation. Look forward to meeting you at NYC NFT and bring this friendship into reality :) Mad love GMUNK!

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