SteezDesigns' characters are metaphoric interpretations of emotions we all feel as humans if we peeled away our outer shells. When you look upon a SteezDesigns' depiction, you see the pure rawness of feelings distilled to their core.
We're proud that SteezDesigns was our first ever artist we collected on SuperRare. There's something special about looking at a Steez—something akin to looking in a mirror and finally seeing one's self beneath the outer-shells we all wear—outer-shells where we present ourselves to be people we think we ought to be.
🖼 view SteezDesigns' art in the zonted genesis exhibition: https://www.cryptovoxels.com/play?coords=S@314E,583N,5U
How did you get into crypto (NFT) art? And what inspires you to create art?
When it comes to art in general though I’ve been creating my entire life. I’m not sure what inspired me to start back when I was a child but I couldn’t be more thankful that I decided to start doodling one day.
My current inspiration stems from my daily life, the people I see, and the emotions I experience. Art has always been the easiest way for me to express how I feel since I’ve never been great with words.
The past few months I’ve found myself in a bit of an existential crisis, spending a lot of time wondering why I exist and what it means to be human. I think that’s been my true source of inspiration recently and I think it has inspired some of my best art yet.
How would you describe your artistic style?
I’ve never been able to stick to one style for more than a week. It drives me crazy not being able to have an identifiable style that's cohesive throughout all of my pieces but I suppose it will come in time.
I guess I’ll continue to explore different techniques and styles until I find one I fall in love with.
Out of the techniques you've tried so far, is there a particular style that you currently favor?
The style I used for "Mood Swings" and "Smoke Break" has definitely been my favorite so far. I want to continue building on it.
No Paradigms mentioned in his Artist Spotlight that he felt like one of the reasons why he got accepted to SuperRare was because you decided to do a collaboration with him. How do you choose who you want to collaborate with? And how do you make sure the art comes out “amplified” as a result of two artists working on a piece?
I very rarely ever do collabs because normally it’s hard enough just creating a piece for myself, and involving other artists just puts more pressure on me. Every once in a while though I like working with a fellow artist who I’m friends with and trying to make something.
Doing a collab with someone is definitely a lot easier when it’s someone you’ve known for a while and talked to a good amount so you know how to compliment their style without overstepping. There’s also a lot of artists whose work I love but I think our styles wouldn’t work well together, so I think it’s better to avoid collabs in those cases and just appreciate each other's work for what it is.
Are there any examples of some collabs from other artists that you've admired? Why do you think those pieces worked out so well?
There's a few collabs from @dyinginkyoto and @femzor that I love. That's a great example of two artists styles complimenting each other. Both of their styles are super apparent and the result is always beautiful.
You’ve mentioned that you have little patience, which is good when you’re excited and get the rush. But perhaps it means you have less time to refine your art. Have you been able to “build patience” with your art creation process?
I’ve just started forcing myself to practice patience over the past few weeks. I found myself in a loop where I wanted to finish each piece as quickly as possible and post it. In a way I think I want to work so quickly so I can get it out to the world and receive validation for making “good” art, whatever that is.
Unfortunately, I think rushing your work is a very easy way to make subpar art. I’ve also realized I should care less about validation and should be painting more for my enjoyment. So that’s been my thought process the past few weeks and it’s been helping me to slow down and enjoy the process some more.
Doesn't posting works in progress a way to get validation without having to finalize the piece? Speaking of finalizing pieces, how do you know when something is ready to be minted?
Some say the creation process for a piece of art never finishes.
I suppose so but a lot of the time I feel like posting works-in-progress (WIPs) ruins the experience of everyone seeing the finished piece for the first time. Or maybe it builds hype to see the final? I'm not sure where I stand on posting WIPs yet that's why I usually post them for 5 minutes and delete them.
I think I was definitely rushing the process of choosing which pieces to mint. When I was first starting I would just mint whatever piece I finished that day. If I'm going to mint anymore in the future I'm definitely going to spend some more time deciding which piece and promoting it ahead of time.
Most of your pieces before were not animated. What makes you decide to animate the newer ones? What have you learned since dabbling with animations?
I saw a lot of artists in the crypto space animating their pieces and collectors saying they prefer animated NFTs over still ones. I started animating some of the earlier NFTs to fit in with everyone else and I think a lot of the animations took away from the original meaning, making the pieces worth less in the end.
I’m not sure if I’m going to be animating many pieces in the future, the workflow isn’t my favorite and it ultimately takes away from the enjoyment for me.
I'm glad to hear you've tried to follow the trend and realized that wasn't for you. Any other "trends" you followed but realized weren't for you either?
A large part of my career so far was dedicated to making cover art for rappers. That's definitely a trend I jumped on early on and loved at first but now I think I'm ready to be done with it, or at least I want to do less of it.
I don't regret any of it, I got to work with some of my favorite artists and make some cool covers. At the end of the day though I realized I want to be painting my own ideas more than anything.
You now have a few pieces that you minted that aren’t attracting much attention on SuperRare. Any thoughts on how you want to deal with that?
I’m honestly tired of trying to get them to sell so I’ve mostly given up at this point. I’ve also pretty much entirely stopped minting new pieces. I had a good run the first month of crypto but it’s been incredibly slow since then, and it’s overall been a pretty disheartening experience so I think I’m about ready to be done with it unless I start selling out of nowhere again.
Interesting. So you'd just stop minting crypto art all together if your past pieces weren't able to sell? Or maybe just set aside to focus on other things like your clothing line you have going on?
I'll probably keep all the pieces I've minted up on SuperRare for now and see if they sell. But yeah, if they don't end up selling I don't really see the point in minting more and adding to a collection that won't sell.
Who knows though, I might have a change of heart and end up staying. In the meantime we'll continue building our clothing line (@DmgControlUS) and I'll keep creating more art.
What excites you most about your future with art? Where do you see yourself going?
I have no idea where art is going to take me at this point. I just know I’m going to be creating until the day I die. I’m incredibly excited to see how my style will develop in the time to come.
I’ve been taking art seriously for 5 years now and I’ve made a ton of progress, I can’t imagine what my art will look like in 20 years. As far as the business side of art goes I’ll just be happy if I can make a living off of it.
Your most recent tweet mentions that commissions are open. How do those work? Do you prefer having freedom of artistic impression or enjoy a bit of input from your fans?
I’ve done all sorts of commissions so I’ve done some with full artistic freedom and some where I’m redrawing someone’s sketch. I definitely prefer to have more freedom when working on commissions but it’s always nice to have the client provide things like a theme, colors they like, etc.
Any shout outs?
The entire art community on twitter for being some of the nicest, most, supportive people I’ve talked to. All of my friends for keeping me alive this long. My family for supporting me every day. And a huge shoutout to everyone who’s followed and supported me throughout the years I couldn’t do it without you all.
Notable past exhibitions / praise / press:
- zonted genesis exhibition
The first ever ("genesis") digital art exhibition by zonted art gallery. The exhibition features sculptures, installations, videos, and digital creations by a wide array of notable international artists that are on the forefront of digital art.Visit the exhibition here: https://www.cryptovoxels.com/parcels/3734
- UNDERVIEWS - "Take a closer look into the Mind of SteezDesigns"