An Interview with Dionisius of One Hour Gallery
Dionisius of One Hour Gallery (@onehourgallery) is a motion graphics artist who combines technical skills with serious artistry. He started out making videos for his cousin to earn extra pocket money, but has since honed his skills and turned his love of all things 3D into a successful career. The works he shares on Ello are the experiments and projects he makes for himself, showing just how productive that hour before bedtime can be.
Interviewer Alexi Ueltzen (@alexi) is Ello’s Community Evangelist. If she’s not at the office, she’s probably swimming, getting muddy with her dogs or baking cookies. Seriously. The best cookies.
Alexi: Tell us a little about your background. How did you get into 3d design and motion graphics?
Dionisius: I grew up with a lot of action figures, console games, and cartoons during my childhood. At the age of 15, my parents sent me to an art class every Saturday where I did a lot of oil paintings and drawings with my crayons. I did not know there was such a thing called 3D, design or motion graphics. As I grew up, I started to learn the software skills, buying books and taking courses about Digital Imaging with Photoshop, Flash, etc. I started to get freelance work when I was 16 from my cousin who was an event organiser for birthday parties and weddings. So, there was a lot of video presentations to be done for the parties. I had a blast making those videos and getting more pocket money from the gigs back then.
That was also the time when I realised that it would be really great to do this for a living! So, I continued to pursue my interest specialising in Digital Animation, only to realise it was way too technical for me when I did a character animation internship. I discovered that I could actually make use of my animation skills in an industry that suit more to my interest which is motion graphics. It is the best of both worlds in my opinion; It requires a certain degree of technical knowledge and also to balance it with design and artistic sense.
Alexi: Can you tell us about the ethos behind the name “One Hour Gallery”?
Dionisius: One Hour Gallery is the result of my creative procrastination over the years. It started when I was feeling bored doing commercial projects for clients because I developed a certain pattern of doing those and I felt stuck creatively. So, I started to play around with the design styles that were rejected by the clients previously and made them into my personal pieces. I only had around one hour to do it before going to bed. After a year, it became a routine that I enjoyed doing and I started to squeeze that one hour in between my commercial work and sometimes during my lunchtime.
Slowly, after a year I had about more than two hundred of personal pieces and started to sort them out and I decided to just make a blog for me to keep track of the progress. I did not think of any name for a while and the name One Hour Gallery suddenly popped up when I met a lot of inspiring people during Graphika Manila, a creativity conference in 2015.
Alexi: You’ve got a pretty distinct style. How did you develop your aesthetic?
Dionisius: My ex-boss always told me that I have to know the rules before I can break them. So, I always observe the works of my favorite artists and designers, and then refer to traditional rules of art and design; such as grid rules, composition, symmetry, etc. before everything else.
I will also make observations of the things and people around me such as my sink, the pipes in my bathroom, the way cups are arranged in the cafe that I hang out at, or even the way people talk and interact. I then try to make something out of my observations. Be it the mood I captured, the way things were arranged, or the pattern that I noticed. I will always translate those things that I captured earlier into my artworks.
Alexi: What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever made (or would like to make someday?)
Dionisius: I have always wanted to bring my designed characters to life. I would like to make a huge one (probably about 8 metres high) and to have a space inside it for people to sit and have some controllers to navigate a huge, cute character of mine. It will be just like the Power Rangers show, where all the rangers sit inside their huge robot and control it.
Alexi: What are your thoughts on social media, and how it helps or hurts artists today? Specifically, can you share some thoughts on Ello?
Dionisius: I think social media is a blessing and a curse sometimes. A blessing, because we can connect with a lot of interesting artists across the globe and learn things from each other. It provides so many ideas to create things. A curse, because sometimes it is easy to lose our own voice due to the many impulses it gives every day. It is so distracting that we can be easily influenced by certain trends or styles, forgetting our very own unique voice.
I love Ello because it feels so personal and genuine. It is like a curated version of Facebook with all the cool people on it, sharing their passion aside from just commercial work. It is really great to have Ello as a platform for creators alike around the world. It makes me feel like I have this big support group of people that have different ways of expressing themselves, but share the same passion of creating things. I really love the clean and minimal layout of Ello. It really functions well for creators to showcase their work.
Alexi: Who are some of your favorite artists on Ello?
Dionisius: My good friends and design mentors who introduced me to Ello @machineast, Luke Choice aka @velvetspectrum. I always love Luke’s color palette and his work has been a great inspiration for me. @lucian and @todd for their super fine taste!
Alexi: What’s next for you - are there other mediums you want to explore?
Dionisius: I am getting into VR and always looking to combine my craft with the latest technology. I hope to implement my work into more experiential or interactive pieces in near future. This will definitely lead to more collaborations with other creators and it will be a great experience for me to learn new things through different mediums.
Alexi: What’s something about you that would surprise our readers?
Dionisius: When I was a kid, I had always wanted fancy birthday celebrations with my friends, just like any other kids. But, my mom had never allowed me to do so by saying, “your friends can easily afford those food and all the fancy celebrations. Why don’t we go to some place where the kids are struggling to even have the food to eat and share some joy with them on your birthday.” So, my parents would always bring me to orphanage or roadside where we saw the homeless to celebrate my birthday with them under the hot sun. We would prepare some goodie bags and play some games with them. I could not understand why my parents would do this to me back then. But, as I grew older, I am truly amazed and thankful to have such great parents. This fact about my parents still amazes me whenever I remember those days.