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3D Burgers & GIF Lips: The Pop-Minimalist Art of Blake Kathryn
Meet Blake Kathryn, art-director-turned-digital-artist. She dove into the world of 3D design when she discovered the Cinema 4D program on Behance and hasn’t looked back since.
Her work often features isolated body parts or a hodgepodge of recognizable objects that have been given an edgy new look and wonderfully bizarre color scheme. While Kathryn does do client work, she balances it with pieces that illustrate the magical utopia of her imagination, in which inspiration flows from her home state of Florida, Lisa Frank and a serious sketchbook habit, to name a few. Read on to learn how she developed her delightful “disoriented appeal” style of art.
First off, how did you fall into the world of 3D/digital art?
Hello! I was a graphic designer and vector-styled illustrator about two years out of school when I fell into the dimensional side of design. I had recently left my art director career path to pursue more hands-on design, where I was getting to draw icons and vector illustrations full-time.
What I thought would be a dream situation ended up leaving me more creatively frustrated and feeling that my flat aesthetic wasn’t quite “my own.” There just seemed to be an untapped part of me that was screaming to spice it up and I didn’t know how to satisfy that wrenching feeling. Lo’ and behold the universe’s timing—I found the program Cinema 4D through tags on Behance while digging up inspiration for a work-related project. At this time I also heard of the “100 Day Project,” that was about to kick off its second year. I decided a deadline-style project was exactly what I needed to commit to learning a daunting program and being forced to share it socially meant backing out wasn’t an option.
Fast forward 100 (ok more like 103) days later and I had a decent mastery of the program with a habit of making daily. By continuing to practice and share daily my skill set was eventually up to snuff to attract client work. The rest of the story is still very much in progress.
You often isolate body parts, especially lips and hands. Why is that?
To me at least, hands and lips are the most sensual segments of the body. They’re so integral to body language and overall human expression. Dissected from the body they can completely re-define an intention or draw focus to it, which keeps me coming back to explore those elements further. I’m also a chronic nail biter, so it’s a bit of habit-therapy to craft well manicured hands.
What motivates you to create a GIF versus a still image?
From an engagement standpoint people tend to prefer and react to motion more than their still counterpart.
From a personal standpoint, I find animating a piece creates a situation people can engage with on their own terms, vs. me defining an experience. Having viewers’ share and tell their own emotions or recap a moment with a piece is a pastel pink cherry on top.
Your subject matter is pretty broad, from burgers to phones growing roses. Where do you get your ideas?
Always sketchbooks! What’s put down on pen and paper exceeds straight-to-digital designs regularly. I try to carry a pen with me everywhere I go, so if an idea strikes on the go, I can quickly slap it on a receipt. This practice also allows me to backlog phrases or puns I enjoy that fall flat with my current aesthetic, leaving room to bring these archived concepts out for future pieces. It’s amazing to realize how many things you’ve forgotten when flipping through old sketches.
READ FULL INTERVIEW
Follow @blakekathryn on Ello.
(Interview by @alexi)
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