The pseudonym “Beeple” actually comes from a stuffed toy from the 80’s that lights up and makes sound when it detects a change of light. This fusion of sound and light drew me to the name as that is one of the cornerstones of my work. I’ve been doing working under the moniker for about ten years. I honestly don’t think my style has evolved that much. I may go through little phases where I like a certain look or feel, but overall, I have maintained the same general aesthetic. I am most inspired by very technical forms— things that are completely man-made and precise yet so complex that they appear messy because your eyes just can’t even comprehend everything.
I went to school for computer science— not anything related to design. Even though I am by no means a programmer, this technical background has informed a lot of the choices I’ve made inspired me to implement certain programs. Using technology to make artwork is the cornerstone of everything I do. I firmly believe that there are many new experiences and types of work that can only come from new technology. 3D software is the endgame in terms of creative software because it encompasses the work of all other packages. You can make a texture or something in Photoshop, but when you bring that into a 3D package, it can be used in so many more ways. The work that can be done in 3D software is much more dynamic and has more possibilities to make something new.
I began using Cinema4D about five years ago. I had heard that it was the easiest 3D animation package to pick up, and I’d never done anything like that before. Luckily it really did have a pretty good learning curve and an amazing community of people out there helping others learn more about it. Even though I have learned a lot since I started, I still struggle everyday to make my ideas a reality. I’m not sure that will ever change. If you suddenly find yourself able to do everything you want, you’ve set the bar too low.
My work falls into three categories in terms of time- “Everydays,” VJ clips and short films. “Everydays” usually start with some small fragment of an idea, and then manifest though an hour or two of experimentation. Sometimes this is just a very small feature or new technique in a 3D program. VJ clips are usually inspired by these everyday projects, and take about one to two days. For these clips, I am usually drawn to work with high energy beats that are a bit “out-there.” I like things that you need to wrap your head around. My work with Flying Lotus helped to show me that if you are not attempting to make a literal interpretation of music, you are free to make more of a traditional music video that could tell a little story. It’s something that hadn’t occurred to me earlier, as I’ve been focused for so long on recreating music visually in a very literal, tightly synced sense. Short films are usually something that evolve through a longer time period which can be about about six months to a year or even longer.
My process is mainly based on an endless amount of experimentation. I’m just trying to create something that looks cool. Sometimes this is something that I envision as being more ambient in the background that would create a cool vibe. Other times, I’m trying to make something that is more hypnotic and that could really grab your focus and be seen over and over. I make work for myself. Sometimes I don’t know what I like, and I get distracted by trying to think of what other people may like. I try to minimize this as much as possible, as I feel that is a waste of time. Just make something you like. If others like it too, then that’s great. If not, that’s ok— at least you like it.
Featured image: Beeple, potus 3012, Cinema 4D, 2013
Featured video: Beeple, everydays, Cinema 4D, zBrush, Photoshop, 2013