Eddie Lee Interview

loop #032 // womb” by @eddietree

Who are you?

Hi, thanks for having me! My name is Eddie Lee and I am the founder of a game studio in Los Angeles called Funktronic Labs, which has been around since 2013. My background has primarily been in graphics engineering and design for games, which includes console games as well as AR/VR.

When did you start creating art?

I started doing art at a young age. My parents sent me to a local art school during weekends and I’ve always loved it. But as I grew older, I drifted into mathematics and computer science. Deep down, I always had an interest in art, but always found myself quite frustrated with drawing since I didn’t really have much talent with traditional art mediums. When I found generative arts, my young mind exploded with excitement of using my math/engineering skill as a tool for artistic expression, and that is when it really expanded my perception of what was possible. I am grateful to exist in this digital era where I can use code+math as a tool for self expression.

Why did you put your art on Hic Et Nunc?

I’m still a lil’ NFT baby, I literally minted my first piece only a week and a half ago so I’m still quite new to the space. I initially got into HEN as a learning exercise of understanding the NFT world and found the art on HEN to be the vibe that I most aligned with. I could never imagine how well it would be received, and how incredibly welcoming the community would be to myself and my art. It fills my heart with joy and inspiration.

“loop #041 // a sacrament on mars” by @eddietree

What is the process for creating a piece?

I develop my GIFs in a programming language called Processing. I found it to be quite easy to sketch and iterate on generative art. Prior to this, I had a lot of experience developing SDF (sign distance fields) rendering for games and real-time lighting, so I applied those techniques to my pieces. I positioned the camera to be slightly isometric/orthographic and added a surrounding box to encapsulate the environment to make the space feel like it had depth and volume. I just love the idea of building these little volumetric scenes, in my mind these spaces are real.

Do you have any favorites that you’ve created?

From what I’ve done so far, I really like my {bioscan} series. I love the idea of being able to use the SDFs to create lifelike creatures that also look like those deep underwater environment scans by marine biologists. There is definitely something exciting about using proc gen to simulate life, and I’m excited to build a narrative connecting these pieces together.

“loop #044 // {bioscan} sparkling eel” by @eddietree

Aside from Hic Et Nunc I see you also work for a gaming company. What’s the story with that?

During the day I run an indie game studio called Funktronic Labs, which I am proud to say that it has been around for almost 8 years now. My background and passion has always been in video games and art. Prior to starting the game studio, I worked in a game studio in Japan, where I met my co-founder kalin. The game space and the NFT art space are completely different beasts, and being in a new world solely focused on art is quite refreshing in my opinion.

Do you plan on merging gaming with nfts in the future?

Yes actually! As I dive deeper into NFT/defi/etc, I get more and more excited about the possibilities of integrating NFTs into a proper video game. Currently I feel like NFT games are really underexplored in terms of design, and I’m excited to be able to produce a game that has NFTs embedded in a natural, fun way. I think the community would really like and appreciate what we have in mind, hopefully we can pursue it in the future.

“loop #023 // octahedronic” by @eddietree

What adds value to your art?

The least interesting AND the most interesting thing about crypto/NFTs is its relationship with money. Within the last few years prior to being on HEN, I haven’t really created any art. After having a baby with my wife while running a game studio, I took a long pause on creating art as I had this sinking feeling that making art for fun was neither putting food on the table nor adding value to the studio. Deep down, I’ve felt this mild undercurrent of existential dread from depriving myself of artistic expression.

Now being able to create these art projects while having some tangible value attached has given me a huge sense of excitement, drive and life! There are so many ideas that I’ve wanted to explore, and now I have not only a reason to do so but also a wonderful platform & community to express my art.

“loop #003 // tendrils” by @eddietree

What do you want to say to all of those who have collected your art?

I just want to say thank you, sincerely. When I started only over a week ago I had no idea how well I would be welcomed. I was simply excited to create art again and put my stuff out into the world, and I feel so overwhelmed with gratitude that people are collecting and enjoying my creations.

Are there any artists on hen we should keep a lookout for?

There are tons of great artists out there, it’s almost overwhelming how much amazing content there is from just scrolling around HEN, it really makes you believe in the future of humanity.  Some of my close friends are getting into the NFTs as well, including Mike Tucker, Sagar Patel, Stephen Mangiat, and Robbie Tilton; check out their stuff!

Anything Else?

This last week truly has been one of the wildest rides I’ve ever experienced and the most alive I’ve felt in a long while. What first started off as an educational curiosity has now become a potentially life-changing situation for me. I’m so happy to be part of this wonderful community, and I’m looking forward to submerging my soul into this crazy space and getting lost in the sauce.

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