Who are you?
My name is Vitaly Tsarenkov, also known as SY. I’m a visual artist working in different media: painting, sculpture, muralism, digital art. I currently focus on creating interactive OBJKTs on HEN.
When did you start making art?
It was 20 years ago after I saw graffiti for the first time. I knew nothing about it, but these colorful and weird things were very fresh and appealing. In the early days, it was all about creation and independence. I didn’t think about art as a professional career at that time. I was just a teenager who refused to go to art school because I wanted to make things I liked instead of drawing plastic vases that seemed boring to me.
What have been some of your artistic accomplishments?
The creation of a personal visual style was one of my main focuses from the very beginning. I always paid a lot of attention to its development. It all started from the article I managed to find on the web in the early 2000s. It was about the principles, rules, and values of the graffiti movement. The idea that influenced me the most was the importance of having an original style, so I started my explorations and tried different things for several years.
The crucial moment in finding the right direction was the first year of my university education when we had a lot of descriptive geometry and technical drawing. I always liked the orderliness and accuracy of these disciplines. One day I was drawing sketches but couldn’t make any good one, so I emotionally crossed out the sheet of paper with a zigzag line. The result looked pretty cool, and I decided to develop it. From that day, my style passed through many stages.
For me, it’s principal to make stylistically connected pieces in different media such as painting, sculpture, or NFT. It’s like the creation of my universe. I’m happy when people familiar with my visual language recognize it simply by looking at my works. I consider it to be one of my main artistic accomplishments.
Talking about specific projects or works, I will note a few challenging ones that brought me to the next level of my artistic career.
The first project is a mural on an 18-story building I made for the Urban Morphogenesis festival in Chelyabinsk in 2020. It’s my largest artwork at the moment. It took me 16 working days to paint this 630 m2 mural with the help of two assistants.
The second project is a series of pop art pattern paintings I made between 2010-2015 in an artistic residence Jardin Rouge in Marrakesh. All canvases were created by hand with brushes and acrylic paint. It took me about 14 days to complete one artwork on average.
The third artwork is a sculpture for II Biennale of Street Art “ARTMOSSPHERE” presented in Central Exhibition Hall «Manege» in Moscow in 2016. It’s one of my first monumental sculptures. I still like the result, but it doesn’t exist anymore.
Why did you start making NFTs?
I’m interested in expanding my artistic practice by using new tools and technologies. All my physical artworks always have been natively digital, so it was natural for me to start making NFTs. I create sketches on the computer that look almost the same as the final painting or mural. Only the colors may slightly differ. Then I transfer the image from a digital realm to the physical world using acrylic or spray paint. It takes time, but the final result justifies all the efforts. Especially I like to see how vivid colors cover the surface of the white canvas. It’s a very absorbing and meditative process. That’s why I consider my static digital sketches as an intermediate state of my working process and don’t create them as final artworks usually.
I finally started learning animation last year, which perfectly works as digital media by itself. At first, I thought to create video art installations using projectors in exhibitions spaces. I didn’t know about crypto art then. A few months later, I read an article about Beeple selling an NFT for $69 million and immediately understood the significance of this technology. Artists sold their digital artworks before as files on tablets or other devices by deleting all existing copies elsewhere. It was more a compromise than a solution but NFT changed everything. It solves a lot of shortcomings of a traditional art market, but most importantly, the digital artists finally got the recognition they deserved. It’s super exciting, and I’m happy to be part of this movement.
In 10 words explain your style?
Natively digital 3D mix of polygonal geometry and figurative symbolism.
What is your process for making an nft?
I usually start with making sketches on paper. I do a lot of small drawings till I’m satisfied with the design of characters or objects. Then I take pictures of the sketches, open them in Adobe Photoshop and make a composition from clipped elements. After that, I begin working in Adobe Illustrator. I redraw all forms in vector, add them a volume, correct the placement of all details, and select the color palette. Then I transfer an image to Adobe Animate, where I animate and code my interactive OBJKTs. The final step is finding or creating sounds which enrich a viewer’s experience and complete the artwork on all levels.
If you had to pick a favorite that you have made what are you choosing?
I think it would be the Rabbit Hole. It’s my most complex piece by date. It has a lot of characters, symbols, and sounds that together tell a story that everyone can interpret in their way.
What inspires you?
My inspiration comes from different sources. It could be a walk in the forest, a deep conversation, travel to a new place, music that you haven’t listened to before, a good book or a movie, a smile on the face of a loved one. Everything that gives you emotions or new perspectives on life and the world.
Who are some artists we should keep a lookout for?
First of all, I want to mention artists that support me from the very beginning of my journey on HEN:
Mical Noelson (https://t.co/c8OjxcSN0J)
Matheus Siqueira (https://t.co/Mf6U8Iau83)
Ilan Katin (https://t.co/TwYkRwVsYu)
They collected many of my works, and I’m very grateful for that. Check out their Twitter profiles and artworks on HEN for sure.
Special shout to p1xelfool (https://t.co/7ACXtvy34j) for sharing my genesis piece on HEN the same day I minted it. Thanks to his tweet, many people knew about me, and it sold out in less than 24 hours. The best start I could dream of. It was very uplifting to get such feedback from the community.
I haven’t had much time for discovering new artists on HEN lately, so I would like to spotlight some works I collected during OBJKT4OBJKT 3.
I want to thank all collectors for supporting my work. Whenever I open my Kukai wallet and see a new transaction, I get a nice warm feeling. I appreciate it a lot.
And thanks to all people actively involved in the NFT movement: artists, collectors, curators, developers, community builders, etc. Without all of you, this space wouldn’t exist.