Liam Egan Interview

“Mimetic 2 #254” by Liam Egan

Who are you?

I’m Liam, an Australian nerd living in Vancouver, Canada.

When did you start making art?

That’s a really difficult question to answer. By trade I’m creative developer – working in advertising and marketing, I create fun things for clients. I’ve been experimenting with programming for as long as I can remember being able to program, going right back to learning basic in school.

As to when I started making “art”, I’m still not certain that that’s what I’m doing, haha. I think I’ve been seriously focussing on creating interesting things publicly for about 4 years now, so that’s probably the answer.

When did you start minting art on Tezos?

March, 2021. My first objkt on Hic Et Nunc was #10049.

“Untitled 1” by Liam Egan

What programs do you use to create art?

Codepen and VSCode. If you’re asking more broadly what my canvas is, I most love working with SVG and Webgl.

One thing I really love doing is ensuring I understand the tools that I use as deeply as possible, so I tend to eschew existing frameworks in favor of my own tools. Writing my own tools for the purpose of understanding, say, WebGL gives me a great deal of pleasure. I’m not sure these tools are terribly useful to anybody else, but they’re all available on my github.

Why do you make art?

For the fun of it. I really love the creative process, reaching into an idea and developing and iterating it to a point where it becomes something coherent in its own right. The process of creating is a great deal more enjoyable, to me, than anything else about this, there is a wonderful joy, a centeredness, that comes with the process of creation – I assume most artists feel this way.

So, I create art for that feeling.

“Wonder #42” by Liam Egan

How did you first hear about FxHash?

I remember seeing a tweet from Ciphrd about it about a week before he opened his beta asking for generative artists who were interested in creating generators. I expressed my interest to him, and then got busy with work. It was only after I saw Blobby from Sam Tsao that I though “Shit I need to make something!”, so I threw together Particulate hash in a few hours to get in there.

The first piece I saw of yours was Mimetic 2. The infinite and colorful hexagon canvas is so much fun to explore. What was the story with this piece?

I’ve always been fascinated by the concept of infinity, the idea that you can create a set of rules and just have a program carry them out into the infinite. This piece was an exploration of that idea.

Using a relatively simple set of rules – divide into a hexagonal grid, colour, subdivide, repeat – this piece explores this space in, hopefully, a compelling way.

On top of this, I wanted Mimetic and Mimetic 2 to be as compelling in their still state as they were in their interactive state. I wanted the person minting the work to look at what they were getting and be able to appreciate it as is, but I also wanted them to have this wonderful moment of surprise when they discovered that they could move around anywhere they wanted, that they could zoom out, and rotate the canvas to their heart’s content.

“Mimetic 2 #212 by Liam Egan (Try it out)

When you create generative art is it with a goal in mind or do you prefer to experiment until you find something you like?

I tend to divide my creative work down into two general categories: studies, and artwork. Surdies are generally an exploration of an idea, an algorithm, and interesting technology etc. and I generally keep them out of the NFT space.

For my artwork I always start with an end goal in mind and reach for the toolset that will allow me to realise it. Obviously there’s a lot of iteration that goes on during this development process and often what comes out the other end is quite different to what I originally imagined, but I think this is one of the most enjoyable aspects of this kind of creative process.

What advice would you give to someone that wants to get into generative art?

Play. The heart of generative creative development is, I believe, about experimentation, iteration, and play. There are so many great resources (and meta-resources) out there for aspiring generative artists so I won’t repeat them here, but I genuinely think that the most important thing is to learn from these resources and make the ideas your own through experimentation.

A great example here is flow-fields, it’s such an obvious thing to start working on as it’s relatively easy to develop and immediately looks good. The trick is to take a flow field and create something new and interesting from it. Give it your own signature. Play with it and push it around. Maybe feed the field into itself and see what happens. Some of my very best work comes from this process, comes from thinking to myself “I wonder what happens if I push this button…”.

“Particulate Hash by Liam Egan

Is there anybody you’d like to shoutout?

Oh my gosh, so many people.

Gerard Ferrandez (@ge1doot) is a dear friend in this space and an incredible generative artist. His work always inspires me, and his advice is always invaluable.

Wily Guys (@GuysWily) is a painter and 3D artist who’s work is so unique and interesting, and has always had great advice and inspiration for me.

Florian Berger (@flockaroo) is somebody who regularly blows my mind with his creations. He is a frequent source of ideas for me.

Reinder Nijhoff (@ReinderNijhoff). As with Florian, Reinder has done so much for contributing ideas and studies to the online world.

Ciphrd, of course, without whom none of this would be happening.

Finally, really everybody on the FXHash discord. This community is a wonderful little microcosm of humans who love generative art.

Anything else?

Thanks for doing what you do. Publications like yours are really the lifeblood of this movement in art and I’ve gained some really wonderful insights from reading your interviews.

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