Volatile Moods Interview

“Nowhere Plans #72” by Volatile Moods

Who are you?

“I am real nowhere man, sitting in my nowhere land, making all my nowhere plans for nobody”. That would be pretty close. Lately, I am an aspiring digital artist. For most of my life, I have been a programmer by profession and hobbyist musician. Somewhere along the way, I earned a Ph.D. degree by solving some hard problems with evolutionary algorithms.

When did you start making art?

My interest in art comes mainly from music. I learned to play guitar when I was a kid, and from then on, I’ve been doing music either playing or composing. Never pursued my musical career though. But my daily routine is to do some improvising on guitar and try to improve my blues and jazz chops. Besides making all kinds of sketches I didn’t do much of visual art other than some design, game assets, data visualizations, and computer-made drawings and animations.

When did you start making generative art?

Now when I look at it, my earliest experience with programming was generative art. I took a short example from some programming book when I was ten and typed code into GW-Basic interpreter on my father’s computer. I didn’t know what I was doing, but when I saw the output of the program – some circles on screen – I was hooked immediately and started to mess with parameters and experiment. I do that ever since. I made a bunch of programs over the years that could be called generative art. But all for fun. Never really thought I would ever release anything as a visual artist.

“Patches #14” by Volatile Moods

How did you first hear about Tezos and FxHash?

I’m an old-fashioned guy that ignored many new things that came along over the years, including a majority of social media and cryptos. But two months ago, I decided to check what’s it all about with these NFTs that I occasionally read about in the news. I created a Twitter profile, made some stuff in processing, and started my journey. After a couple of days of wandering, I noticed FxHash tags on Twitter while searching for generative art. I didn’t know what Tezos is. I found out about it on FxHash.

Texture seems to play a very important roll in your pieces. How important is this to you?

If I’m going after the style of real paintings it is very important because it emulates physical surfaces and material imperfections. There aren’t 100% flat and clean surfaces in the real world such as the blank computer screen. Textures really boosted the look and feel in some of my works. But I believe sometimes it is better without them, especially if the piece is meant to be plotted on paper.

“M-tore #7” by Volatile Moods

What is your creative process like?

Some of my projects are roughly planned before I realize them through code with more or less success. But as a big fan of jazz music, I prefer to improvise. I begin with a rough idea and start playing around. I do a lot of experimenting and that’s where my programming experience comes in handy because I usually don’t have a problem with the fast implementation of some crazy ideas. Sometimes it works and sometimes doesn’t, but often something unexpected arise during the process that directs further piece development. Also, sometimes bug in code happens (sneaky one that causes code to behave differently than intended) and that can also direct development in a totally new direction. If I see something interesting, I follow the bug and try to make something out of it just like a seashell makes pearl out of intruder (now you can guess why I named two of my collections Expearls). In my case, there are no limits to the creative process. I may make many layers of stuff, use heavy loads of transparency, vary color shades, make something and then destroy part of it. Computers are really fast, that is what is most interesting in this medium as some visual explorations became possible that otherwise would be impossible or very time-consuming. But in the end, I think the most important thing is my sense of art that leads me towards finished work.

The colorways and patterns on your Genesis piece “patches” are beautiful. What’s the story of how this piece came to be?

In searching for a good color palette I stumbled upon the Color Lisa website which has many palettes extracted from famous paintings. To see palettes in action I needed some shape generator. I remembered a fast-playing multiplayer game prototype I did a few years ago. It was based on cellular automata in which each cell belongs to some player and has some initial energy. As time goes by, each player’s territory grows or shrinks because bordering cells are fighting and trying to overtake each other. I decided to take part of its algorithm for my first genesis project. To make it more visually attractive, I used some tricks to avoid a pixelated look since it is only 96×96 cellular automata under the hood. I played with opacity and strokes and got cool watercolor on canvas effect. I was blown away when it started selling right after I dropped it.

“Patches #10” by Volatile Moods

“Distant Views” is a generative landscape piece and your first to sell out on FxHash. What inspired the design for this and how did you know when it was “completed”.

While experimenting with an animated color-varying brush, I noticed that when the brush is going backward at a certain angle from the bottom to the top of the screen, it leaves a trail that looks like a mountain chain. I made it bigger and tweaked it to make a scene in just of few brush moves. After adding the sun and moon and their glow, I knew it was completed.

“Distant Views #21” by Volitile Moods

“Nowhere plans” is a personal favorite of mine. It makes me think of an architect or engineer gone mad scribbling shapes on a page. How did you make this piece come to life?

I was completely improvising on that piece. Made up some nice backgrounds and textures but needed to add some contrast to them. So I played a little bit with simple geometric shapes such as circles, rectangles and lines, found a way to arrange them, and it worked perfectly. It indeed looks like some kind of blueprint or engineer draft. I had been listening to the Beatles at the time, so I used a line from their song Nowhere Man for the title.

“Nowhere Plans #76” by Volatile Moods

Why do you make art?

I don’t know; it is some inner urge. I feel like the day was wasted if I didn’t do anything creative. I like creating stuff just for fun.

What are your goals for 2022?

Make more art and be more creative, share more works publicly, organize time in a better way, stay healthy. I’ll try to make some kind of generative music project for FxHash.

“Guts #3” by Volatile Moods

Is there anyone you want to shout-out?

My brother is out there starting with NFTs. Looking forward to see his new creations. I want to thank warm and supportive people from FxHash discord and the people who created this wonderful site. I’m overwhelmed with the community response and welcome new members get. I hope this movement (Crypto, NFT’s, Web3) will make this world a better place and fix the injustice done to many generations of artists and creative workers by not adequately valuing their efforts and talents.

Anything else?

Thank you for your interest in my work and the opportunity to introduce myself. I really enjoyed reading interviews with other artists. Keep up the good work!

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