Estienne Interview

“TWNTIES #24” by Estienne

Who are you?

Hi! My name is Estienne. I am a French artist living near Montreal in Canada.

When did you start making art?

I have always been drawn to art and the creative process in general. Although I have no academic background in art or computer science, art, and more recently generative art, has always been a privileged medium for expressing my emotions and my creativity. However, it was something very personal that I was not willing to share because of the fear of not being seen as a legitimate artist.

“Papilles #17” by Estienne

When did you start making generative art?

My parents were both IT engineers. I therefore very early on considered computers, programming and mathematics as being creative tools in the same way as a piano or a paint brush. However, it was only much later that I became aware of the possibility of using computer tools not to create art directly, but to create autonomous tools capable of generating artistic pieces. I’ve always done generative art with the sole idea of having fun trying to solve logical problems.

How did you first hear about FxHash?

It seems to me that it was because of a post by Camille Roux on Reddit promoting one of his creations that I first heard about FxHash. I immediately loved the idea of being able to publish a generator rather than a static art piece.

Targets #2 by Estienne

Targets and concrete jungle were your two first creations on FxHash. How did these pieces come to be?

These creations already existed before I became interested in FxHash. These were personal projects, coded over the evenings as some like to make miniatures or puzzles. When I wanted to publish my first creations on the site, I chose to adapt existing projects in order to how the site works and to confront myself for the first time with the reaction of the public.

“Concrete Jungle #27” By Estienne

What inspires your color choice?

I don’t have a precise rule regarding the selection of colors in my creations. I work instinctively, selecting the colors that seem most relevant to me for the project. The same goes for naming the color palettes. The choice is often made at the very end according to my feelings and the inspiration of the moment.

What is your creative process?

Usually, I try to explore mathematical, biological or physical concepts that seem interesting to me. These explorations most often do not present any immediate visual or artistic interest. But sometimes the result is interesting and inspiring enough to be the starting point for a project. Other times, I have a clear idea of the final work I want. I then have to find the right tools that will generate the rendering as I imagine it. The more technical tools I collect in my explorations, the more this way of working is simplified. These two creative processes are actually very complementary.

“Simple Patterns #32” by Estienne

How do you know when a piece of generative art is “completed”?

I never really know for sure that a piece of generative art is complete. I try to stop when I feel satisfied by the artistic scope and the variability of the renderings and when I think that any addition would be useless or harmful for the project.

Pharmacist nightmare is one of the most unique mints on FxHash. What gave you the idea to make a generative doctor signature and how does the code for it work?

This project is the perfect example of a series born out of experimentation. I wanted to try to reproduce an abstract generative calligraphic writing. After several tries, I found myself faced with plausible but indecipherable lines of text. I immediately thought of medical prescriptions and the reputation doctors have for having illegible calligraphy. Although it was initially only a joke, the more I looked at the project, the more I found it to have a unique and original artistic significance.

“Pharmacist Nightmare #2” by Estienne

Ugly sweaters saw lots of love during the holiday season in 2021. I remember when the FxHash discord was filled with sweater avatar’s. How important was it for you to make a free piece for your fans?

The publication of this series was for me a fun way to wish happy holidays and to thank the collectors and artists of the site. I was extremely touched by the very favorable reception and the immediate adoption by collectors. The fact that one of my creations could have a unifying effect within the FxHash community was something totally unexpected. I hope that the Ugly sweaters will still be able to bring good humor during the next holiday season.

“Ugly Sweaters #112” by Estienne

Garden of the universe is one of my favorite creations by you. What was your goal when you started working on it?

This project is the result of an exploration that did not succeed. I was initially studying the possibility of creating a fur or hair coat effect. This exploration gave birth to a ball of fur with eyes. I didn’t really like the direction taken by the project. I explored the possibilities offered by the existing code, turned the hair into grass and tried to simulate some perspective effect. The result was not yet worthy. Adding a circle to test the interaction of the grass with objects was the trigger. The contrast between the circle (simple shape with a smooth and soft aspect) and the grass (repetitive and pointed shape) appealed to me right away. This was the starting point to create a surreal world around these 2 elements.

the ball of fur with eyes
“Garden of the Univerese #206” by Estienne

Torsion has a very creative method of generation where the user actually sees their mint slowly become static over time. Why did you choose to show the viewer the behind the scenes process?

Although I had already experimented with the idea of making the generation process visible with Coupé Décalé for a purely artistic reason, it was with Garden of the Universe that this option revealed its full potential: it allows both to offer a fun and explanatory experience of the generation process while avoiding waiting in front of a black screen for the work to appear. This is even more convincing with Torsion. The mechanism of formation of the final image is in my opinion as important as the result itself. Seeing the slit-scanning effect taking place is interesting in that it challenges our intuition and our perception of the way 3D objects are projected in 2D. Although I find the final images beautiful and interesting in their great variety, it would have been sad not to enjoy the show that is their creation.

“Torsion” by Estienne

What do you have planned for 2022?

In 2022, I want to devote more time to creating generative art, offering physical versions of my works to collectors, collaborating with other artists, getting more involved in the community… in short, a busy schedule!

Is there anyone you want to shoutout?

It is unthinkable for me not to thank all the beautiful people forming the FxHash community and who knew how to give me confidence by their support and their kind comments. Thank you!

“Soragna” by Estienne

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