Ismahelio Interview

“B_30369690” by ismahelio

Who are you?

I am a formed architect working in digital design and automation and a creative individual in love with generative processes and constantly seeking to continue learning. I was born in Spain, and I have lived and worked in India, Mexico, China, and Hong Kong. I like quiet and relaxing environments, although my life is surrounded by specific chaos that I love, juggling with family, art, work, exercise, and many more things.

When did you first start making art?

Since I was little, I spent hours doodling on papers at home. I have always been interested in creative practices. That’s why I studied architecture; it requires a mix of skills: sketching, sculpting, spatial vision. I learned to leverage generative techniques to optimize multiple aspects when designing buildings. Naturally, I started creating illustrations and graphic pieces through my generative algorithms.

“castle black and boom” by Ismahelio

What is your creative process?

My work is strongly influenced by architecture: 3dimensional shapes, straight lines, cubes, rectangles, and basic geometric elements. When I create a piece, I always start sketching an idea on paper and keep drawing until I find something that can translate into code. Then I start coding and testing the sketch. Usually, before I finish the piece, some unfinished outputs talk to me and make me stop. I start trying something else on paper again. Then I come back to the code, and so on. It´s an iterative process.

How did you come up with the idea for your Genesis piece “Helio world”

Since I heard of ArtBlocks I wanted to try minting a truly generative piece. Fxhash gave me this opportunity. I combined “Hello World” with the “Helio” from my pseudonym for my genesis piece there. It´s token number 27 of a platform that was just starting at that time. The piece is relatively simple, clean, and easy to understand. I didn’t want anything too complex, so I choose a 2dimensional work with basic shapes: It was a quick sketch, precisely what I was looking to create.

“Helio World #8” by Ismahelio

After Helio World you released your postcard series. What gave you the idea for this?

Before Fxhash, I released postcards and projects commissioned by the KRDPM fund named “multipers series” on Hicetnunc (HEN). Then, I released 3 postcards on Fxhash, each with various color palettes and shapes. The spirit of all of them is similar; even though the complexity of the pieces is higher on the HEN series than on Fxhash, the latter are generative mint, and each iteration is different.

It is a study on how 3dimensional cubic forms, projected on planes and combined, can create a geometrical composition with reminders of a 3dimensional world.

“Postcard Saura #20” by Ismahelio

How did you decide what color palettes to use for the postcard series?

The color palettes of the postcard’s series are inspired by artists that I admire, apart from the CMYK postcard (four ink plates: cyan, magenta, yellow, and black). For example, the postcard Saura gets the color palette from a specific painting made by the Spanish artist Antonio Saura (“mutaciones”, 1981).

What did you hope to achieve with “wandering line”?

My genesis piece is a wandering line that I minted in HEN. With “wandering line,” I experiment on how a free agent moving within a 3dimensional preestablished boundary with a minimal set of conditions can create appealing and suggestive shapes based on pure randomization. I find the unexpected compositions created by this algorithm intensely captivating. The tricky part is generating only stunning pieces. Sometimes, it produces shapes much less attractive than others. Pre-curating the outputs and then minting them is a much simpler task: reaching a balance between them is rather complicated. I am currently working on the wandering line v2. Releasing pieces like this into the wildness of the fxhash ecosystem, watching collectors commenting on them, observing how it behaves in the market gives us creators a lot of insights and valuable feedback about our work.

“Wandering Line #2” by Ismahelio

“Non spaces” has been one of your most popular works so far on FxHash. What is the story behind it?

I feel very proud of this work and honored by its reception by the NFT community. So many people reached out to me with kind words once it was out, from collectors to other artists, and lots of people were sharing their Non Spaces on Twitter.

I have done hundreds of elevation sketches and used generative techniques to design real-life buildings as an architect. I wanted to shift into figurative pieces without abandoning my abstract work, and Non Spaces was my kickoff. It means translating how I doodle and sketch elevations of impossible buildings into code through a minimalistic style. The extra layer of interest for this piece is the evolutive feature, inspired by other creators that use the code to go further (Yazid, Toxi, Raphael de Courville) than “just” creating stunning visual pieces. It also proved that there is interest in the physical/digital combination.

I will never forget “non spaces” as a turning point in my career as a generative artist.

“Non Spaces #92” by Ismahelio (rarest)

How did you know when you were finished with “non spaces”

I don´t think any of my pieces, including “non spaces”, are truly finished. I believe that generative work is always unfinished, and artists constantly evolve. You can always keep working on the code, modifying it, trying new things, refining it. But there is a point when the outputs reach a certain level of quality and variation to say: “here I stop, that´s it, I am going to release the piece.” With “non spaces”, when the algorithm was able to produce enough variations, a great level of individual originality and the overall quality was high enough for my standards, I decided to release it.

“Non Spaces #4” by Ismahelio

What do you look for in a generative artwork

Firstly, having fun and feeling accomplished and happy. I want to upskill, learn as much as I can, and keep growing as a creator of generative content. Creating my algorithms is thrilling, exhausting, exciting, and relaxing at the same time. It´s mentally challenging. Secondly, NFTs are also a way to meet fascinating people, from collectors and artists to developers or “normies” who want to know more. It is a gate, a window, and a key to a fantastic world, filled with talent, innovation, and opportunities.

You also have many gorgeous works on Teia. Are there any you want to highlight?

I enjoyed profoundly creating my “multipers series” on HEN (now Teia). It´s a collection of 3/3s inspired by pieces from other artists on the platform (Andreas Rau, Rose Jackson, Vitacaio, Iskra Velitchkova, NZFS, and Antonio Sanchez Chinchon). Also, my piece “intensity“, which I gave away for free, is one of my favorites.

“Multipers – Antonio Sanchez Chinchón” by Ismahelio

How do you choose colors for your artwork?

I usually distill colors from pieces made by other artists: from analog painters like Antonio Saura, Pablo Palazuelo, or Basquiat; to plans, sections, or sketches from architects like Renzo Piano; or digital artists as well.

What do you have planned in 2022?

I’m currently working on a couple of collabs with 2 great artists. Both on Tezos, generative and with very different styles.
I want to dive deeper into figurative concepts while keeping the abstract and architectural vibes, as well as experimenting further with interactivity.

Last year I started to collaborate with Neal Digital and Ellen Xu, to promote my work in China and Hong Kong. My pieces were displayed in physical exhibitions and auctioned in some of the most important auction houses there. We are planning together the pipeline for this year, and it is very exciting!

“Wandering Line #189” by Ismahelio

Is there anyone you want to shout-out?

All the people who supported me and my work giving me advice or reaching out to me, collecting my pieces, promoting my work. My family for supporting me, all the artists and creators I connected to through the Tezos ecosystem, Neil Digital gallery for promoting my work in the China market, and all the developers of the NFT platforms like HEN, Teia, Fxhash, or It is a fantastic community that I feel proud to belong to.

Anything else?

I genuinely believe that this period will be marked in art history as the generative art Renaissance and I feel humbled to be making my tiny contribution to it.

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