Who are you?
I’m a husband, father, traveler, and creator. You can call me Preston (or abstractment).
When did you start making generative art?
How did you hear about FxHash?
@kenconsumer introduced me to fx(hash). We were both members of gen.art (a platform on the ETH blockchain dedicated to generative art) and we had gotten to know each other pretty well when working together on a competition among DAOs. He dropped into the gen.art discord on November 13th and shared a link, referencing project #33 on the platform. (He was soooo early, and I still kick myself for what I did next). I checked it out briefly but was scared off by the beta banner warning, and didn’t invest enough time into understanding the brilliance of allowing anyone to mint. Over the next few weeks, I kept hearing about it over and over. I ended up reaching out to ken a month later, started minting some projects, and was hooked.
Clew is your genesis mint on FxHash. What inspired this work?
A lot inspired me to create, yet there wasn’t a clear inspiration for Clew as a collection. One inspiration was Tyler Hobbs’ essay on The Rise of Long Form Generative Art. It might sound artificial, but I read through this essay (and others by Tyler) and felt a personal mission to create long form generative art that could sustain a high number of outputs. Another source of inspiration was the gen.art community which is where I got my roots in the generative art space. As I built out Clew, I got a lot of feedback and criticism from the gen.art community that helped me think critically about its evolution.
Clew, at least at its core concept, was a process of discovery which was then followed by months of trying to get the details right.
What was a memorable moment during the creation of “Clew”?
Overcoming the challenge of collision detection. I spent weeks trying to figure it out, and gave up numerous times. One afternoon, I was sitting in a coffee shop and ran out of other things to prioritize, so I gave it another try. When it worked, I was really, really pleased to see the outputs and realized that all of the time invested wasn’t a total waste.
“#symmetriClew” is a work tributing a specific “Clew” mint. Tell us more about this work.
As I was finalizing Clew, I started to explore the code a bit more just to see what would happen. This resulted in identifying the ‘special’ variations. I knew they would add some nice variation to the Clew collection, but I also didn’t want them to be a distraction, so I left them at a very low probability (around 0.5%).
Clew #205 was the only edition that combined two of my favorite traits–symmetry and special–and I wanted to celebrate this. To pay homage, I developed #symmetriClew as a zoomed out variation on the #lostNotLost special trait. When developing #symmetriClew, I removed several prominent traits from Clew #205, such as the Confetti background and the Dune Lakes color palette.
“pang” is a gorgeous collaborative work between you and FxTender. What spawned the idea for this work?
First, thank you for the kind words.
Second, @ajberni came up with the concept and presented it to me. I was 100% on board for the collaboration, but was initially a little concerned about the concept, solely because I didn’t know how the community would receive a crayon-inspired collection. After I spent some time working on it, I became fascinated. In fact, the more time I spent working on it, the more I became enthralled with the emotion and intensity it conveyed.
What was a roadblock you faced while working on “pang”?
Creating the crayon marks and then making the strokes emulate natural techniques. This was the crux of the project and it was a challenge to keep them all cohesive and consistent.
Are there any “pang” mints that stand out as your favorite?
It’s hard to pick a favorite, but I am obsessed with pang #340. I gravitate towards the color blue, love the diagonal composition, and the max(varied) trait is my favorite. From the moment I saw it, I couldn’t stop going back to look at it. In general, I like pang better on the darker paper options, but this one just stands out in an exceptional way for me. (When I couldn’t stop thinking about it, I ended up acquiring it in a trade.)
A few others that stand out are #471, #151, and #23. I’m also a big fan of the “Anywhere” composition, the max(Varied) stroke marks, and the pieces combining the Zig stroke mark with the Scattered Masses composition, like in #323. For me, this last combination accentuates the Cy Twombly vibes that inspired us.
Why do you make generative art?
Because I’m fascinated by it; the combination of human creativity, code, and randomization creates such a beautiful form of expression. This also fits my personality really well because I love creating, problem solving, and getting immediate feedback. I’m also constantly amazed that I can spend months on a project and have no idea what the final collection will look like until it’s fully minted.
What is the difference between good and great generative art?
There are probably many appropriate answers. For me, it’s a keen attention to detail and a meaningful purpose behind the work. I also really appreciate collections that can sustain a high number of diverse, yet cohesive, outputs. It’s hard to find that balance.
What do you hope for in the future?
I hope to keep creating, connect with other artists, connect with the #clewcrew, and enjoy the ride.
Is there anybody you’d like to shoutout?
Anyone who appreciates and/or collects my art. All of the artists who are making amazing collections. The FxHash community that has been so welcoming. And a special shoutout to the #clewcrew.