Lunarean Interview

“Solace #34” by lunarean

Who are you?

I’m lunarean and I enjoy creating generative art!

When did you start making generative art?

Around a couple of years ago. One day I came across some artworks made from mathematical systems like chaotic attractors and fractals. I found them fascinating and wanted to learn how to make similar things myself, so set out to learn p5.js and some generative techniques. I wasn’t really trying to make art – I was just playing around with these algorithms and trying to get cool results.

My background is in maths and coding so I was able to use my existing skills in a new setting which I really enjoyed. My main work is in a space where a single mistake can be costly and everything has to be well-tested, but with creative coding it’s the opposite – bugs can often lead to interesting results and be themselves a source of inspiration.

How did you hear about FxHash?

I first heard about it when some artists I followed like revdancatt and xiiixiii released work on there. I found many pieces I loved and started to collect regularly there.

One thing that was unique about fxhash was that anyone could publish work there permissionlessly. Other platforms had an application process and a long waiting time. I’d been wanting to create my first generative series for a while and fxhash seemed like a great choice as a platform.

“City in the Wind #16” by lunarean

What do you look for in a piece of generative art?

I’m especially interested in artworks where the underlying algorithm only contains a simple set of rules, but where the outputs can be intricate and unpredictable. I’m also drawn to pieces that are thought-provoking and where I end up spending ages looking at all the details.

Your Genesis piece “City in the wind” is a low edition landscape work of a foggy city. How did this piece come together?

For a while, I’d been making generative sketches but had never tried a long-form series before. It’s a really different way of working, because I had to consider the whole probability space of outputs rather than optimising a single output.

Over the next few months, I tried out a bunch of ideas. There were a few promising ones but City in the Wind, a series of misty cities with streaks of wind, was my favourite. Since I was completely new to selling my work and had no idea what the reception would be, I chose to keep the edition count low at 32 editions. I remember not being too hopeful before the release because my announcement post on Twitter only got two or three likes, so it was a nice surprise when it minted out in a few minutes!

“City in the Wind #21” by lunarean

How important was depth on this piece?

Depth was definitely a key idea here. The algorithm gradually draws layers of buildings and streaks of wind. Each layer partially obscures everything drawn before, so early layers are less visible and therefore appear more distant, which creates the sense of depth.

“Solace” was your second and most recent work on the platform. It’s gorgeous and saw immediate success on the primary market and secondary market. What gave you the idea for this work?

During January I was creating generative sketches based off the prompts from Genuary. It was a great way for me to practice different techniques and it was also fun seeing other artists’ creations from the same prompts.

“Solace #7” by lunarean

One of the prompts was “sand”, so I made a sand dune drawn with lots of tiny points, like sand grains. I really liked how it looked, so explored expanding it into a long-form series.

What were some challenges you had to overcome while making “Solace”

The main challenge was in figuring out ways to create a variety of outputs. Even if I randomized the colours or curves of the dune, that wouldn’t be enough variation for a full series, so I needed to find other ways to generalize the algorithm. At the start I actually wasn’t sure whether this would be possible.

One thing I tried was extending it to draw multiple dunes. This worked really well because I felt the outputs with a single dune, the ones with a hundred dunes and anything in between all had a different feel from each other but looked equally good.

After that I added a bunch of other dimensions, like different ways of drawing the sky or different brush types, which produced a nice range of deserts from ones that felt harsh and unforgiving to ones that felt soothing and peaceful.

What have been your thoughts on the reception of “Solace”

It’s been amazing. While I was working on it, I felt the outputs were strong and the WIPs I was posting on Twitter were also getting great feedback, so I had a good feeling. But even then, I definitely didn’t expect the reception that it got. I’d priced it a lot higher than “City in the Wind” so was surprised at first when it minted out instantly, and it’s been crazy to see how it’s done since then. Many artists and collectors also reached out with kind words, and I feel really grateful to be part of this space.

“Solace #20” by lunarean

How did you know when you were finished with “Solace”?

I knew I was getting close when the changes I was making each day were becoming more gradual. I’d continually generate batches of a hundred outputs and go through them one by one and identify things to fix or improve. At first my todo list seemed endless but over time it gradually became shorter and shorter.

When I was 99% done, I made an announcement on Twitter that it’d be released in a week. I thought I’d definitely have enough time to finish up everything, but the last 1% ended being way more work than expected and I was making tweaks up to the last moment!

What are your thoughts on fxhash?

It’s brilliant. For artists, it’s appealing because they can publish work whenever they want and for collectors, it’s also great because there’s so much incredible art on the platform.

What do you have planned for the future?

Creating more generative art! Since Solace’s release, I’ve mainly been exploring ideas and creating quick sketches. It’s fun and a great way for me to try out different techniques. I have a couple of projects planned for fxhash based off some of these ideas.

In the more long-term future, I’m interested in creating work which utilise the capabilities of the blockchain more. For example, a generative series that’s hosted in-chain so that its execution doesn’t rely on any tool or language outside of the smart contract. Or an artwork that includes interactive elements built in to the smart contract.

“Solace #26” by lunarean

Is there anyone you want to shoutout?

Everyone who has supported me or collected my work or given me feedback or encouragement.

Anything else?

Thank you for these questions and for featuring me here!

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