Ykxotkx Interview

“suzaku #84” by ykxotkx

Who are you?

I’m ykxotkx, a software engineer and a creative coder. There is no particular way to read “ykxotkx”, but I recommend that you pronounce it “exotics” as it is easier and I like the sound. By the way, English is not my native language, so please forgive me if it is hard to read or messed up.

When did you start making art?

I have loved drawing since I was a child. When I was in elementary school, I used to draw lots of pictures inspired by famous Japanese cartoons such as Dragon Ball. After becoming a teenager, I continued to draw various pictures in my sketchbook. After that, I was into music for a while and was addicted to playing drums for more than 10 years. I guess I like to express myself in some way, whether it is through painting or music.

“Mugen #12” by ykxotkx

When did you start making generative art?

It was about a year ago. While watching all the news about the NFT market in 2021, I heard about generative art and thought, “I’ve got to try it!”. I felt that I could use my knowledge as a software engineer to start something new and exciting. I read several books on generative art to learn basic knowledge and techniques, and started my career as a generative artist.

“flowers #25” by ykxotkx

The code I write as a generative artist is different from the code I write as a software engineer. It is completely free and I like it. Sometimes you run code that you can’t imagine how it will work, and you get amazing output. Even a bug might produce a beautiful result.

How did you hear about FxHash?

I became interested in the platform after knowing that some of my favorite generative artists were releasing their work on fxhash. I looked into fxhash and found that it is a very open and fair platform that allows anyone to release their work at any time. It seemed like a perfect platform for a fledgling generative artist like myself. Another reason I was attracted to fxhash was that it adopts tezos blockchain, which means it can run with lower environmental impact and cheaper gas cost.

Tell us about your Genesis work “Subject Red”

“Subject Red” is my first long-form generative art. It is an abstract geometric piece that uses a recursive subdivision algorithm. It is in red colors and animated, representing pulsating cells, blood vessels, and metabolizing tissue.

“Subject Red #14” by ykxotkx

What inspired the work “Abstract city” and what was your goal with this work?

This work was inspired by my own work “dots” and Mondrian’s Broadway Boogie Woogie. I used only dots and straight lines to depict the urban skyline and the crowded streets in this work , like Mondorian depicted the city in a simple, minimalist manner. I remember, when I was a kid, there was a Broadway Boogie Woogie poster on the living room wall, and Mondorian has been one of my favorite artists ever since.

“Sea” is a fantastic generative landscape piece. How did you go about selecting what colors would be used and when did you know when it was finished and ready for release?

I picked the colors from the photographs of the sea at sunrises and sunsets. In this work, black is used as the primary color, so I tried to make the other colors as vivid as possible to contrast with the black. I also chose simple and warm colors that evoke the nostalgia of morning sunrises and sunsets.

“Sea” by ykxotkx

As for when to decide to finish a work, I often base my decision on “whether or not I feel that I cannot make the work any better for me at that point in time,” although this is not limited to this work.

The work “ukiyo-e seascape” was a huge success. What went into this work?

“ukiyo-e seascape in bloom #19” by ykxotkx

Since I am Japanese, I had been thinking about creating a Japanese-style generative art piece, and I decided to create a landscape piece that incorporates many ukiyo-e inspired elements. While the previous work “sea” made extensive use of horizontal lines to express the brightness of the ocean’s surface and drifting clouds, this work makes extensive use of 2D Perlin Noize to depict elements. The way the boats and birds are drawn is based on Hiroshige’s work, and the shape of the frame surrounding the work, the title and signature labels, motifs such as Fuji and the sun, and the way the clouds are drawn are also based on ukiyo-e and manga-style expressions.

started posting WIPs on Twitter starting with this piece.

It was very encouraging to receive so many good responses to the WIP output. Of course, although it is eventually up to me to decide on the final form of the work, but since I want to make sure that my work will entertain as many people as possible, I use the responses I get on Twitter as a good reference to help me decide the direction of my work.

“Suzaku” also saw great success and is a very unique work. What was your goal for this work?

One of my favorite techniques that I often use is circle packing, and the idea for this work was to use circle packing to create pointillistic art. I chose Suzaku, one of the four symbols of the Chinese constellations (a motif often used as well in Japanese Buddhist temples) as the motif for the work, and painted it in the style of ethnic art.

“suzaku #36” by ykxotkx

“Traveler” is a godly piece and it’s absolutely unbelievable that it was created with code. Can you tell us more about this creation?

As is probably the case with all generative artists, I usually do creative coding to improve my skills and to come up with ideas for my work. The original sketch for “Traveler” was created during this daily coding process. When I introduced the sketch, which was a sci-fi style landscape painting implemented as generative art, on Twitter, the response was more than I expected, so I decided to make it into a long-form generative art work.

The concept of the work is space travel, depicting a traveler who travels to different stars. It was very fun to code fantastical motifs such as flying tentacles, crawling insects, UFOs, strange plants and domed cities. Fortunately, I had already cultivated the basic knowledge of creating generative art landscapes through my past landscape (or seascape) paintings “sea” and “ukiyo-e seascape”. I was able to utilize it in this work, evolve it further, and enjoy finishing it.

“Traveler #1” by ykxotkx

Flower Arrangement is your most recent stunning work that. How did this work come to be?

The original idea of this work was to implement a generative still life art with the strange plants that I depicted in “Traveler”, as a spin-off work of “Traveler”. Here is the first WIP that I shared on my Twitter.

As the implementation progressed, I decided to implement normal flowers as a variation. In the end, I decided to focus mainly on normal flowers, with “Traveler” style strange plants as rare output.

I have always wanted to create generative art with flowers and plants as the main motif, this work was a good study.

What do you have planned for the future?

I want to study more techniques and create better generative art works.

So far, I have used p5.js for my generative art work, but in the future, I would like to study and adopt other technologies that I have not yet used to further expand my range of expression. Right now, I am most interested in Shader, which uses the GPU to process the entire image at once at high speed, making possible expressions that are difficult to achieve with p5.js.

“Flower Arrangement #19” by ykxotkx

Anything else?

Thanks so much for the interview!

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