Raza / 079 Interview

“Threads #341” by Raza

Who are you?

Hey there, I’m raza aka 079. I’m a long time software engineer, but beyond that, I’m a deeply creative person – I remember making custom lego sets as a kid, coding graphic calculator programs in high school, writing piano music as an adult, and now I’m making generative art on the blockchain – it is truly what I was meant to do with my life.

When did you start making art?

I would say around 5 when I started getting into legos and making my own custom spaceships. It was so fun and effortless and I would build for hours.

How did you hear about FxHash?

It was in May of 2022, very soon after William Mapan launched his Anticyclone project on ArtBlocks. It’s a beautiful project, and in talking about him, multiple art investors on twitter and discord couldn’t help but mention his work Dragons on fxhash. There was a lot of talk about all the amazing but underrated and undervalued art there. I checked it out, and it immediately clicked for me that this was the platform for me to build an audience for myself and my art – it’s such an amazing community for that.

“sodapop #2” by Raza

Tell us how your genesis mint “sodapop” came to be.

This was basically my “hello world” generative art project on fxhash. I wanted to make sure I understood the platform and the mechanics of it. Regarding the actual art – I read a Tyler Hobbs article on circle packing and tried his algorithm out. It worked great, so I added a bunch of colors that I thought looked nice and sodapop was the result. In general, I have this idea in my head that if I would frame it and hang it in my room, then it’s good enough to release – sodapop fit the bill there. I also love that it still hasn’t minted out. I consider it a challenge to keep releasing new art to make people want to buy my genesis project. So far so good, every new release brings a handful of new people to mint sodapop. Those are my people lol.

“redline” was your second work and your first minted out project. What was the goal with this work?

It was very easy for me to see the limitations of sodapop – although it looked nice, every piece ended up looking very similar in terms of the circle composition. Color was the only main differentiator and that’s not enough in this game. With redline, I wanted much more contrast in between pieces. I was successful in that regard – with multiple configurations of columns and each column having a random sequence of lines or not lines, it was certainly a step up in terms of variety and contrast. Plus I got some nice shoutouts on twitter! I didn’t expect that but I was pleasantly surprised. Apparently line patterns are evergreen territory on fxhash 😀 By the way, quick shoutout to Tyler Hobbs, I basically got this idea from an old IG post of this. He responded kindly to my twitter post referencing this fact. He’s amazing for the space and I hope to get to his level in time.

“redline #33” by Raza

Tell us more about the wonderful and minimalistic “threads”.

Thanks for the kind words! I worked on threads during Thanksgiving break. Ever since I first heard about Ringers, it’s always been stuck in my mind and it’s a major source of inspiration for me in terms of beauty, variety, yet underlying simplicity. I wanted to learn how to code a “pegs and bands” style project and thus “threads” was born. It was smooth sailing from the get go, the underlying concept is sound, and you just add some variations in peg size, variations in peg locations, hide some pegs, and voila – you have a really nice project that yields all sorts of interesting shapes and patterns. My favorite part was people sharing what they saw in their pieces – hammock, dancer, forklift, etc. I didn’t expect that, but these emergent properties are what make art so fun. This project to me feels like a true expression of me and what I like in art. I hope to recreate this magic over and over again in the future.

“threads #59” by Raza

Your most recent work “citylines” is one of your most successful drops yet. Tell us about it!

Thank you! This is another project where I wanted to learn a new technique – in this case isometric line drawings. Of all my projects, I spent the most time on this one, maybe because there were lots of opportunities for bugs and I was often unsure of where I was going with it. But I think the final product came out quite nice, even if some may say it’s a bit repetitive. I think generating a brand new city for each iteration and having a completely random mix of building placements and heights is a really cool concept ripe for more opportunity. I learned so much with citylines and I know that I will do another isometric art project in the future. And it will absolutely crush 😀 In the meantime, there are some really pretty outputs that I would love to print and frame!

What do you have planned next?

I’m very inspired by Ty Vek’s work from last year. I studied Ty’s articles and code and am working on an SVG gen art project as we speak. The early outputs are excellent and I’m very excited to launch this project within the next month or so. After that it’s just more releases – I’m aiming for one new project per month (or more!).

“citylines #115” by Raza

Is there anyone you want to shoutout?

Shoutout to all my collectors, anyone who says a kind word, or likes a post, or tweets out my art – you are all amazing, and you have no idea how much encouragement I get from your actions. It is a blessing everytime and I am grateful for your support.

Beyond that – Tyler Hobbs and Dmitri Cherniak – Fidenza and Ringers are my north stars when it comes to the level of art I want to produce in the future. I love both of their works to death.

Quick twitter shoutouts to 008_eth and baiweiart who were the first people to ever tweet out my art (both about redlines haha).

Lastly, theurbanita for buying 1 each of all my pieces and tweeting out all of them. The real MVP, your kind words mean everything to me.

Anything else?

I’m here for the long haul. My mission in life is to create art every single day for the next 50 years. Generative art combines all of my skills and interests into one – software, math, art, crypto, community, business, etc. I’m thoroughly enjoying myself and I want to make a real mark in this space. Thanks so much for this opportunity to share my thoughts!

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