Rhaegar Interview

“Rudeneja #87” by Rhaegar

Who are you?

I’m Rıdvan Şimşek a.k.a Rhaegar who is a senior front-end developer, and generative artist. I’m 27 years old and living in Turkey/Sivas which is a small city in the middle of the country. Creating programs with code for desktop or mobile has been one of my favorite habits for 10 years of my life.

What got you into generative art?

During my university years, I was interested in visual programming more than other classic code lessons like java, c++, etc. This relationship between us guided me to visual languages like HTML, CSS, and graphic design programs like adobe photoshop and adobe illustrator. Those were my early attempts into the graphic design field.

After hearing about NFTs from my close friends, Twitter, news, etc. I decided to investigate this trend because of my interest in graphic design. I didn’t know anything about generative art during those days and because of that, I made some 2d and 3d artworks with various programs and minted them on HEN. 

I found generative art from fxHash actually not from anywhere else and started to think about my past, skill, interests, and so on. While I was thinking about them, realized that I like very much both graphic design and coding via computer. That moment was the beginning of my generative art journey.

“Ound’y #6” by Rhaegar

What mysteries of the universe do you think generative art conceals?

The world has so many creatures that share the same chemical structure which is carbon-based. But almost all of them have strongly different and unique views, and forms. For instance, all trees have roots, a trunk, branches, and leaves but at the same time, each of them has a unique character. 

When it comes to the universe, there are billions of unknown planets, stars, and galaxies that wait to be discovered. I don’t know, maybe there are feelings that we don’t know, we don’t feel as different from the ones in the world yet in the universe. I’m in pursuit of this kind of mystery, and ambiguity with my art.

How did you hear about Tezos/FxHash?

I have been interested in cryptocurrencies since 2017. At the beginning of my Tezos journey, I didn’t know anything about fxHash. After discovering NFTs, I came across with fxHash on Twitter. I wondered what is it and what is the relationship between fxHash and NFTs. Made a bunch of research about the platform, community, and artists. Then, the story started with my very early mints.

“Generative Mountains #21” by Rhaegar

Tell us about some of your earliest FxHash mints.

“Twins: Physical Equality”, “Fluid Mosaics” and “Generative Mountains” are some of my early generative art projects that minted on fxHash. They are created with very basic methods that I learned on the internet. Using the noise(), random(), circle() and rect() functions was one of the main goals of mine in those works. They are so meaningful for me right now because they were my first experiences in this field. 

 “Ornithic” was one of your first big projects on FxHash. What gave you the idea for this work?

Yes, Ornithic was my first biggest generative art project in the aspect of its supply amount and techniques. Not only for fxHash but also for my entire generative art career. I used a lot of new approaches like coding math in my code and to vary the project with different features. These were new for me during that time. 

On the other hand, the interest of the collectors on fxHash surprised me strongly. The project was minted out in just 3 minutes. That one too was a new experience for me.

The inspiration for the Ornithic came to me from a video about plotting flowers with a pen. The composition was very basic, just drawing a bunch of flowers on paper. I thought if I can implement that concept into my code. And made it actually. After that success, changed the composition perspective, added features, etc.

“Ornithic #7” by Rhaegar

“Rudeneja” is an absolutely gorgeous longform work which features a complex tree ecosystem. What was the process like creating this work?

I should say that Rudeneja is still my favorite generative artwork, indeed. The atmosphere of it still stunned me when I look at it every time. 

When I decided to make a composition that can be able to describe as gloomy, and mysterious with relatively realistic trees after “Generative Mountains”, I wanted that the main character of the composition consists of depth. After creating the trees with a recursive algorithm, I drew them on a single noisy line by placing them as a randomGaussion function. And then, I blurred the whole canvas with the filter(BLUR) function of p5js to bring a slight blur. Adding a large rectangle with js’ pure gradient function with very low transparency in order to realize some mist followed the process. 

I took down the noisy line a little more on each step and I drew a lot of colorful grasses to the screen. Thus, an ecosystem of trees began to appear. At the end of the animation, I applied grain to the artwork to obscure it.

What made you end up choosing the name “Rudeneja” for this piece?

I heard the sound before the name, actually. Rudeneja is a beautiful song from Pevanni who publishes his works on Spotify. I googled its meaning which is “the way nature and/or the weather begins to feel like Autumn.” It was surprisingly relevant to my artwork and used it.

“Rudeneja #246” by Rhaegar

“Flaught” was your most recent mint. Could you tell us more about it?

Flaught was a try to create a complex composition after F.T.B.A which has also more than one drawn canvases. Writing the main algorithm that filled the whole screen with different size rectangles for the project was a big challenge for me than uniting the other elements. 

The second canvas that I masked rectangles with it is a different version of “Catalyst Area v5.18.10” that is a Jackson Pollock style. Combining these two different artworks in one single canvas was my main goal. 

“Flaught #123” by Rhaegar

What adds value to your art and why do you make art?

Thinking about what can I do on my next project for a long time is a big part of my process. I can code a project in a week but I can’t explore a project in that kind of short time. That might be one of the most important features of my work style.

When it comes to my art, depth, complexity, variety, and portrait ratio might be some of the elements that add value to my art.

I make art because I like art, I like making art, especially creating something new, something unexplored. Discovering ideas, seeing generative artworks, learning new methods, playing with code, changing the parameters give me great pleasure.

Any big plans for this year?

Not enough big for me but this year, I want to launch two big projects on the Ethereum mainnet. The platforms might be gmStudio and Art Blocks.

“F.T.B.A #5” by Rhaegar

Is there anyone you want to shoutout?

Yes, of course. There are many very talented generative artists who are always on my list like Monotau(@_monotau), Vlad Hrunz(@hrunzzz), Théo(@theo_coding_art), DistC.(@distcollective), kira0(@kira0art), Murat Atimtay(@atimtay), Qotonana(@Qotonana), Omar Lobato(@seigneurrrr). 

They’re just some of them, as I said, there are more great artists that I know or don’t know.

Anything else?

I want to thank you all for the generative art community, artists, collectors, the fxHash team, and GatherArt which have been supporting my art all the time since my first generative piece. I hope the best for all of us.

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