Kolectiv Artist Series August 2022 — Dominik.G
Dominik is a Concept Artist who has worked in the gaming and film industry for almost five years now. In his youth he was exposed to the bold lines and vivid colors of the graffiti scene in Germany. This still influences his present work and he combines it with his love for writing stories and worldbuilding. With his current project PAGSIRA he explores topics such as the Cyberpunk culture but also the question of what role humans will play in a future made of machines.
Tom: Let’s start from the beginning — when and how did you make the transition into becoming an NFT artist? Is there a story?
Dominik: I think my first interaction with NFTs was around december 2020 through FCVKRENDER who I followed for some time on Instagram. He started posting a lot about Nifty Gateway and SuperRare. That got me initially super interested in this whole topic and tried to dig deeper but I soon realised this is something I have no understanding of at all and gave up on it. But after a month or so I got into contact with BakaArts through a friend of mine and he took me and some other friends by the hand and taught us everything you need to know for the NFT space. I was blown away by all that creativity that came from this scene and this whole new world of making a living without having to crunch your body and mind to oblivion with bad paying gigs. This got me hooked to keep on going and I think around march 2021 I minted my first nft and from there on kept going.
Tom: I see. If you started in March 2021 you probably got to experience the biggest NFT boom so far shortly after you started. Do you think the NFT movement for artists is sustainable? What would the future look like, to you?
Dominik: Oh yeah I really was fortunate to get into it right away with such a booming market and build from there. I would say it might have been easier to get your feet into the scene and build that sustainable artist life back then but it is still possible today. It takes a lot more effort now but I would say no matter the starting situation, being pro-active with opportunities and social media will work wonders for you in this NFT movement. If you show the people you are in for it and also constantly produce work you will have success in the long run. Not only with NFT but also as an artist for other fields.
When it comes to the topic how the future might look, I would say NFTs and the technology behind it will get more accessible for everyone. With projects like manifold you now see how even someone like me who is not so much into coding can now just easily get his own smart contract and do crazy stuff with it. That will for sure get more people interested in NFTs again and lead to some growth in the market.
Tom: I agree, a lower barrier of entry allows the artists to focus on what they do best! Speaking of which, are there any artists that inspired your work? Doesn’t matter if it’s traditional art or crypto art.
Dominik: Exactly. It is probably also the best to not focus too much what is happening sometimes in the market and moving crypto prices and just do your thing. Otherwise this can drain your mental energy a lot.
There are tons of people that inspire me to do what I do but currently I am stuck with a lot of traditional editorial illustrators from the 50s-60s like Jack Potter, Dean Cornwell and many more. But when it comes to more current examples it would be Rael Lyra or Aryz.
Also I always love to mention Lip Comarella who is for me someone I look up to. His style and way of making animations speaks to me a lot and always hypes me up to try new stuff.
Tom: Let’s move on and talk a bit about your artwork. I’ll just go ahead and pick my favourite piece from you in Kolectiv — Waiting Room, from the Visions of Tomorrow collection. What’s in your mind when you were creating this piece?
Dominik: Oh man waiting room is probably one of the more free pieces I created and had lots of laughs while working on it. It is part of a bigger story I am working on called MAGIDELIK which is basically Wizards combined with Miami Vice and inspired by a lot of 60s bureau interior design advertisements.
But the main thought about this image is that in my project MAGIDELIK everything evolves around a wizard ministry that is completely out of control when it comes to bureaucracy. They are way too lazy to reform their way of working and just add new nonsense technology and spells to their ministry. So I thought that usually if you visit some sort of government agency, you are always forced to pull a number and wait for ages. So the wizards in my story would probably find a way to harvest processing powers of visitors for their computers because they do not want to invest money to replace their old machines.
So what you get in the end is a dude sitting on a nice armchair connected to these crazy helmet that gives some extra RAM to their servers.
This whole project is based on all the experience I have with Germany’s crazy way of working and their love for paperwork. They just love endless forms and nonsense bureaucracy.
Tom: That’s way cooler than I imagined it! And I like how geographical culture always has some effect on their artists. I wonder if ‘Data Coffee’ from the same collection share the same world setting as this?
Dominik: Absolutely. Data Coffee is also based in the same Wizard Ministry. Again they like to add nonsense machinery and spells to solve problems instead of just reforming it completely. Though with this image I also mainly criticise the culture of crunch work and overworking yourself for something that just does not requiere it. Some work places just love to squeeze every last inch of productivity out of you and if you take a coffee break, you could also just move the daily meeting into it instead of just taking a breath for a minute, right? So yeah, I would say current work culture is something that I love to give an artistic comment on.
Tom: I bet. There’s even an advertisement flyer on the wall that asks if you hate your job, hah.
Alright quick question that some might be interested to know. What gear/tech setup do you use to create your magic?
Dominik: Haha yeah, try to increase your productivity with astral projection while your body gets some rest.
So when it comes to illustrations like the examples we just talked about, I mainly work in Procreate on an iPad Pro 12. This is were 90% of my work happens. If we talk more about my current animated work, this is done in Blender and Adobe After Effects with my MacBook Pro M1 and my trusty old coffee machine.
I like to keep it small and simple instead of overwhelming me with too much fancy toys. But who knows, that might change in the future. Really want to dip my toes into VR and AR work.
Tom: Good to know. Before we conclude this interview, this will be your chance to introduce any current projects and plans that you’re working on. Please share them with us!
Dominik: Awesome and thanks already for the opportunity!
I am releasing my first small handmade PFP collection called SANCTUARY tomorrow (released at time of this publication) with the help of Manifold. It is a small collection but made with a lot of love and thought. https://opensea.io/collection/the-sanctuary
Otherwise I am working on new 1/1 art that is also based in MAGIDELIK that will release soon on SuperRare and also focus on building a better platform for my followers and community to exchange about anything. Whether it be about art, nft or just life.
After the collapse of society this holy ground became a symbol for hope of a better future.
The Kolectiv Artist Series is a series of monthly interviews that we pick the brains of our favourite artists. Each interview is done live, on-the-spot with minimal to no edits to preserve the artists’ exact words.