Artist OneFallArt has been in the web3 art scene since he was first invited to MakersPlace in 2018. Armed with a Master’s degree in psychology and a concomitant obsession with peering into and embodying emotion and mental disorder in his work, OneFallArt brings a fresh approach that pairs aesthetic intuition with analytical thinking.
OneFallArt’s unique approach, following the previous decade’s embrace of minimalism, is his unapologetic maximalism. Looking at his work, one gets the sense that it’s been stuffed full of abstract intricacy to the point of bursting, with just one stroke shy of the camel’s back breaking, yet it remains balanced and inviting while provoking a slight imbalance, just enough to draw you in to ponder your own discomfort with the aesthetic overload.
The following conversation took place between Aisha Arif and ONEFALLART over text correspondence.
Aisha Arif: Can you share the story of how you went from a Master’s student of psychology to a digital artist? How did your journey in cryptoart space unfold?
OneFallArt: Creating Art and Psychology have gone hand in hand for a long time for me. While studying at university, I was already making art daily. Just like today, art was an integral part of my daily routine and I created it every day.
As technology and opportunities have developed, my creative style has evolved greatly. My journey with cryptoart has started precisely with MakersPlace. I got a message from the team in 2018 and it was absolutely new to me then, but the opportunity to show my art in the way it is available today was a wind of change — I had been waiting for it and I was excited to be part of it.
Creating was important to me then as it is now. Back then it wasn’t 3D like it is now, so it was a mixture of different techniques. Now that I’m doing 3D, everything is more complicated and the creation time is longer, but looking back it was my dream to be able to do it and to have access to the software that I now use on a daily basis. My younger self would be proud of me for making it this far.
AA: How has your academic background in Psychology influenced your artistic perspective and the themes you explore in your art?
OFA: I have always believed that [studying] Psychology significantly impacted my development in creating art. It was certainly important for me to gain knowledge about how people function, their emotions and behaviors, which I could later apply to my work.
Emotions play a huge role in my art. I’m constantly educating myself and gaining new knowledge, so my cognitive sphere is constantly being updated and transformed. I didn’t want to go into an academic field when it came to art. I wanted to reach everything on my own and be able to express myself freely without any set patterns and a certain way of thinking. I think this makes my ideas more raw and abstract.
AA: Are there specific psychological concepts or theories that you have consciously or unconsciously incorporated into your artwork?
OFA: I think there are no general theories that I would follow. I’m most interested in mental disorders and their nature. How the environment and external factors, especially the people around us, influence our mental health and self-development.
I have always been fascinated by how a person’s potential can be fully used in the right conditions and how it can be lost when they are not there. I think that people don’t realize how much what surrounds them on a daily basis influences who they are.
I was particularly struck by this when I had a student practice in a psychiatric hospital. Already then I noticed the correlation between art and mental health. I saw that art can heal and provide therapeutic relief, which is something I try to achieve in my work. I have always said that my art is not for everyone, but it will find those for whom it is created. Art matters.
AA: Your art is described as being marked by emotions. Could you elaborate on how you infuse emotions into your digital artwork?
OFA: I create my art under the influence of emotions, in their various states. I always try to reflect my current emotional state in the art I create. You can tell that a lot is going on in my head when you look at how many details are in the artwork. It’s a constant race of thoughts and new ideas that I want to implement one by one. My need to create is uncontrollable and endless. It connects my thoughts and feelings and constantly stretches the limits of my inner possibilities.
AA: What is the relationship between color, form, and emotion?
OFA: The relationship between all these factors is extremely important to me. Colors and form must always be intense and detailed. I love excess and details, I couldn’t fully express myself without all these elements. Its purpose is to arouse emotions in people, and although I never direct anyone on how to perceive my art, I think that its impact and reception itself is worth more than a thousand words.
AA: You’ve mentioned that your art is not intended to provide a sense of comfort but rather to challenge perceptions. How do you see discomfort serving as a catalyst for deeper artistic exploration?
OFA: I think the best form of creation is when you dive into the depths of the mind. I want to stop the viewer through my art so that they think about what they see. In the ubiquitous simplicity and rush in which people cannot focus on anything for longer than a few seconds, I need to create something that catches the eye, and with each subsequent look, they see more and more elements unfolding.
I receive comments that my art is strange, sometimes terrifying and disturbing, but I don’t think it’s a bad thing. I rather consider it an advantage that it evokes various emotions, after all, that’s what art is for.
AA: The description of your art mentions that it is ruled by destruction, yet you find harmony and order within it. Can you explain the interplay between destruction and harmony in your artistic vision?
OFA: I like it when elements, colors and shapes aesthetically influence each other and create a sensible whole only when they are together. I like destruction, things that other people might think are exaggeration or nonsense. But I create it in such a way that everything neatly connects and is pleasing to the eye.
I try to provide something that goes beyond social constructs and beyond the norms of being acceptable. I don’t care that something may seem too complicated. I like destruction, I like ugliness and deformation without a logical explanation for things. This is my rebellious response to the commercialization of art. I am the inventor of my own style, and I do what I feel, not what others expect, only then I know that I am authentic.
AA: Are there specific techniques or strategies you employ to ensure that every element in the chaos contributes to the overall aesthetic and message of the artwork?
OFA: I don’t use any special technique or strategy, but I control the chaos in a way that makes sense and fits aesthetically. Everything has to work together, it can’t just be senseless things put together. I sculpt my own elements so I know that they are the foundation of what I came up with and what I wanted to show in my creative process.
AA: Can you walk us through your creative process when starting a new digital art piece? How do you decide on themes and elements?
OFA: I start by selecting a model, pose, textures, and then I start adding my elements. It’s a different process each time, switching between different software. Considering how many elements there are, you can get lost in it, but I have my own ways of doing it.
I have no plans regarding what I will create at any given moment. It always comes in the process of putting each thing together. The shapes, colors and elements around them eventually became part of the artwork. I give them depth and meaning in my own way when I put them all in one creation.
AA: Do you have any rituals or routines that you follow to get into the creative mindset before starting a new project?
OFA: The only constant thing in my routine when I’m working is listening to something. It could be music, a podcast or a movie in the background, but there always has to be something.
I don’t think I have any special creative process at all. It is an inherent element of my everyday life. Part of my life to such an extent that I cannot imagine a day without it. Therefore it is not like work to be done, it is a natural process that comes as easily as breathing. No matter how it sounds, creating is a part of my life, like an insatiable desire that you feel all the time and no matter what you do, you will do it until the end. Even if no one would watch or listen to what I do, I do it for myself, without it I would probably go crazy!
AA: How do you hope your audience reacts or feels when experiencing your artwork? Is there a particular emotional response you aim to evoke?
OFA: I would like them to stop for longer and see something more than simplicity and repetitiveness and see what I am trying to convey. I never describe my art or impose thinking in what direction I would like my art to be received. I believe that it is an individual approach of each person to delve into their emotions and their own view of what they see.
Art always will be exposed to constant attention, judgment and unforeseeable reaction. What I want is the audience to wonder what else I can offer and what more they will see the next time they come across my art.
AA: Have you received any memorable feedback from viewers that particularly resonated with you?
OFA: I happened to receive messages from people who wanted to share with me the impact my art had on them. It wasn’t feedback on how I create art or anything like that, it was messages about how my art affects them and what it makes them feel, and such messages are absolutely priceless to me.
AA: Can you tell us a little bit about your newest collection on MakersPlace? What was the inspiration behind it and what do you hope viewers will take away from it?
OFA: I would like people to stop and think about my art. I would like them to be able to immerse themselves in the creative world I have created and for them to be a moment of contemplation. I want art to leave something behind and make it stay in people’s minds after. This is a visible part of my thoughts and will last in the eyes of my audience. It is a documentation of my emotional states that will become part of other people’s thoughts, and through their eyes it will become a thread of bond between us.
AA: What are your future aspirations as a digital artist? Are there specific projects or collaborations you hope to explore in the future?
OFA: I would like to create something with the artists who are important to me and creating art with them would be very meaningful, but for now it is a dream more than a goal to achieve.
AA: How do you see your art evolving in terms of themes and style in the coming years?
OFA: I don’t plan anything in this direction, I think it will change by itself over time. I’m constantly learning something new, trying to develop and diversify my work, so change will come naturally. I want to continue to develop and improve my signature style. I will add new combinations of elements in the medium, reform and change what I have already done, and I will move forward. Art is creation and I’m constantly working on expanding my consciousness and horizons in it.
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