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Ari Wenkle Interview

Chapter XLV: Primal

  Posted by Justin Maller  \  -   - — on April 24, 2013
us flag Boston, MA / United States
   -
Ari Wenkle

Justin Maller

微信亲运飞艇群First of all, congratulations on being Primal's featured artist! For people just discovering your work, why don't you sketch us an outline of you and your artistic journey? Who do you want to be when you grow up?

Ari Weinkle

Thanks, what an honor! My artistic journey began when I was pretty little. My family was always travelling for business so I had the priviledge to visit tons of museums and experience many types of art from a young age. I always wanted to do something creative; even in grade school I'd always be making elaborate art projects for my liberal arts classes. In high school I honed in on graphic design as a way to make a living doing something creative. At the same time, I began producing digital art for fun and it quickly become just as important as my design work.

Justin

Your collection of work for this Chapter was just brilliant - what about this theme resonated so strongly with you?

Ari

Thanks! Being out in nature is really important to me. Whenever I was out hiking, I'd be thinking of different ways to incorporate what I was seeing into my artwork. I think that process led to some interesting results.

Justin

Your pieces were a return to more figurative work - for the last few chapters you've produced fairly abstract work, but there's a noticeable progression here. What sparked this for you?

SOLO WORK
Chasm

Ari

That's an interesting point. I try to balance my work between purely abstract and more representational. Even in these works, while they are representational in that they are real objects, they are expressed in a highly abstract manner. Striking a balance between the two is one of the things I'm most interested in.

Justin

What is your process like? Your end result seems quite digital, but I've always felt that there was a traditional lean to everything you do - in my eyes it's a very painterly approach to digital work.

Ari

To be honest, my process is constantly evolving. I enjoy exploring new techniques in each artwork I produce. For example, for the animal series in this chapter, I started by modeling the animals in 3D. Then I experimented with creating textures, displacement maps, and dramatic lighting setups for each artwork. Chasm and Quiescent were also results of a new process. For those, I again started by modeling the base figures and then played around different type of lighting. Finally, I worked on creating all the tiny details in Illustrator which is the program I'm most comfortable with. It was really interesting trying to balance the 3D base in a 2D program.

Justin

What's the next step for you? I know you've dabbled in animation...

Ari

微信亲运飞艇群My day job has me doing a fair amount of animation but I'd love to bring some of my still pieces to life. Unfortunately, it's such a time consuming process! Mainly, I'd like to continue experimenting with different techniques. I also want to continue balancing creating artwork with experimental typography. I'm actually close to releasing a typography project I've been working on for several months which involves 3D printing. I'm super excited to share the results.

SOLO WORK
Cor

Justin

微信亲运飞艇群You've been pursuing a daily macro photography project in addition to other artistic endeavours - how are you finding having such a demanding challenge as part of your creative life?

Ari

微信亲运飞艇群Ah, it's great! For the past few years, I've been hiking around Boston every weekend. This past year I decided create something from my hikes. I've seen so many things during my walks over the years and now I finally have a chance to photograph them. Your project has been really inspiring as well!

Justin

微信亲运飞艇群Speaking of projects, I've always loved your - I think that was an amazing exploration. Tell us a bit more about it and other experiments like this you've done.

Ari

I am kind of obsessed with typography. I like to create unique alphabets based on an idea I've had or some technique I'd like to explore. I guess it's a way to incorporate my graphic design background into my digital artwork. For that particular project, I was just getting into 3D and was blown away by dynamic simulations... From there I messed around with some weird textures and created the alphabet.

Justin

微信亲运飞艇群You've mentioned that you're influenced by (amongst other things) semiotics. How does this interest manifest itself in your artwork?

SOLO WORK
Pré

Ari

微信亲运飞艇群I took a course at RISD in semiotics which at the time was nearly impossible to understand. Since then, however, I find myself continually thinking back on what I learned. For example, I think a lot of my work is related to post-modernism... I like to fragment things from different time periods and styles and sort of meld them together.

Justin

微信亲运飞艇群What other aspects of your life do you find help to fire your imagination?

Ari

Apart from the obvious answers (music, movies, museums), mediation is a key part of my process. I've been meditating since I was very little and it provides a concrete basis for my artwork as well as the rest of my life.

Justin

What do you think the key is to leading a fulfilled creative life? Are you satisfied creatively?

Ari

微信亲运飞艇群Yes and no. I have so many things I'd love to work on but I just don't have enough time with a job and other obligations. For me at least, it's so important to keep experimenting. Once the creative process becomes routine, I get bored creating and that comes across in the work.

Justin

Is it important to you to be a part of a creative community like Depthcore? How does it impact / influence you?

SOLO WORK
Quiescent

Ari

I don't know if I can articulate how important being part of Depthcore has been for me... It's one of the main reasons I delved into digital art. It's an amazing community and the feedback people provide is always thoughtful and supportive. People try to foster talent and encourage you to create the best things you can.

Justin

微信亲运飞艇群Your graduated with honours from RISD - how important do you think a formal education in design is to having a successful career as a creative?

Ari

微信亲运飞艇群 I think it depends on the invidual. For me, I needed structure and training. Being at RISD was very challenging but it taught me so much about design which I simply could not have learned on my own. The connections I made there were also very important. That being said, I think it's completely possible to do it on your own, if you're driven and determined.

Justin

微信亲运飞艇群Let's talk books, music, tv, films etc. - who is creating things outside the realm of digital art that interest you right now? Any obscure suggestions that may help illuminate a path to righteousness?

Ari

Ha! Well, I'm kind of obsessed with music (). Right now, I'm loving the new Knife album, Shaking the Habitual—It's got this weird, complex vibe which is providing a nice backdrop for creating new work. Overall, I'm pretty into minimal electronic... Burial, Oneohtrix Point Never, and The Field are sort of the type of sound I'd like to somehow express visually. In terms of books, I'm trying to get through In Search of Lost Time (very slowly). Film wise, I just saw The Master which was impeccably shot and really inspiring.

Justin

Where do you see yourself in five years? Professional goals? Somewhere you want to live? Gruelling physical challenges you plan to attempt?

Ari

微信亲运飞艇群I'd love to be creating digital artwork full time; running my own studio/creative shop would be ideal. I'd like to travel while working as well. I had the oppurtunity to study in Kyoto while in school and love to go back to Japan and work there for a while. Physical challenges, eh? It's been a pipe dream to do the Appalachan Trail but I doubt I'll ever set aside enough time to do it

Justin

微信亲运飞艇群What's the best piece of advice anyone ever gave you? What advice would you give to yourself ten years ago?

Ari

微信亲运飞艇群Don't take yourself so seriously; no one else does. Experiment more!

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