SR x MDC: Esteban Diacono

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The interview was conducted as part of the SR exhibition “Motion Design, NFTs, and Art.”

The exhibition features Gavin ShapiroaeforiabeyondbolaBlake KathrynSasha KatzAdam PriesterSteven BaltayJames OwensmecceaEsteban DiaconoAlessio De Vecchi, and Render Fruit (click links to view interviews)

Co-organized by SuperRare and Motion Designers Community.


Esteban Diacono – Motion graphics designer and digital artist from Buenos Aires, Argentina. interested in procedural character design, dynamic simulations, fun stuff and weird things in general. ONLY at diaconoesteban.eth

Friction
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On the road to nowhere.

Copycats always fail to give pieces a soul. A person could borrow a concept, throw a bunch of impressive technical fireworks on top of it, add a mediocre title and fail to create a cohesive, interesting piece of art. Again, there’s an emptiness in copies that’s almost palpable, but again, you need to do your research and educate yourself in order to understand this.

I, in particular, have nothing to complain about using assets. They’re just part of the toolkit, and basically everybody uses them. Light kits, HDRIs, Textures, models, Daz characters, factory presets… they’re everywhere and that’s fine by me. On the contrary, the people who simply tokenize tutorials without even changing the camera simply have no moral code. People who pays for that probably thinks they’re buying original content, something crafted based on a concept and a learning process. 

I think collectors need to educate themselves to spot these things, as a way to understand who and what are they supporting with their $.

In my opinion, you have to evaluate the WHOLE. Like, the concept, the execution, the title… everything matters in a piece. Regarding originals and copycats, besides the educations, I think they’re quite easy to spot. How many people emulates Beeple’s tropes? How many tiny people vs large subject pieces have you seen? How many of those are memorable? Copycats always fail to give pieces a soul. A person could borrow a concept, throw a bunch of impressive technical fireworks on top of it, add a mediocre title and fail to create a cohesive, interesting piece of art. Again, there’s an emptiness in copies that’s almost palpable, but again, you need to do your research and educate yourself in order to understand this.

Break the ice.
Edition 1 of 1
Walking in with supreme confidence and mastering the room.
What kind of motion design do you think is worth collecting, what should people look for when determining the value?

Uhm, difficult one. I guess you should always aim for what speaks to you. There’s always going to be somebody more technically proficient, or  a new trend, like particles, 3d scans, whatever. You should collect what you REALLY like, unless you’re collecting for profiting later, which is a completely different game. I would search for uniqueness (not the same as scarce), a story behind the piece. Having said that, I really don’t understand how pricing is perceived in the crypto world. It’s a mystery to me.

How do you develop your own signature styles?

In my case, by elimination and by self reflecting on my limitations. I’m not good with color, I’m not a good modeler… I’m curious, I’m fascinated by physics and have endless patience, and I guess that helped define my style, which tends to involve a dynamic element, or a physicality that’s always present. My animations are like little vignettes, and for better or worse, I think they always work better without too many distractions. Speaking in general, you need to practice and be very rigorous and self aware. Can’t afford to be complacent when looking for your own style.

Rise
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A nap from beyond.
What tools do you use?

Same tools as most do: Cinema 4D, Octane, Redshift, Houdini, Marvelous Designer, Maya for some stuff, Adobe tools, Substance… nothing weird.

The human body, geometric figures, the lack of color / high contrast, the use of metals, the presence of naturalistic elements, an overall bizarre feel.

What themes/subject matter/topics do you often address in your work?

The human body, geometric figures, the lack of color / high contrast, the use of metals, the presence of naturalistic elements, an overall bizarre feel.

Can motion designs become a fine art genre and enter the mainstream art market through cryptoart?

Yes, but it will take time, and a little more evolution both from artists and the market.

The role of social media in your art career?

Huge. Social media was/is responsible of the revival of my career. Thanks to Instagram I have been able to reinvent myself past my forties, something I wasn’t expecting to happen. It helped me tremendously. 

Alchemy
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Transmutation.
Why do you think motion designs are on average highly valued in the crypto art market?

Some artists are bringing extraordinary work, really dazzling pieces that charms some collectors. Experienced and talented motion designers are raising the bar every day. 

What do you hate about cryptoart? What aspect of it should be improved/corrected?

I really don’t like the constant courtship of collectors, or the bold statements carefully designed to attract attention and approval of a certain group. The whole scarcity vs abundance debate kills me because 85% of the time is tilted to the collector side, demanding artists to please and abide in order to get a better average. Also, the technical things surrounding auctions and notifications needs to be improved, providing better chances for creators and collectors.

New Whale.
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When crypto artists find that hot new collector.
What has been your cryptoart experience by far?

So far, incredible. I was lucky enough to enter at a great time, just a bit before the market was flooded by the Instagram crowd who got attracted by the tales of huge sales and the promises of economic independence. I think I’m in the Top 10 of all time sellers in SuperRare, which is wild considering I applied a little over two months ago. Also, GREAT community. I’ve learned a lot, and it’s been by far one of the most exciting things to happen to me in quite some time.

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