SR x MDC: James Owen

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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.


James Owen – Art | Code | Design

What kind of motion design do you think is worth collecting, what should people look for when determining the value? 

Motion Design has the beauty of being able to fit and flex into many categories of traditional art, albeit from Fine Art to data-driven, abstract short-form or long-form cinematic film narratives. It’s this ability to be an ever-evolving medium that makes Motion Design so interesting as an art form and worth collecting because there’s something for everyone’s taste.

Betta Ep.3
Edition 1 of 1
Gentle, elegant, and free-flowing. The third piece in a three-part limited edition series inspired by the effortless beauty of Siamese fighting (Betta) fish.

I’ve been fascinated with the crossroads of technology and design. Visuals that are both compositionally clean and simple in appearance but complex and deep in execution is what excites me and where I focus my interests and style of work.

How do you develop your own signature styles? 

Signature styles take time to develop and craft. Some artists land on a technique or aesthetic that speaks most to them and continue to produce work through that lens. Other artists can be more fluid in their approach and adapt to the trends and tastes of the tide. Personally, I’ve been fascinated with the crossroads of technology and design. Visuals that are both compositionally clean and simple in appearance but complex and deep in execution is what excites me and where I focus my interests and style of work.

What tools do you use? 

If a piece of work can be instantly linked to a tool or plugin, it loses its magic no matter how visually stunning it is. The tool shouldn’t determine the outcome, influence it – sure, but not define it.

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

I think motion design has already entered the mainstream art market.
The crypto art scene will only further solidify motion design into an art genre of its own.

The role of social media in your art career? 

Having worked in the commercial industry for over a decade, my work has been seen by millions of people via traditional advertising. Social media on the other hand has been my vehicle to promote my personal work which has been very rewarding so far.

Should motion design be considered art or design? What’s the difference between art and design in your opinion? 

Art and design can be much of the same, and at the same time completely different. I personally define design as to how something is formed or built and define art as to how something is appreciated or experienced as a whole. For example, the design of a sculpture can be a series of complex decisions, from the materials used through to the way it’s built to move. Standing back and taking it all in is where one can truly appreciate the art and craft of the piece.

Suspended
Edition 1 of 1
Suspended in animation
What value has crypto art added to this motion designer community? What do you think of the team-up between motion designers & crypto art?

It’s an exciting time for designers in the space who have been making personal work for years and years with not much further recognition than a few likes or retweets, or a sporadic project here and there. Finally, our years and years of crafting and honing our skillsets can be appreciated on a more complimentary stage for the medium unlike anything ever before. It feels like this is only the beginning and as more artists and collectors get involved, we’re going to see some interesting trends come out of it.

The Fold Ep1
Edition 1 of 1

The Fold, part of my DesignEpisodes series, has been featured in various architectural and design publications around the world. A mesmerizing blend of fine art and motion design.
What do you hate about crypto art? What aspect of it should be improved/corrected?

Like most things that grab the publics’ attention on mass, it can be very difficult to cut through the fat to find the hidden gems. I think crypto art platforms are at risk of getting over-bloated so it’ll be up to them to define how to sort the work into more digestible chunks. The music industry has been plagued with this from its infancy right through to the present day. Finding new music has itself become a big business. I don’t think the crypto art scene will be too far removed from some of the music industry’s approaches to cataloging and organizing.

The Fold Ep2
Edition 1 of 1

The Fold, part of my DesignEpisodes series, has been featured in various architectural and design publications around the world. A mesmerizing blend of fine art and motion design.
What has been your crypto art experience by far? 

So far I have been sat on the sidelines leaning in with eyes wide open learning about the scene and the people involved in it which has been fascinating. Crypto art has landed in a big way and is starting to become the foundation for a lot of artists to support themselves going forward. Truly exciting times ahead.

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SuperRare is a marketplace to collect and trade unique, single-edition digital artworks.

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