SR x MDC: Blake Kathryn

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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.


Blake Kathryn is a Los Angeles based 3d artist with a surreal futurist aesthetic. Her work fuses vibrant palettes with ethereal undertones, creating dreamlike experiences across various forms of media. She has collaborated with Adidas, Complex, Fendi, Jimmy Choo, Lil Nas X & more.

𝓟𝓪𝓼𝓼𝓪𝓰𝓮
Edition 1 of 1
Those who wait to wander ✧ 1/3 of the Vertigo series ✧ 1280×1600 ✧ 2020

I find simply looking into an artists’ history effectively showcases their talents and motivation.

I find simply looking into an artists’ history effectively showcases their talents and motivation. When I look to collect personally I enjoy seeing the creator’s background, evolution over the years, and recent works of course. Simple research always illuminates these areas. 

Art is subjective, trying to set a piece on a quantitative spectrum is nearly impossible. That being said of course sometimes a trend takes flight and by educating yourself on the history of that medium or style you can nearly always trace those familiar works to the original artist or piece that inspired them, holding the source to a higher esteem. 

How do you develop your own signature styles?

I can only speak for my personal journey on this. When initially learning the 3D medium I was overwhelmed at the potential it allowed, which also forced a focus within me to find what I truly connected with so I could progress. My love for lighting and color was born nearly immediately, allowing for me to study and hone in on how I could own those details in my work. Over the years that love, diligence with my craft, and consistent subjects manifested my signature touch today. For those feeling lost or early in their journey, look inwards and find what speaks to you-technically or conceptually. Those reflective moments, your unique background, and commitment to practice will inevitably reveal your style to you.

𝕥𝕣𝕒𝕧𝕖𝕣𝕤𝕖
Edition 1 of 1
Those who wander to start anew ✧ 1/3 of the Vertigo series ✧ 1280×1600 ✧ 2020
What tools do you use? 

It’s a growing library but at the moment my primary programs are Cinema 4D, Redshift/Octane render, Adobe CC, and Zbrush. Secondary programs I use are Daz3d, Marvelous Designer, and an array of C4D plugins to better optimize my workflow.

Being in LA, my love for cinema has boomed over the years as well, solidifying my adoration for art deco, the science fiction genre and cinematography. As that love grew its inclusion in my work became quite noticeable, resulting in fashion-focused studies on futuristic women and complex architectural studies.

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

I’m blessed with extremely vivid dreams and dream recall, growing up I was often more in the clouds than present. This very active relationship with my subconscious is a top-of-mind subject I pursue, often translating dreamspaces that organically come to mind. Being in LA, my love for cinema has boomed over the years as well, solidifying my adoration for art deco, the science fiction genre and cinematography. As that love grew its inclusion in my work became quite noticeable, resulting in fashion-focused studies on futuristic women and complex architectural studies.

Seven Sirens
Edition 1 of 1
Character focus from Seven Sirens, a short film exploring the familial bond between, and allure of, the seven deadly sins ✧ Score by Mariode ✧ 1500×1500 ✧ Full short film at youtube.com/blakekathryn
Can motion designs become a fine art genre and enter the mainstream art market through cryptoart? 

That is my sincere hope! As someone who works in both still and motion to see animated work collected at a respectable price point feels complimentary to the artist/patron relationship that has always accompanied fine art. If this continues I think that placed value will ensure motion design has a seat at the higher art table.

How to define motion design (characteristics etc.)? 

It moves! Joking-not-joking aside it’s a medium that at its best can transport a viewer into feeling they’re immersed with the subject they’re witnessing, whether that be a hypnotic loop or ethereal environment pan. It’s built to be seen, often to a larger audience, and encourages interpretation on finer details such as camera and lighting choices, editing decisions, music vs. visual relationship, etc.

Motion designs’ role in contemporary culture? 

With how mobile and short-lived entertainment/media has become in the past decade motion design is integral in attracting attention. The boom in artists who use motion, sometimes because of that fact alone, is hard to ignore. Motion can easily trigger a thumb stopping moment allowing for greater opportunities in personal and commercial realms to make a lingering impression.

The role of social media in your art career?

I wouldn’t be where I am today without it. I didn’t utilize social to share my artwork until I began learning 3D (previously I studied and commercially worked in graphic design). The community that formed around it over the past 5 years is the sole reason I was able to transition from my design background into a professional 3D artist, including introducing me to colleagues who I view as close friends today.

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

I personally don’t subscribe to the divide of art and design, I feel they rely on each other to succeed in their respective realms. If I had to give black and white descriptions, I’d say art is pursuing what speaks to your soul, whereas design tends to have a commercial or audience-reliant output. In today’s world both motives are often present, hence seeing the two as a symbiotic pairing. That being said, I absolutely feel motion design flexes between art and design, just as film does, it comes down to the individual piece’s purpose.

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

In large, this market is the first to allow authentic sales of motion pieces, not merely a still frame as a print or temporary immersive experience. It’s a tangible product, which previously was difficult to even fathom being able to produce and sell in a valued manner. Also, to purchase motion design in cryptoart is the most true-to-medium exchange that can happen. The work is born and crafted digitally, to be collected in that same realm keeps the collector/source relationship intimate.

What value has crypto art added to this motion designer community? What do you think of the team up between motion designers & cryptoart?

Crypto art in general has allowed the digital medium to be viewed through a fine arts lens, where value and tokenized pieces can truly make an impact on the greater art community. As an avid gallery goer pre-Covid it was hard to not feel remorse for the lack of digital art’s presence in those spaces. Motion design especially was rare to come by, as it isn’t quite tangible to “own” in the traditional sense. To see these barriers being broken down while the crypto art community is still so young excites me more than anything else in recent industry years.

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

I feel I’m too fresh to the scene to properly answer this! There are moments I wish I didn’t have to market myself on other social platforms, as the bulk of my followers aren’t within the crypto community. Beyond the spread of community across various social channels I don’t have a critique as of yet.

What has been your cryptoart experience by far?

It has been quite an optimistic experience, with what seems like an expansive and promising future. To see value placed onto my personal works that compliment my commercial rates enables me to focus on the more intimate areas of my craft in a way I didn’t feel was possible as a digital artist before. I’ve really appreciated building relationships with collectors as well, to have a personal exchange before selling a piece makes the process so heartwarming. 

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

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