A celebration of creators at the intersection of internet art, virtual reality, multi-sensory design and digital wellness, who embody the spirit of Luxury Escapism.
Enter a world where fantasy, architecture and beautiful hues take over your screen on instagram. Blake Kathryn (@blakekathryn) is the creator, visionary, and artist behind these spectacular scenes. From 3D rendered creatures, to some of the most beautiful architecture imagined.
Who are you and what do you do?
Hello! Thanks for having me. My name is Blake Kathryn, I currently reside in LA creating surreal futurist dreamscapes and concept work. I split my time between my personal craft and working with people seeking to color outside the lines.
What is your creative process?
I always give myself some time to step away, sketch and go through books and collected inspiration to hone in on an idea. Once feeling confident with my base concept I begin digitally constructing my piece, re-visiting my initial notes along the way to push the direction. Ideally I like to take a day or so to step away and revisit with a refreshed perspective before rendering and going into post. When I was first learning especially, I would rush pieces and came upon realizing the limitation in not allowing things to breathe during the process. It’s a luxury I try to implement when able.
What made you start creating these 3D rendered artworks?
I used to work in an extremely minimal area of design — iconography and geometric outlined illustrations. A couple years into that I felt I hadn’t really found myself in that area, though I loved digitally crafting scenes and objects. Upon researching other areas in design, 3D seemed like an accessible and intriguing field so I took the dive.
What is something weird that gets you inspired?
Haha, I don’t think I have any out there methods! It’s a rotation of a few loves: tech-free long walks, studying films notably those that excel in cinematography, and reading. All allow me to reach a nearly meditative state where concepts more often that not pop up unexpectedly.
Describe your aesthetic in 3 words.
Lush, ethereal, and daydream.
How has the internet influenced your work?
Internet communities definitely helped shape my early work–vaporwave, tumblr, lofi aesthetics, etc. Overall it’s a great platform for sharing and an amazing time to be able to wiggle your way into new projects and initiatives. Without it I wouldn’t have met so many amazing colleagues, formed my career or felt an active peer pressure to better myself continually.
Can a machine create art? Why or why not?
It’s all a matter of perspective. Do I think current machines create art? No, I think they regurgitate what their machine learning and/or programming allows them to. Photography was initially snubbed in the fine arts due to being a tool, but the person behind the lens is what elevates it. When machines hit the level of conscious thinking and implement that into their process I’d say that qualifies their creations as art.
Is technology good or evil — why?
I like very few moments of Black Mirror if that gives you an answer. I do feel the dependency on social media is extremely mentally unhealthy, I’m guilty of it myself. As a whole though, most people are innately good and it’s just a matter of seeing tech as a means of bettering your life. Keeping in touch with loved ones, unlimited educational and news sources, forming remote friendships, video into a meeting where you’re able to wear sweatpants without anyone the wiser. There’s too many positives to be black and white.
What is your ultimate escape?
I think about Costa Rica a lot. An abundance of nature, warmth, varying ecosystems and tropical views for days. Yes please.
If you had a magic power, what would it be?
Someone once asked me what boring super power would I have if I could pick. At the time I couldn’t think of one, since then however I have heavily decided: sleeping effortlessly on planes. A cooler, more super, version of that is teleportation. Unlimited exploration potential.
Best sources of inspiration?
Concept art books are a current favorite, I love that you not only get visual fodder but also an insight into the thought process behind the works. Feeding my inner cinephile is also a regular practice.
Favorite websites? — surprise us!
round.boys on Instagram is a daily visit, how are they so round. I also very much enjoy Chillhop’s assorted Youtube playlists, their illustrator creates gorgeous loops and the tracks themselves calm my anxious soul. Lastly, uigradients.com has a pixel perfect library of colors to refresh the eyes.
What is one thing about you that we wouldn’t expect?
I am incapable of operating a bike, car, roller skates, anything with wheels. No peripheral abilities or balance I guess, it’s always a stressful and usually damaging time.
What color is your aura?
True love never dies and my heart belongs to a vibrant mint green, #78ffd6 is always a treat. Side note, I hate most sweets but mint ice cream has a strong hold of my heartstrings.
What work are you most proud of?
An ongoing passion has been creating environments and scenes. There’s a couple a year that I can look back on and still feel totally at peace with them. It’s a rare feeling to love older work with the same level of fondness.
What is your dream project?
I‘d love to create an interactive experience where others can enter and explore a modest world that’s been manifesting within my mind (and sketchbooks) for some time. Not sure at this point what the final output would be, I imagine something under the XR umbrella.