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Kitasavi on Maximizing the Details

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Kitasavi on Maximizing the Details

Kitasavi mixes maximalism and minimalism to spatially sculpt digital paintings. He speaks on disassembling their work and on creating unique collecting experiences.

Could you tell us a little bit about yourself and your personal background as an artist?

I've been drawing since I was a kid and went to art school for 10 years to study classic realistic art forms such as painting, drawing, and sculpture. By the end of my education, I found painting and drawing the same things in the same way boring. So I became a graphic designer to have a more stable job. Despite working in various design jobs, I still felt unfulfilled. I decided to go freelance and started experimenting with digital art on Instagram. I eventually learned 3D sculpting and ZBrush, which led to my current style taking shape.

sketches of Disassembled objects
sketches of Disassembled objects

How would you describe your aesthetic world?

I try to avoid defining my style and I try to create works that don't resemble anything that exists already. I am inspired by everyday life in cities and take inspiration from things like signs, cafes, people, and buildings. I often use food in my work and my style can be described as a mix of maximalist and minimalism, with elements of abstraction and figurative art. My work often has a chaotic and raw feel to it. I work digitally using a graphic tablet, ZBrush, and VR, using a sculpting and painting technique. I sculpt each object like a piece of art, and then use these 3D objects like 2D brushstrokes in the final artwork. I improvise while creating my work, but I am also a control freak and pay attention to every detail to make sure everything is perfect.

Early prototyping of Disassembled #39
Early prototyping of Disassembled #39
Early prototyping of Disassembled #52
Early prototyping of Disassembled #52

How did the rise of Ethereum and NFTs change the way that you thought about your practice and monetizing your work?

I started publishing my digital art on Instagram and learned about NFTs from other artists in 2020. Back then, I hadn't been involved with cryptocurrency in any way and didn't know how to work with it. I visited OpenSea and found it strange and chaotic, so I lost interest. In February 2021, I saw a story on Instagram by David Porte Beckefeld who was already on Foundation and he offered to tell me more about NFTs. He helped me set up my wallet and I minted my first three works.

Before I started doing NFTs, I was creating artworks but working mostly on commissions, creating things people would like and hire me for. NFTs gave me more freedom and my perception changed. I could make something I wanted to do myself, experiment more, and work on each piece for a bigger amount of time. I could earn more with NFTs than with commissions. It gave me the ability to work on a piece as much as I wanted until it was perfect — something I hadn't been able to do before.

The assembly process with Disassembled objects
The assembly process with Disassembled objects

Could you briefly explain the concept behind your drop — Disassembled?

The concept of Disassembled is in the name. I usually create large and complex works consisting of many different objects such as creatures, symbols, and shapes — they're maximalist and very complex. Sometimes people reach out to me saying they love a certain creature or a symbol, or shape. After a positive reaction to a finished piece I posted, with slides of the different objects within the work rendered separately, I thought that I could make something more with them. 

I saw Drops as a unique chance to present a more minimal form of my work. Prior to the drop, my work primarily consisted of larger, maximalist pieces that were composed of a vast array of many smaller, individual pieces. For 'Disassembled' I decided to break all of these smaller individual pieces up into their own unique pieces for people to collect. This made the work much more accessible, and gave the opportunity for a wider audience to get a piece of the work. 

I also made an edition piece with all the “Disassembled” pieces assembled, and sent it to everyone who minted from the drop. So all the collectors have these smaller pieces of art and they have a bigger picture with all of them assembled together, and they can try to find their piece in the bigger work. 

Disassembled objects, assembled.
Disassembled objects, assembled.

How did you think about pricing the work specifically? 

It wasn’t too challenging for me to decide on the pricing because I had experience selling 1 of 1’s on Foundation, and an existing collector audience. I kept track of how much time and effort went into my drop, in comparison to my 1 of 1’s and used that as a benchmark. I also wanted the pricing for my drop to be accessible, so I priced them 10 times lower than what I would sell my one of ones. This worked out well, because the drop sold out in half an hour and I generated around 3-4x more than what my 1 of 1’s sell for — which made it all worth it.

All these objects are hand sculpted by me, and they are interesting and fun enough to be enjoyed on their own

If you could give any piece of advice to other creatives who are thinking about releasing a body of work this way, what would you tell them?

This feature, Drops, changed the way of thinking for me. Before Drops, I was only focussed on 1 of 1s. So I was used to just making one work, posting it, minting it, and that's it. This was a bigger project, so it made me think of the ways people can interact with the art of these pieces. I think it went pretty well. I had my first experience with adding metadata, it was pretty fun and it made me think how I can use it in my next Drop.

My advice is just do what you’re good at and to think about how people would interact, what people want to get, and what will be interesting for them to discover when the drop is revealed. I think the pieces need to be really different from each other and people need to be surprised when they're revealed.

How do you get your art out there?

Twitter is a main platform for marketing and promoting NFTs. That might change, but for now it’s what we have. You need to interact with other people, communicate with them,  interact with collectors, and tell them about work you are doing as much as possible. This is pretty similar to what you need to do in the real art world. You need to create connections and be active, support other artists and have conversations with collectors. That’s what I’ve been doing. I've been tweeting previews of my works, some work-in-progress pictures, and I’ve been able to cultivate a tight-knit group of collectors. This helped me sell out my first Drop on Foundation.

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