Vector Meldrew • Artist Spotlight
What got you in to Crypto art?
I believe it's a better and fairer creative industry than the one we've been working under for all these years. I was already an advocate for decentralisation and had been involved in developing stories that help communicate the benefits of this with an old collaborator who was the founding editor of RWD magazine.
When NFTs clicked for both of us we got really excited and felt like we'd seen the future. I instantly cancelled many aspects of my life to focus on my art and he instantly got a job as CCO of Palm.io. If Crypto art can show the potential of NFT technology, which can in turn showcase the power of decentralisation then i'm very keen to be of service to that revolution.
Where do you find your inspiration?
Looking back over the past 20 years of my creative career (and life!) i've realised that i started taking various unusual risks from a young age.
Most of these experiences started off quite innocently with me thinking along the lines of 'well whats the worst thing that could happen here?' Then often i find out first hand the worst thing that could happen and i'm left with either some kind of near death experience or traumatic incident that i need to recover from.
However the best things this process has provided me with was a need for me to try and communicate what i've learned in story form, which i encode into my artwork. Now i'm older, wiser and understand risk management better i think i am better off just focusing on telling these stories through my art and plan to live a more conservative existence.
What do you think of traditional artwork?
Contemporary art and (some) street art always spoke to me the most. I guess now we have NFTs they would be classed as traditional, right?
Do you think your art is fulfilling a purpose?
The cathartic benefit of making art is a huge fulfilment. Art is a great way to communicate complex topics or releasing emotions creatively in ways that are limited by language.
So yes for me so far it's something thats very beneficial as a mediative process that i am always engaged in. It also keeps me out of trouble.
How did you start out as an artist?
I started in my bedroom as a teenager learning graphics software and playing with Flash animation. Back then tutorials were hard to come by so you just had to figure it out yourself.
Whilst working I could never resonate with the music on mainstream radio stations but I instantly became intrigued by 'pirate radio' and the culture that surrounded it. For those that don't know pirate radio stations are FM broadcasting set-ups, popular in the UK during the early 2000's that broadcasted without a license.
Without rules, red tape and restrictions they were a petri dish for whole new sub genres of music to develop, such a grime, dubstep, drum n bass etc. It was my first time witnessing a decentralised, grass roots punk movement and so i wanted to use my creative skills as a way to contribute to that culture. I would design club flyers, websites and set up forums/IRC chat rooms for local pirate radio stations and record shops. I met some guys in the back of one record shop with an issue of a print magazine and told them i could take them online and build them a community. It lead to creating the first major website in the world for grime music. We were the first platform to feature artists such as Dizzee Rascal, Skepta and Tinie Tempah. From here it opened the door to doing artwork for big artists and household brands, i also launched a VJing career in the early dubstep scene. After reaching the point where i'd founded a production studio and gained many big clients i realised i wanted to start creating work purely for myself again and attempted to re-create the same conditions and mindset that i had in my bedroom as a teenager. This is where i developed a better discipline around personal artwork and developing my creative skills properly. Now with Crypto Art it feels like a full circle moment where i am able to leverage all of that work in the past, my experiences, my network and apply it to my artwork.
Who or what inspires your work?
The best creative process i can find myself in is getting deep into the flow state with a piece of artwork whilst listening to some good music or an interesting podcast. Currently i'm loving people like Lex Fridman, Eric Weinstein, Duncan Trussell or old recordings of philosophers such as Alan Watts or Terrence Mckenna (when i wanna get really weird!)
There is something that motivates me about attempting to simplify the complexity of the subjects these people touch on and encoding it into my artwork. However i'd never want to do this in an obvious way, when creating i like to try and get to a place where i am hardly even thinking and get guided by the unconscious mind.
Which other artist(s) do you admire?
Jake and Dinos Chapman, Joan Cornella, David Mancuso, Max Richter, Ryoji Ikeda, Robert Henke, DJ EZ
Final question, what’s next for you as an artist?
Currently i'm focusing on collaborations as i think it's a ground breaking feature for this technology.
After that I have no idea - and that is what i love about this whole game.
We would like to thank vectormeldrew for giving up their time to collaborate on this with us.