We spoke with this amazing artist to learn more about how he got started in digital art, his journey into blockchain technology, and his cross-chain adventure to find a community for NFTs. They’re releasing a phased limited collection of only 1990 pieces. Here is our Interview with NFT artist and founder from Weevil Studios, Stephen Burger.
Could you tell me a bit about yourself, your background and how you got into NFTs?
Was born and raised in South Africa. Have been drawing or painting since I was a child. My father was a graphic designer by trade and a successful painter. He exhibited and sold hundreds of works over the years. He was physically disabled with many health struggles. His love of art and immense resilience had a huge influence on me.
I studied graphic design when I left school but landed in another career path. Have subsequently worked in the field of prehospital emergency medicine and also did a two-year stint as a firefighter. A lot of my experiences in these fields have formed the lens through which my art is created. I found inspiration (and hope) in people’s resilience under the most extreme duress or difficult circumstances. Art always remained a constant side focus and I’ve done some cover work and book illustrations. Last few years I was focusing on oil paints combining digital multimedia. Eventually, digital work has taken over completely.
Where are you from?
Citizen of New Zealand, originally from Johannesburg South Africa.
What fuels you? One unusual fact about you?
Family, community, nature, spirituality. Human experience and methods of resilience.
Have an extensive comic collection dating back to the American silver age.
How did you get into crypto art?
A few months ago, I came across a piece by Beeple. It’s complex and balanced like a Jackson Pollock painting except with swatches. When examined, each little swatch is an individual work, technically brilliant with clever execution. I further learned about blockchain technology and how art is now legitimized online. Technology has arrived to reinvigorate, even reinvent, the art world. It feels like the beginning of a renaissance.
What projects are you involved with currently?
Have just completed the upload for Freshly Deranged. The elements and layers are hand-illustrated on a digital tablet and then assigned with digital layering to create different matchups.
How did the idea come about, where is the project currently, and what can the community look forward to?
Freshly Deranged started while I was looking at a visual way of expressing the contrast between what is observed on a person’s facial expression/external demeanour, whilst they may be having a completely different (happy or difficult) internal experience. Most of us experience degrees of hiding or suppressing something. Many experience this chronically or even live with a mental disorder. I see this daily through my work. Sometimes people’s eccentricities shine through. I created contrasting elements that, when recombined were telling a story; eyes obscured but covered with zany patterns, a broad smile on a miserable face, chaotically perceived environments, a little bit of humor…I guess it says, in a light way, that people somehow find a way of being. Each piece speaks a little statement.
A second collection is in process of individual black and white pieces. Once that is released there’s another medium-sized collection in the pipeline that will emerge around mid-year.
How would you describe your artistic style?
A little bit of humor. Pronounced contrasts. I am inspired by impressionism and capturing the stillness/space between actions, movement, doing.
What are your favorite themes to explore through your art and why?
I feel we’re all a little mad. The human mind has come to accept that which is not naturally palatable. So, I try to express that urge to consciousness, freedom over mind, rediscovering the balance. This could be in any way, in a portrait, crazy movement, figure work, intense expression, or a comic book tale. The joy of modern art is that anything goes.
Are there any NFT lessons learned you’d like to share with our readers?
For creators, drawing with layers and randomizing software is worthwhile fun; akin to learning a new medium, it’s good to keep experimenting.
There is much inspiration to be found in the online community, so many very talented artists. It’s worth joining a platform, this is only going to grow going forward.
What do you believe are the keys to success for any budding project?
Accept help. If you’re struggling with the smart contract, get a professional to assist. The time you spend confused and debugging coding could be spent on art. You’ll also establish a network for future projects.
Go in with a partner/team who can do the things you can’t and will honestly critique the work. It took months of searching for the right partner before discovering my best friend (who is an accomplished executive and charity organizer) was passionate about crypto and NFT collecting. He was starting his own endeavour, now here we are, having cocreated WeevilStudios, with a first project up and running and the second one near to launch.
What is the biggest NFT you have sold?
We have just now gone live on Freshly Deranged, our first project, so only pieces from that.
Where can collectors learn more about your work?