FACT #94: *Rise up lights*
Don’t even read this post if you don’t have time, just spend what time you do have checking out Nicholas Di Genova’s site. Seriously, quit reading this and go look at his website. Okay, that’s a lie, you should also watch the video. When we were in Toronoto, we got a chance to hang out with Nicholas for a bit, see some of his latest work and chat about his process.
(music by rachael monet beavers)
Here is some of his work from his site. The detail and time that goes into each of his pieces is unreal. So Nicholas has two different styles. In one he draws collections of creatures, usually fantastical and strangely cross-pollinated with other animals/plants and the other style is his grid work. I think I remember a quote of his from another interview where he says that he wanted to see what 8,000 birds look like just in one place and so a lot of his work is just that. Titles like, 315 canines, mixed flock of 315 birds, 88 fiercest amphibians in the animal kingdom, again, check out his site — be amazed. His latest show is going to have a massive piece with 20,000 different butterflies. We didn’t get a chance to see it but he said it was about 4′ x 6′. He said that from about 5ft – 10ft away it looks just like a gray scale. The detail in his work is unbelievable. Another crazy thing is that he draws everything twice. Once in his sketch book and then the final. That’s not too crazy, to have a sketchy version and then the final thing. He tried to tell us the ones in his sketch book are rougher, but then he showed one of the “sketch book” versions…it was beautiful and it may as well have been the final.
One of the awesome perks about this trip is that we’ve been able to meet a lot of the people we looked up to in school. Nicholas is no exception. Martin and I actually started a project where one of us drew a monster and then passed it off, redrew it/evoled it, then passed it back. The cycle continued until we created the perfect monster. This was something we did in school and it was purely inspired from a project Nicholas Di Genova was involved with called the road of knives. The blurb from their site describes it as, “Zak Smith, Shawn Cheng, and Nicholas Di Genova take turns drawing monsters fighting each other… ” It’s that simple but it’s an epic battle, check it out sometimes.
Nicholas is a super chill guy, really down to earth and incredibly passionate about his work. We were so stoked to be able to hang out with him for a bit. He also hooked us up with two of his books that he has published. Imagine some delicious chocolate that tastes magical in your mouth, well that’s what every page of his book is except for your eye balls. One is about 5in x 5in and we keep it on our dashboard and look at it when we get bored. Clearly we’re huge fans, we just don’t want anyone else to miss out on this dudes work. If an Eggtopus Borg can’t inspire you, something is wrong!