VAD, is a self taught, 3D digital based artist, sculpting his ideas into reality with a mouse and keyboard. His creations are mysterious and dreamlike, leaving us wanting to see more with each intricate design, as he embarks on a journey through the captivating realm of his digital craftsmanship. These past couple of years he has made a name for himself on social media, having several of his artworks going viral. His work has been described as “beautifully disturbing” at times, and by making these pieces he tries to touch on the deep human emotions that most of us face on a daily basis.
Hi Vad! Thank you for sitting down with me. First question that I always ask. How does a regular day look like for you in New York?
I like to start my day by writing out what my objectives are for that day and what my goals for the future are. Then I workout and throughout this time I fast until around 3pm to help wake my brain up. But after the workout is when I start working on projects for the rest of the day.
I’m curious. Growing up, what kind of kid were you, what did you enjoy doing and how did you spend your time?
For a very long time through elementary school until then end of middle school I was obsessed with claymations. Because of this I was always playing with clay and making my own stop motion videos. As I grew up I slowly stopped working with all of that and just had hobbies like soccer and video games and was obsessed with finding new music. It wasn’t until around 2017 when I got back into art.
I read somewhere that you’re self taught and started playing around with Photoshop back in 2017. Can you talk to me about what sparked your interest in digital design and 3D? As well as what you did before you discovered Photoshop?
So yeah as I said I was always obsessed with music and anything underground. In 2013 I got into the beginning of the soundcloud era and was listening to artists like Bones, Corbin, Bobby Raps, Yung Lean,Raider Klan, and Suicide Boys. Seeing all of these artists create amazing music from their bedrooms inspired me so much that I started making beats, but in 2017 I found that it just wasn’t for me. Because I still had the urge to create I started using photoshop to purely make album covers for people because I wanted to be a part of that world but started to have a really fun time making art of my own.
With that in mind. What made you gravitate towards 3D and digital art, and not something more traditionel like painting or ceramics for example?
I think the reason is purely because I was so comfortable working on my pc with photoshop that I felt really confident about using Blender. With photoshop I had to meticulously work on shadows and lighting where as in 3D you just set up a light and the software does the rest. This gave me the freedom to virtually create whatever I was thinking. However recently I just got back into sculpting with real clay and I’m really excited to make a bunch of physical pieces with it.
Alright. So you’ve been working with blender and 3D sculpting for about 2 years now right? Please correct me if I’m wrong. And in that short period of time you’ve already gained a lot of success and a loyal following on social media. What has that experience been like?
Yeah I created my first sculpture at the beginning of 2021. For around a year it was very slow and I was constantly experimenting with my style. Then in the spring of 2022 my piece “Losing It” got a good amount of attention. There’s been some ups and downs that come with this attention but I’m just enjoying the process and want to keep expanding my style as much as I can.
Back in 2022 you described your style as “beautifully disturbing.” Talk to me a little bit about that. Do you still feel that way about it?
Yes 100%. I really enjoy the idea of making a piece that can have someone almost confused as to how they should feel when looking at it. Something that can cause someone to stare at it but isn’t able to look away because their mind is being pulled from both sides.
The various surreal scenes in your artworks. How do you come up with them? and what’s the inspiration behind them?
A lot of my inspiration comes from music, video games, and anime. Some song lyrics can just paint a picture in my head and then I create that in my own interpretation. Then there’s times where I will have an entire idea pop into my head out of complete randomness. There’s really no formula to it for me.
In previous interviews you’ve mentioned that gore and surrealism are your primary motivators. Can you talk to me a little bit about that?
Yeah so my favorite artist of all time Zdzislaw Beksinski. He was a Polish artist who grew up during WWII and a lot of his work reflects the tragedies he witnessed throughout that time. I’m not sure why but his work hits me in the chest every time I look at it. But also growing up I always had a fascination with the gore that came from human imaginations. A lot of dark claymations exist and it think seeing all of those as a kid really made me fixate on that style of expression.
Can you walk me through your creative process. From beginning, to end result?
A lot of the time I will have a full scene crafted in my head or I have it typed in my notes. I usually start with the environment and get a feel of the vibe. Then I move into sculpting out my characters and features. It can be a long drawn out process for me just to get a hand or facial expression right. Once it’s rendered out I move it over to Photoshop and do post color correction. It’s funny, 9 times out of 10 the final piece is always different from what I initially set out to create.
What motivates you?
I think the only thing that truly motivates me is to constantly be working on projects I’m passionate about at that time. When there’s nothing on my plate it feels like there’s something missing in my life. It sounds corny but it’s as if creating art is some sort of vice that I need in order to function on a daily basis.
How would you describe a perfect day?
To be honest a perfect day is everything I mentioned in the first question. But also including that I complete a piece and already have one or two more in the works.
Any future projects coming up?
Yes, so many projects in the works, personal, collaborations, digital, physical. I don’t want to give out too many details but I’ve been working with a manufacturer recently to release something that people have been asking years for. Can’t wait to finally reveal it in the coming weeks.
Alright Vad. I always ask these two questions at the end of an interview. The first is. What’s your favorite movie(s) and why?
This is a controversial take but I’ve never been that big of a movie person. I’ve always been into shows like south park, it’s always sunny in philadelphia, and many different animes. But growing up I was fixated on youtube from the year it started up until now, and that’s where I consume most of my media.
The second is. What song(s) are you currently listening to the most right now?
Currently I’m very deep into the new underground world of dnb. There’s so many amazing artists on the come up like Blksmiith, hxly xo, and black balloons that are bringing back that old style and switching it up into something more fresh.