DigitalFruit- Elijah Zakharov

DigitalFruit is an interview series from Adafruit showcasing some of our favorite digital fine artists from around the world. As we begin this new decade with its rapidly changing landscape, we must envision our path through a different lens.  Over the next few weeks we’ll feature many innovative perspectives and techniques that will inspire our maker community to construct a bold creative frontier.  The only way is forward.

1. Where are you based?

I live in Russia. In a small city called Smolensk. It is 245 miles from Moscow.

2. Tell us about your background?

I was born in 1992 in a family of artists. Since childhood, I was engaged in creativity. From the age of 12, I tried to compose music and I even released a music album.  But my main focus was fine art. I graduated from art school. And after graduating from high school, I decided to study as an architect. During the training, I developed a passion for computer technology, in particular, computer modeling and design.

After graduation, I worked in the architectural field for about 2 years.  I soon began to realize that I lacked creativity in this rather precise profession, so I decided to radically change the direction of my activity. In parallel with this, I began to get sick.  None of the doctors can diagnose me. But my body and mental state collapse as the disease progresses. For this reason, I could not continue the architectural activity.

3.  What inspires your work?

Sorry to write about this, but as it turns out, this is my main reason why I do what I do. I know that there are many diseases worse than mine, but what happens to me is at the core of my work.

All of my work is, to one degree or another, a self-portrait of my condition. The process of creating art is the only thing that helps me escape from the disease and at the same time describes the disease. I work as in meditation; I am completely based on the remnants of my feelings and emotions.

Most likely my condition is the basis of my inspiration, no matter how selfish it may sound.

4.  What are you currently working on?

The only thing the doctors told me is that I have the ability to hear colors and see music. This statement was made on the basis of a study of my brain. I have a genetically developed parietal lobe of the brain. This phenomenon is called SYNESTHESIA. The essence of this phenomenon is the ability to see the parameters of sounds with a different color spectrum. It is responsible for the connection of music and emotions, as well as for musical tones and rhythms in colors.

I myself noticed that I really like working with musicians. I can transfer the idea of a musical author to an album or cover. I can transfer music to an image quite easily. This later became my main activity. But this activity is part of the design and only half belongs to art.

I also do exclusive works and participate in art exhibitions. (True, because of the global pandemic, this part is now in great decline.).  Here I can express myself 100%, putting in the meaning of an image with what I consider to be really important and showing it to others.

5.  Describe your process and what tools you like to use.

Oh, I really like to complicate my life. HAHA.

I use various techniques to create my work.

For example, this work below was created on the basis of an image that was scanned and further processed in a 3D editor. And I’m sure the list of techniques will be replenished, but unfortunately or fortunately I can’t predict what I will use in the future to create work.

6.  What does your workplace or studio look like? Do you work in silence or listen to music while you work?

I have a separate room for work in my apartment. I can say this is my studio. There I do everything related to creativity. It contains several computers, musical instruments, photo equipment, here I conduct photo shoots.

I usually work with music; it helps to concentrate. I love quality music and listen to a large number of genres.

7.  How has technology shaped your creative vision?

Technology has opened up new possibilities for achieving techniques or effects. Indeed, technology has helped create a new style in art, such as digital art.

Many still do not take it seriously. But I consider this a new breath of fresh air in art.

A computer is a canvas. Software is brushes and paints. It just lies in another dimension of understanding.

Technology in art has given me the opportunity to look at the world from a different angle. Digital art as a genre allows you to realize ideas that 50 years ago were impossible to implement. And this sphere is developing every second, which cannot but surprise.

8.  Any tips for someone interested in getting started in the digital art form?

I can give advice based on my own experience.

Two things that are necessary are the constant study of new software and the lack of fear of experimentation. And the end result of the work should be liked by oneself, so that someone else can like it.

9.  Where do you see generative and digital art heading in the future?

The development of this genre of art is inevitable. Technology is constantly changing, the new comes in the place of the old, as in real life. In my opinion, it is impossible to predict what will happen next in digital art.  But at the same time, I believe that there is a direct link between fashion eras and digital creativity.  Perhaps in the near future it will be fashionable to engage in digital photo processing, as in the early 2000s. But these are only assumptions.

Elijah Zakharov







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DigitalFruit is curated by Adafruit lead photographer- Andrew Tingle


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