Today’s amazing NFT artist interview is with the phenomenal Michelle von Kalben who’s amazing 3d art is collected by some of the top NFT Collectors on SuperRare with some selling about 10 ETH. We are incredibly thankful for the opportunity for this interview.
Where are you from?
I was born and raised in Germany. Before I started my career as an artist I lived in New Zealand for a year trying to open my mind for new perspectives. I don’t think I would be where I am now without this experience.
Can you tell us about your background and what lead you down the path to becoming an artist and ultimately experimenting with NFTs?
I briefly mentioned my year abroad in the previous question. New Zealand is one of the most beautiful countries I’ve been able to visit. Seeing all these incredible photographs from there made me appreciate the country on a whole different level. That’s the first time I had the urge to capture the earth’s beauty. Back in Germany I bought my first camera in 2017 and started shooting nature daily. It took me 2 to 3 years to feel more confident about my work and that’s when I started learning composite photography. That basically means that I take multiple different images either at the same or at different locations and then combine them in the editing process. I shifted from what I see when taking the images to what I feel when doing so. During quarantine I lost all motivation because I couldn’t do what excites me the most: travel and explore. That’s when I started learning 3D, which is a different but equally important part of my career, which I mostly focus on in the NFT space as it allows me to do better storytelling.
A lot of my motives for certain life choices have always been excitement, passion and curiosity. When I first heard about NFTs it lit a fire in me almost immediately. I didn’t think too long before giving it a go myself and since joining the space my life has changed in so many different ways.
When did you mint your first NFT? What platform did you choose and why? I minted my first NFT exactly on 31st of March, 2021 on Foundation. Back then I of course didn’t know enough to evaluate what platform fits best for what I’m creating but I had a good feeling about Foundation overall and it turned out to be the beginning of a wonderful journey.
Can you tell us one thing you cannot live without?
This is a tough question as there is definitely more than one thing. Traveling and creating art is one of them. Creating art doesn’t go without traveling for me personally as that’s where I seek inspiration, where I can totally free my mind and charge up my creative batteries. Even though I mostly create art in a 3D software, discovering new places in the real world helps me immensely to make my vision come to life.
Who is your favorite artist
Ryan Talbot is an artist that comes to my mind immediately. His work is very unique and dreamy and just by looking at his character “Lily” exploring the world I feel better immediately.
What made you pursue NFT art?
If I’m honest with you: I started with the hope of making an income by doing what I love – creating art. Very quickly I started to realize though that there is so much more than this – community, innovation, the possibility of being part of something so meaningful – that’s the reason I stayed.
What is the one piece of NFT art you wish you had purchased but missed out on? Any piece created by Ryan Talbot – as I have massive respect for his skills. Besides that Azukis – I love the art and was about to pull the trigger right when they became way too out of my budget. And of course Bored Ape, but back when they launched I didn’t buy NFTs as investments yet, so at the time I didn’t realize they could turn into that amazing community.
If you could travel anywhere in the world where would you go? Why this location? Greenland, New Zealand with a camera and Saudi Arabia – but basically anywhere I will be blown away by its nature. Greenland and Saudi are pretty big opposites but I would love to experience both. Greenland for its incredible icebergs and northern lights, Saudi for its culture and deserts. I think Saudi Arabia is misunderstood in so many ways, which is why I am even more curious to experience it myself. New Zealand made it onto the list, even though I lived there for a year, because nowadays I am traveling way differently and these days nature evokes way more emotions in me than back in 2016.
What are other passions besides art? Why?
Food and sports. I am honestly the biggest foodie you will ever meet, I love experimenting with trying new recipes but of course also going out to eat. Sports I (unfortunately) just recently rediscovered as I was constantly feeling unaccomplished and unmotivated. I was staying up late, sleeping in and just overall treating my body and mind very badly. Changing up a few things in life including daily sports helped me get my balance back.
Do you make other forms of art?
Within the NFT space I focus on 3D art, as I said before. But photography will always remain one of my biggest passions which is why I carry a 15kg camera backpack with me everywhere I go or travel to.
How did you come up with your specific style?
This question hits a weak spot as it is my only insecurity regarding my art. I don’t have a certain color scheme or an always returning subject in my art that will make people realize immediately it belongs to Michelle von Kalben. My style is a combination of nature and storytelling. Since I absolutely HATE limiting myself with anything I always follow my gut feeling, I do what feels right in that exact moment for that exact purpose. Sometimes this will be green northern lights over a snowy landscape, other times it will be magical portals in a volcanic landscape. I always come up with a storyline first and plan the art based on what I want to communicate second.
How has your style evolved over the years?
When I started my creative journey I loved to oversaturate everything I shot with my camera. Right after the phase of desaturation and low contrast started. At this point I found a way to balance it out but what always remained the same is that I want my images or animations to
look clean. When I shoot images in nature I often spent hours cleaning up the images as I think it makes an insane difference.
What is coming in the near future?
I have two exciting projects I am working on. One of them is @NFTKollabs which was actually founded by one of my collectors I got to meet in person in Miami. I will be one of three artists in this project and the main goal here is giving back to the community and finding ways to support as many new artists as possible. Another project is still at the very beginning but it will be a small sized collectible project that will have quite innovative aspects to it.
If you could collaborate with one artist who would it be?
I think at this point I don’t even need to name him anymore. But the name starts with “R” and ends with “yan”. It would be the biggest honor to work with him on a nature scene together with “Lily the Robot”.
Do you have any upcoming drops?
I don’t for now but I’m creating art daily. Due to feeling quite bad the past few months I was a little inactive in the community. Changing that is my number one goal for now. I want to connect with as many artists and people in the space in general, as possible. I’m also planning to reward not only my previous collectors but also everyone placing bids on my artworks as a token of gratitude. So for now I will focus on what’s there already.