Hi! I’m xibbit – but you can call me xib!
Where are you from?
I am from Canada. I was born and raised in a small town in Southwestern, Ontario, surrounded by some of the flattest farmland you’ll ever find! I currently reside in Toronto but like to spend as much time as possible outside of the city. You can also find me in Vancouver, as often as I can make that happen!
Please provide any details about your background and what got you into art:
My love of photography began at the ripe old age of 5! I received a Kodak Instamatic 110 camera for Christmas from my grandparents. I was so thrilled to have received a real camera but my grandpa, being the tease that he was, kept telling me it was toy. He finally settled the whole matter by writing “toy” on the box in ballpoint pen!
My parents would both tote cameras whenever we went on a vacation. My dad would shoot slide film and my mom would shoot photo film. It was from them that I learned to be really observant of the world around me. My dad taught me to look through telescopes at the infinite bigness of the universe. I first saw the moons of Jupiter standing on a stepstool in my backyard, looking through his homemade telescope. My mom, on the other hand taught me to look through microscopes at the infinite smallness of the world around us.
Camping and canoeing were central themes while growing up – enjoying early-morning paddles to photograph dew-kissed spider webs, drifting in to get a closer look at beaver dens and witnessing the glory of the night sky mirrored in a still lake.
It was during these early years that I learned to really see – to be observant – to notice details, patterns and textures, the play of light through the trees. I learned to hear – to listen – for a splash, a hoot of an owl or the call of a loon, the drips from a paddle, rocks rubbing together under the breaking waves. I learned to wait – patiently – for a loon to surface near the canoe or for a wolf to howl.
Ever since I can remember, I have enjoyed capturing details that often go overlooked in our busyness – a shadow, a texture, a pattern, a moment – and calling attention to them through photography. I also like to push the boundaries of what I can see with my own eyes, playing with time, colour, light and motion – bending the rules to see something in a new light or something that I cannot see with my own eyes, but that can be seen through the camera!
While I have been seeing the world through the lens of a camera for over 40 years, I have not always seen photography as art. It has only been in recent years, as I have branched further into fine art and abstract photography, and have come to personally appreciate photography as art.
One thing you cannot live without?
I’ll have to go with water! I know that sounds sort of cliché, especially given the fact that my genesis collection is based on water reflections, but it’s true. I grew up surrounded by the Great Lakes, the largest fresh-water bodies of water in the world. And have spent considerable time along our great ocean coastlines, as well. I didn’t realize how much water meant to me, until I moved to Bolivia in my mid-20’s and found myself living in a land-locked country with very little in the way of lakes. To take it one step further, I was working in rural development in a remote valley where our spring-fed water supply was often diverted for agricultural irrigation. It really made me appreciate water in a new way.
I’ve always made it a priority to give back out of what I’ve been given. I have put together my own Giving Back Plan related to NFT sales, in which the primary owner of each NFT gets to help designate a portion of the sale, and any future secondary sales related to that piece. I greatly appreciate the value of clean, reliable drinking water sources and have included potable water projects as one of the options, alongside initiatives which address human trafficking and sexual slavery and the protection of humpback whales.
Who is your favorite artists (Non NFT)?
Oh, there are so many! I find inspiration in the work of Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, Willem de Kooning, Phillip Guston, Robert Irwin, Art Wolfe, Edward Burtynsky, and Andreas Gursky, to name just a few.
I am inspired by the distinct painting style of Canadian artist, Lawren S. Harris. Like hearing a new U2 song for the first time, and knowing its creative origins, Harris had a style that was uniquely and distinguishably his. His style became his signature.
I do not believe that uniqueness or originality should be the ultimate goal of art or an aritst. There are some who try, almost forcefully to be original. I don’t think that is the point of art. I do believe, however, that we are each created uniquely and have our own voice with which to speak. And when we are true to ourselves and how we see the world, our own unique creativity will become an expression and extension of our work.
Who is your favorite NFT artist?
Oh! Again, there are so many – so very many extremely talented folks in this community. I’d have to say @gmunk, @paschamo, @Lenieme and @mariinkarts are among my favourites! I was recently introduced to @Kurtjurgen_NFT‘s work, as well, which is well worth checking out!
What made you pursue NFT art?
I love that NFTs are forever! There is something so mind-bending about that from a philosophical stand point. Crypto is something that I had only dabbled with until NFTs drew me in further and I just finally decided to jump into the waters! NFTs and digital art – well, as you know, they just go together!
What is the one piece of NFT art you wish you had purchased but missed out on?
The Wait by @GumihoArtist – it so perfectly captures my experience of social isolation at the outset of the COVID Pandemic. I still hope to add it to my collection one day!
If you could travel anywhere in the world where would you go?
I feel like I have already been so privileged to travel to so many places… but my travel list remains long: Iceland, Hawaii, Scotland, Venice, Patagonia and South Georgia Island.
It has been a lifelong dream to photograph the wild horses of Sable Island. And the Pacific North West always inspires my travel plans – the Khutzeymateen Grizzly Bear Sanctuary, the Great Bear Rainforest, the giant kelp forests, humpback whales, bald eagles, black wolves and of course tidal pools!
What are your other passions besides art?
Family. Camping. Sailing. Whales.
Do you make other forms of art?
I would love to able to paint. I have dabbled in watercolours a little but let’s be honest, you won’t be seeing any of those anytime soon! Abstract photography has become the crossroads for that. I’m continually pushing myself to find new ways to capture light, colour, patterns in camera that can become raw materials for my artwork. I have a great deal of respect for artists who can put a paintbrush to a canvas and create a masterpiece!
How did you come up with your specific style?
I find creative inspiration all around me. But the most rich source, for me, is nature. The patterns, rhythms, details and order that surround us, speak of an artist’s creativity. The way that light behaves is predictable and dependable, and yet playful and surprising at the same time. My current style really blossomed out of a period of creative boredom and a deep desire to find something new that made my soul sing. It took a lot of playing around and experimenting, but I am so happy with the results.
How has your style evolved over the years?
Photography has evolved greatly for me. I have tens of thousands of photos of nature, plants, wildlife, birds, waterfalls, landscapes, macros, etc. But the last 5 years or so have been a real foray into experimenting with using my camera as a medium to capture the world in new ways – in ways that my eye cannot always see on its own.
You’ll see quite a lot of that displayed in my AQUA Collection, where I have been able to freeze the patterns of water reflections into slivers of time – and then combine them into new abstracts that reframe the original content into a new visual context. And you’ll see more of that in IGNIS, as well, where I have captured photographs of flames and use them to create new artworks.
What is coming in the near future?
While I have been focusing primarily on my two main collections: AQUA | A Body of Water Abstractions (which features abstracted photographs of water reflections) and IGNIS | On Fire (which features photographs of fire as the materials for composited abstracts), I am continuing to move forward plans for a third collection: TERRA | Earth in Motion – where I’ve captured the earth with intentional camera movement, using the colour and light in my frame, as paint on the digital canvas
If you could collaborate with one artist who would it be?
I would have to say Thomas Mangelson. His nature and conservancy photography is outstanding. Not sure if we have seen any of his work enter the realm of NFTs yet, but I can’t imagine it will be long!
Do you have any upcoming drops?
Yes, in fact, I do! I’ve got some new works from my collection: IGNIS | On Fire – which I will be releasing in the coming weeks. Each work in IGNIS is made-up entirely of components that I have photographed – flames, sparks, coals – all composited together into an abstracted montage. You can watch xibbit.io for updates on when they will be released!
Links and such:
Link to Website:
NFT marketplace links: