We had an incredible time on this interview. Arnau has a truly unique style and his colors pop off the screen making his NFTs stand out from the growing commoditization of NFT styles.
Arnau Gil, UnicityArt, is a 27 year old self-taught designer and digital artist from Barcelona, Spain. His 2D-3D blend is inspired by lofi-anime-retro visuals which search to convey powerful emotional messages through the exploration of human nature. Its bright saturated colours try to capture entire stories within a single image. Always passionate about storytelling, UnicityArt obtained a degree in Filmmaking, and has been developing his craft for the past 8 years, while delving as well into the industry of advertising and marketing.
Arnau, Thanks for agreeing to this interview. We love your art and unique style. Give us a little information about your background and why you started getting into art.
I was born in 1993. My journey in art unknowingly started when I was a kid. I remember spending all day, almost everyday inventing my own comic books, drawing characters and stories. Growing up I was an extremely shy kid, and I never really knew how to express my feelings and communicate, I always struggled with that. As a teenager, I was having a really rough time in school, and one day I just felt a call to art. No external factor particularly called me into it, I just had a feeling it’s what I wanted to do. I discovered that with it I could truly express who I was and it quickly became an essential part of me, something I couldn’t live without, a form of escape and shelter. From ages 14 to 18 I focused on writing music and singing, I played the guitar. Writing songs really helped me deal with all my problems in life. When I turned 18 I discovered Photoshop. I started experimenting with it and learning through online tutorials, I loved the idea of one day being able to create any world I could possibly imagine. After school I decided to combine my self-taught art skills with a degree in Audiovisuals and Filmmaking, and that helped me develop my art even more. I’ve worked in some production companies in the advertising and marketing industry since then. Around 2019 I also started to slowly learn about the 3D world, starting with the software 3Ds Max, and then moving on to Cinema 4D. I still have a lot to learn about it, but it is something I’m definitely pursuing and that I like to implement in my art as much as I can. As of this moment I use a mix of Photoshop, Cinema 4D and a Wacom drawing tablet to create all my pieces.
You’re using a lot of the primary tools that top NFT are incorporating, specifically C4D. Can you tell us what made you finally take the plunge into NFTs?
I’d say there are a couple of reasons. To start with, the first thought that came into mind was “Wait, so now there is a way to make Digital Art unique as if it was for example an original traditional painting?” That concept to me blew my mind because up until that moment Digital Art didn’t truly have that “uniqueness” and “exclusivity” because of the fact that it’s a digital file.
On the other side, I think the best thing about art is that it’s a journey that truly can never end, there are always new boundaries to explore. I always love to be continually learning new stuff, and I had been wanting to learn about cryptocurrencies for a while. The world of NFTs got my attention from the very start, despite seeming very complex to understand at first for me. I was very curious to see what my art would be like on this new medium and how it would push me out of my comfort zone.
Also, when taking the first glimpse into the community behind NFTs I was truly amazed by the overall positivity, openness and transparency. There is a very strong flow of supportiveness and continuous inspiration that I don’t think I had ever experienced before. So obviously I was very excited to join this new age in the evolution of art and be an active contributor in it.
Selling my piece “e m p ty” to collector _DeFi_ for 1 ETH was also an incredible experience that got me excited about creating more!
Thats awesome. The NFT community is truly unique and definitely embraces and promotes their own artists. We love seeing how many artists use their sales to buy new NFTs. The market is propelling itself. Who are your favorite NFT artists today?
The more that I think, I can’t find a fair answer to that because I would like to include so many artists. But some of the artists that really captivated me with their works are Klarens Malluta, Dangiuz, Retric Dreams, Denny Busyet or Aris Roth, for example. The scenery and colours in their art, I find is truly and uniquely amazing.
Who are your favorite artists that haven’t entered the NFT space yet?
There are so many artists I could name that this list would probably go on and on and on forever. There is so much talent out there it’s crazy. There are some artists whose work I specially look up to, and I recommend everyone checking out if they still haven’t, their IG handles: Istomin_denis, kuvshinov_ilya, angelganev, suren.rajawat, by.sau, dedouze, fangpeii, guweiz or lorenzo_lanfranconi.
Now for the question we have to ask everyone. What NFT did you miss out on that you regret not picking up, you can’t say Beeple or MDJ.
There’s a lot I’ve missed out on purchasing, since I am not at the point yet where I can start collecting pieces, although I plan on giving back to the community and supporting smaller artists when I can afford to. A recent piece I really liked and whished could’ve been in my collection was “9020s” by @cherifkid, on Foundation.
If you could travel anywhere in the world where would you go?
I’ve always had a strong passion for traveling. In fact, for many years I set myself a rule in which, at least once a year, I try to visit one place I’ve never been to. I want to see as much of the world as I can, I love learning about other cultures and experiencing them. There’s a lot of places I’d like to go but the one that’s been on my list for the longest time and for which I’m very excited about, is South Africa. I’d really like to experience its ancient wildlife and rich history.
What do you do when you’re not creating?
For around 6 years, I’ve been practicing rock and sport climbing around 3 times a week. I’ve never been a big sports person, but something about it captured me from the beginning. I tried many sports before that, such as soccer, basketball, handball, swimming, athletics… But I never really got into any of it (plus I’ll admit I really sucked at all of them). One day, out of the blue, I decided to try and get over my fear of heights by joining a climbing gym. I loved how it was all about self-improvement and just competing against yourself, and after I got over the fear, I discovered that the solitude of being just myself on the wall brought me a sense of peace and calm. I think it turned me into a stronger, more self-confident person. Recently, due to an injury I haven’t been climbing, but I definitely plan on going back into it when I get better!
Besides your beautiful NFTs and commissions, do you have any other creative outlets?
I do, yes. Occasionally I will still produce some music, but by far, the other form of art I dedicate myself to the most is writing, as you might be able to tell, since often, I mix my digital art with writing. It is more of a life-long project and I hadn’t really shared this anywhere else yet, but I am in the process of writing a 4 book long series. I consider that to be my big “artistic life project” and I will disclose more info about that on my sites when the project is closer to seeing the light. I have been working on it for the past 3 years, including a whole year of research for the first book, and though it is not strictly related to the theme of my digital art, I am very excited for the day I can start talking about it more in detail! It is something I am totally invested in and pouring my very soul into, so I want to get it right!
How has your style evolved over the years?
I don’t think my style came from a conscious decision, I think it was more of a slow evolution and little changes and experimentation made artwork after artwork. At the very beginning I was solely focused on synthwave and outrun visuals, working with very strong neon colors and futuristic “artificial” scenes. I had a lot of fun during that time but slowly I started to feel limited by the style because I personally felt like I needed to add a more human and emotional side to my works. I felt like I needed to express myself in that way. So little by little I started adding human figures to my work and moving away from the strictly synthwave/city elements.
Around that time, I started discovering other artistic currents like lofi/bedroom pop music, which became very influential to my work. But the biggest turning point was when I discovered the works of director Makoto Shinkai (Your Name, Weathering With You, Garden of Words), as well as other titles like “Your Lie In April”, “A Silent Voice” or “A Whisker Away”. These works have a very distinct emotional charge to it, very powerful, and they have left a mark on me since the day I saw them for the first time. It’s like they reached directly into my soul.
So I think all these new elements and influences started showing in my works, while never abandoning the neon colors of my original works in synthwave (pink, purple, blue…), which I believe is a part of my art that stands out a lot when you first look at it, it’s strong colors. Over the years I also focused a lot on improving the lighting and depth on my artworks, I think those elements can make a drastic change to one’s work. I also think the mix of 2D and 3D gives it quite a unique look that I really like. That is where I think my current style originated from.
What’s next for your NFTs?
I will continue to drop new NFTs on Foundation, and if possible, on one other site too. I really want to start focusing on animating my pieces and bring them to life in that way, I think it’s a good step forward into improving my work.
If you could collaborate with one artist who would it be?
Collaborating with any of all the ones mentioned in this interview would be a blast!
If you could give up and coming artists one piece of advice what would it be?
Some valuable advice I’ve been given by other artists I admire and that I would like to pass down are: focus on perfecting and improving your craft, give yourself credit for your own progress, stay true to your own style and believe in it. And specially in the NFT world, have a lot of patience. It is very easy to get frustrated and demotivated, I myself have gone through that, and still do every now and then. But just stay positive and trust that hard work, dedication and discipline always get rewarded one way or another. That is what I like to believe.
Do you have any upcoming drops?
No specific dates yet, but there are more NFTs on the way very soon. At the moment I have only posted still images, but I also plan on uploading animated versions of my artworks, and have one coming in the near future. Follow me on FND and social media to find out.
Thank you so much for agreeing to this interview. Where can our readers learn more about you?
You can find me on my website.
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