Diane Lindo wields gritty paint covered Barbies puking and eviscerated fruit in high Punk with a capital P aesthetic stop motion animated shorts. The first time one of Diane’s videos popped on my Twitter timeline I watched it on repeat processing my horror, excitement and discomfort snuggled against comfort that someone gets “it”. What that “it” is? I have no idea, but it permeates every meticulously chaotic frame of her work.
Diane is a self-taught, full-time artist who lives in Ontario, Canada with her wife and 3 cats. She just discovered NFTs earlier this year with her work adored and quickly embraced by many in the experimental crypto art community. I’m grateful she agreed to this interview to learn more about her and her processes and showcase her impactful work.
How + why do you do art?
I’ve been experimenting with several art mediums for as long as I can remember. When I landed on stop motion (5 years ago) everything just kind of tied together. By far, it’s given me the most creative space to play with.
Before starting a video, I write out a vague idea of what I’ll do, leaving enough space to improvise freely as I go. I’ve turned one of our rooms in our 2-bedroom apartment into an art studio – I work mostly out of there. I have bins full of supplies, doll parts/Barbies and all kinds of treasures I found in the garbage/thrift stores.
Stop motion animation is done frame-by-frame. I take a photo, move my objects slightly, take another photo – and repeat this process. I end up with about 1000 pictures to make up 1 minute of video length. I string all the pictures together in a video editing program called Movavi.
My camera is a Canon EOS Rebel T7i – it’s pretty basic, I’m a lot less interested in the technical side, so, I’m slow to upgrade my equipment
As for why I do art, it’s probably because I struggle intensely with more typical ways of communicating and interacting within our society. The school system moved me around a lot when I was a kid, due to lack of resources/space for atypical students. I ended up getting kicked out of my high school and leaving home at 15 for a couple years and could never hold a ‘regular’ job with a fixed schedule, so, I didn’t have many options lol. Art just makes sense to me, it feels instinctive. I use it as a self regulation tool and a way to expel stagnant energy from my body.
It keeps me connected to both my inner and outer world, tethering me to people/opportunities and emotions I’d otherwise have no way of reaching.
Inspiration comes from all over, it’s hard to say. Memories- both good and bad, dreams/nightmares, sex, food, all kinds of music, movies, art, nature – literally everything, but mostly centering on human emotions.
How did you get into crypto art?
A few different artists reached out to me on Instagram about NFT’s. My wife and I did some research and it seemed like a great opportunity.
The experience has been better than I could have imagined – people have been incredibly supportive/helpful, and luckily someone was patient enough to guide me through the beginning (pricing, platform, etc.). I don’t really have a favourite platform but I’m leaning towards Foundation (I’m also on OpenSea and KnownOrigin).
You use the word uncomfortable a lot to describe your work. There is discomfort in boundary pushing, which I think your work does in subject matter. What makes you drawn to express the discomfort?
Since my work has a lot to do with processing emotions it’s inevitably going to get uncomfortable. But to me, it feels very cathartic.
I love being moved by people, whether it’s through artwork/music or just being in someone’s presence. Having my perspective widened and my boundaries stretched within a safe environment makes me feel alive and connected.
There’s a sense of relief and freedom in facing discomfort, I find. Leaning into those feelings with curiosity helps us grow and loosen unnecessary tension we sometimes don’t even realize we’re holding.
I like to put that back out into the world for whoever wants it.
Why do you choose to use dolls and barbies in your animations?
I like the look of dolls, they’re inherently haunting – you either love them or you hate them, but you can’t forget them.
Barbie dolls are my easiest go-to when I want to use human-like characters. I just wish they came in a wider variety of body types.
As a fellow trashy and experimental artist, I know we have our fair share of critics for our work because it isn’t as “polished” in an traditional sense. Literally people will say “I just don’t get it”. How would you explain your work to someone who says this?
Ooh I like this question! I actually think it’s absolutely valid not to like/get my art. I don’t understand everything I come across, so, it would be unrealistic to expect everyone to resonate with my stuff. It’s usually not personal.
But if I had to explain it, the bulk of my work is basically raw emotion/unfiltered imagery out of my subconscious mind not really meaning to be anything other than what it is.
If it’s not easy to watch, I was probably processing something heavy that, understandably, not everyone has a tolerance for.
If you could go back in time and talk to baby artist you, what would you say?
Oof, this is a heavy one for me. In a lot of ways, I still consider myself a baby artist haha. But I would tell my younger self, the lack of support and discouragement you’re receiving has very little to do with you. People often project their personal limiting perspective onto what they don’t understand or feel threatened by.
There’s meaning in what you’re doing, and value in the way your mind works. Your intuition is sharp enough to carve your own life path even when you’re feeling completely depleted. You don’t have to give up on yourself, you just need some serious deep rest – and your personal value does not drop while you’re doing so.
Own your mistakes, take everything in as a lesson, keep living, keep going because it’s all going to be worth it.
Advice to newcomers to nfts from what you have learned.
Since I’ve only been selling my animations as NFTs for 5 months, I’m still learning myself what works and what doesn’t. I’d imagine everyone’s journey would be pretty unique, so I’m not sure what to say. But definitely watch out for scammers/hackers. I followed advice and bought a Ledger hardware wallet – this is one way to secure the crypto you’ve saved. People often tweet useful advice on how to protect yourself (don’t click links in DMs, etc.) – do your research!
Artists you love in crypto art and why?
osho (@oshohohohoho), particularly her animated collections on Foundation – INKBAEs and FROGGY’s Mythos, and Fatima Yasrebi (@yasrebi_fatima). These two animation artists caught my eye right away. They both have insane talent and creativity worth checking out! Especially if you love a combo of cute but kinda dark haha.
Tjo (@0xTjo), my godddd, this is some of the most striking artwork I’ve seen in a while. How does something give off so much pain/heartbreak but comfort and calmness at the same time. I can’t find any words to do it justice.
LINKS TO EXPLORE DIANE LINDO’S WORK FURTHER