we are incredibly honored to sit down with the amazing artist Camibus.
Can you tell us about your background and what lead you down the path to becoming an artist and ultimately experimenting with NFTs?
I was born in Romania a couple of weeks after the revolution that ended communism in a chaotic, ever-changing world. I’ve lived here my entire life trying to pursue an artistic career in a poverty stricken country. By the way, I’m from the province of Transylvania – yes, that Transylvania.
I started my journey in visual arts – drawing and painting – around 12 years ago. I didn’t draw as a kid. My parents encouraged me to pursue music and I loved it. I played in different bands in highschool and my dream was to become a rock-star. I didn’t know it back then, but I actually dreaded growing up and having to get a real job. I thought that music was my only other option.
I wanted to be creative, but I couldn’t imagine a life where I could be an artist and make a living out of it. Being a painter was something that I read about in history books, but not a job I could imagine someone in our day and age could have. I didn’t know any artists and couldn’t imagine this was something that could be pursued.
In college I studied theater directing. It wasn’t my calling, but it was the only university I could attend in my home city that was related to art and allowed me to pursue my creativity.
I was blessed to find a job as a clean-up/line artist at an animation studio in my last year of college. I had no previous experience with drawing and animation, but I got an internship and found the Goldilocks conditions where art meets a secure income and knew that this is what I’m going to do with my life.
I spent the next 10 years teaching myself how to draw, reading all the books I could find, watching youtube videos, spending all my lunch-breaks and evenings doing figure drawing, gesture drawing, practicing to get better. It was not an easy journey, I was very critical of myself, I suffered from impostor syndrome for years, but I kept going and I’m so happy that I did.
When did you mint your first NFT?
The first time I heard about cryptoart was in late January 2021 from someone who invited my boyfriend, also an artist, to showcase his work at a gallery in Decentraland. I was intrigued and read all about NFTs. I asked them if I could showcase my work too and they agreed. I started working on my Figures collection soon after. The gallery only opened in March but by then I wanted to experiment with NFTs myself. I minted some stuff on Opensea and sold my first piece there. By the time the gallery launched I had already sold 3 NFTs.
What platform did you choose and why?
I first read about SuperRare and NiftyGateway and applied as an artist immediately but my first works were minted on Opensea. Foundation didn’t exist yet and it took a few months to be accepted as an artist on MakersPlace and KnownOrigin. I’ve only used Opensea for my very early work that was exhibited at @galeriademilo in Decentraland.
Can you tell us one thing you cannot live without?
It might sound cheesy but I can’t live without art! I mean I can, but what’s the point?
Other than that I need coffee, cats, music, nature, love and sunshine – plus a good amount of food.
Who is your favorite artist(s) (Non NFT)?
By far Dali! He’s been a huge influence in my art and his work fascinated me ever since I was a kid! I love other surrealist artists like Magritte, Renaissance artists like Caravaggio, Raphael, Bosch, and the Dutch Baroque painters like Rembrandt.
What about their style resonates with you?
With Dali I love that we get glimpses into his mad-genius subconscious. Surreal art is like taking a snapshot of our dreams. Representational art is cool but surreal art is so much better because of that. With the other artists, aside Bosch, I love their technique and use of light and color. Bosch is again so crazy to look at, I love getting lost in his work!
Who is your favourite NFT artist?
There are so many amazing artists, it’s hard to pick just one, but if I have to, I’ll choose an up-and-coming one, which is @liboar
His work is also surreal, inspired by Escher, featuring impossible geometry and a crazy amount of detail. He’s a hidden gem. I love getting lost in his worlds.
What makes this artist unique?
He’s very skilled and can draw amazing things with insane amounts of details from his imagination – without reference – they just pop out of his head. I find that absolutely incredible. It takes so much work, effort and experience for artists to have such a visual library – not many can do it.
What made you pursue NFT art?
For me it’s irrelevant that it’s NFTs – for me it’s just art. NFTs have given me the amazing opportunity to make a comfortable living out of it, so of course I’m very excited about it, but in the end it always has and it always will be about art. Art is art – whatever the medium, no matter if it’s digital or physical.
What is the one piece of NFT art you wish you had purchased but missed out on?
Being in the space for over a year, I’ve seen some very talented artists who started out with me that ended up blowing up, like @Zhuk_live or @jarvinart, and of course I would’ve loved owning a piece from them but we were all just poor artists back then.
If you could travel anywhere in the world where would you go?
I wanted to go in the United States, and that dream came true this year when I was a speaker at NFT.NYC. I’ve only seen NYC and would love to see some other places in the US too. I hope I can visit again someday. I’d also love to visit Asia. I had only been in Europe until recently and I’m dying to see other cultures!
I want to see different people, different ways of life, different ways of thinking, different architecture. As Mark Twain used to say “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.” – I’m tired of vegetating in my little corner of Europe!
What are your other passions besides art?
Music! Music speaks to us in a way visual arts can’t. I don’t have the time to actively pursue a career in music but I do love to have it in my life – as a listener, as a creator, and sometimes just playing a little tune in my bedroom.
Do you make other forms of art?
I also do 2D animation, music composition, creative writing. I’m cofounder of a little indie game studio and we do all of that there for the narrative games we create.
How did you come up with your specific style?
When I started my NFT journey I didn’t have a style yet. Before that, I was trying to master all subjects and styles in visual arts. It’s an essential skill for an artist that wants to be employable. I was drawing cute cartoony art mostly but I always felt people don’t take me seriously with that. I wanted to try a more contemplative, mature style.
Why nudes? It’s what I do best. I’ve spent a decade practicing figure drawing, and I feel that’s what I’m best at. The human figure is also the most approached subject in art history, from Ancient Greece to Renaissance. We love seeing the human form, and I love painting it.
Why surreal? I’m in love with Dali. He is to me the most important figure in art. I was in awe of his work ever since I was a little kid, so if I ever became a painter – that’s what I wanted to be like. Given the chance to create my style, my voice, I went with that: surrealism + nudes.
How has your style evolved over the years?
I started drawing and painting at 20. I went from being a very bad artist to being a very good one. I went through so many styles, subjects and mediums until I found the one I resonated with the most.
What is coming in the near future?
I’m so excited to announce I’ll be releasing a curated drop on NiftyGateway! My art will also be exhibited at Beijing Contemporary and in Times Square!
If you could collaborate with one artist who would it be?
I’ve never considered it, but if I have to choose I’m a huge fan of @raphaellacoste. He’s a master at his craft. It would be an honor to do a collab.
What was your greatest failure and what did you learn from that?
I got permanently banned from Twitter because of my art. I thought my career was over because of a stupid mistake like not reading the sensitive media policy. In the end, after 2 soul crushing weeks and 8 denied appeals I got my account back. In the NFT space small things can make or break you. It’s important to always be informed and careful with everything you do.
Anything else you’d like to share?
A big thank you to everyone who participates in this scene, keeps it alive, and helps artists make a living out of their passion!
Do you have any upcoming drops?
Yes, I’ll be releasing a collection on August 19 on NiftyGateway!
Where can collectors find your work?
I mint my 1/1s on SuperRare and editions are coming soon on NiftyGateway.