In our 'Spotlight on' series, we are turning the light to different artists close to our hearts. From photographers to designers and musicians: it's all about the artists behind our label and brand.
We invite different artists to work his or her magic and create the artwork of different releases, which together form a series. Beacuse while the music of each EP tells its own story, the art of the sleeves creates a storyline throughout the several releases.
This time, we are talking to Coloray. He's a Dutch, multi-talented artist that is based in Berlin nowadays. He's a producer, musician and designer and next to that - you guessed it - he's the latest artist to work his magic on a series of DGTL Records releases. His first artwork in this series is out now, which he created for Colyn's 3-tracker 'Martian'.
Q. Can you introduce yourself for the people that do not know you already?
I was part of a duo called 'Tunnelvisions' and since two years I've been active solely under my pseudonym 'Coloray'. My ultimate goal is to design experiences which make people say 'wow'. I do this with my music; creating something that people can dance to or feel emotional to. But I also do this by creating visuals that have 3D at its core. I've recently released my album 'Future Static', which comes with a virtual world I'll show more of over the upcoming months. In short, I don't like to limit my creativity and I find ways how I can manage to do it all.
Q. What do you think of the match between you and DGTL?
I think DGTL and I share the same goals. The festival and I are both looking to entertain people in new ways, while also telling a conceptual story. They do it by designing great stages and forming festival line-ups. I do it by designing things to perform at the festival, be it as a musical or visual artist.
I see this artwork series as the start of something I'd love to add to DGTL, a new story that can unfold over the upcoming months. Next to that, I feel like with what I create I'm always looking to the past and future simultaneously. It's all about creating something that falls in line with the creative lineage of music and art, whilst alslo shaping the narrative for the future. DGTL does the exact same thing.
Q. Without giving away too much, what can be expect from this artwork series?
An exploration of light, materials and simple shapes. What I'm making are virtual light installations that we can use as an artwork, a visual on stage or as a virtual world for people to visit in VR.
Q. What is the main inspiration behind the works?
Everything science-fiction, futuristic and minimalistic. Growing up, I loved watching early sci-fi movies, with '2001: A Space Odyssey' and art by a conceptual artist called Syd Mead really leaving its mark.
Next to that, I've been very much inspired by the 'Bauhaus School of Design' and Swiss typographic design. I've been blending these inspirations by experimenting with using geometric shapes in combination with light, materials and colours to tell a science-fiction like story. Colyn's EP 'Martian' seemed to be the perfect combination for this.
Q. What are the most challenging factors in creating your art?
Render times and the learning process. I often have an image of what I want to do in my head, but sometimes I don't have the knowledge yet on how to create it. I would then spend hours and hours making shaders, materials, watching tutorials and reading books about any subject to get me closer. I think it's 80% research and 20% creating. This is a challenge because it always feels like I'm back in school. But in the end the goal is to never stop learning and become better at what you do.
A different challenge is that I work in 2 ways: 'real time' and 'rendered'. For artworks like the series for DGTL, I work with rendered assets. This means my computer is blowing steam for a long time until I have an animation. During this period of rendering, I can't use my computer. I thus have to calculate a schedule where I'm not working and make that the time to render. There's a bit of project management involved to what I do, but that's a cool nerdy think I like.
Q. What other things do you create and what can we expect seeing from you in the near future?
I make a lot of music and I've started to do more and more art direction and design. My album 'Future Static' has just been launched and this one basically serves as a base for what I'll do over the next couple of months.
One of the things I've been working on for the last two years is a virtual playground where people can go to to watch me perform and discover my music. This is such a big undertaking and I'm very excited to show more of this soon. And who knows, maybe you'll be able to see it yourself in VR at DGTL.