From lighting design to lighting up Solana

Cover Image for ikaa

This week's featured artist is Ivan, a.k.a ikaa. He's a multimedia artist and designer who has been involved with NFTs since August of 2021. He graduated with a degree in Industrial Design from the Academy of Fine Arts in Belgrade, Serbia. Early in his career, after working on his own lighting brand and creating designs for lighting companies, he would draw, paint and do photography. He started his NFT journey on Ethereum with a couple of collections and migrated to Solana in early 2022. He's worked on several collections since coming to SOL, including the Yogg DAO collection, The Northman collection, and more recently The Hollows. He takes on generative projects because he finds them challenging and amusing to work on. He's always working on his 1/1 pieces and recently started making deals for some collaborations.

1. You've had quite the journey to get to where you are today. Are you still involved with your lighting brand?

No, but I would like to get back to it at some point. You can see some of my design samples using my Behance page link.

2. How do you think your experience with lighting design helped guide you towards and prepare you for the world of NFTs?

I think the design approach helped me a lot with understanding clients, collectors, and people in general. It helped me make good connections with people I tattooed as well because, for design, you always need to consider the user, production, and many other factors. So communication and learning are the keys and that's what I'm focusing on more again.

3. That's right, you're a tattoo artist as well, correct?

That's right! Doing my own thing and learning along the way. I've been doing it for about 8 years now. You can see some of my work on my Instagram.

4. What's it like as a tattoo artist where you're creatively driven by the customer's request, versus the freedom you have as an NFT artist where you decide the direction completely?

I still do my own art a lot as tattoos but it's just different I guess. It's a different medium of expression. I think NFTs also happened at the right moment for me. I was traveling a lot and tattooing, meeting amazing people along the way, so I wouldn't wanna change that at all. I was always moving around through different art and different types of media, but pursuing my art with absolute freedom online has been an incredible experience. It has changed my life really. I feel like it's the beginning again. The uncertainty, the drive. I think it's a very stimulating environment to be in as an artist

5. Is it scary starting fresh like that?

I don't think about it that way. For me it's exciting. It pushes me to create

6. Given your background, you have a lot of experience to pull from for inspiration. What inspires you when planning your next piece?

It depends on what I'm working on. Experience helps me in different ways depending on what I'm working on, be it 1/1s or a commissioned project. For some time now I've been trying to find a good balance between 2D and 3D art in my work. I'm leaning toward 2D at the moment. I think all the stuff I've done before is influencing my art direction all the time.

Maybe it depends on the mood as well. When I want to chill and make something fun, I tap into my childhood period of crazy, expressive 2D drawings. But when I want an extra challenge around my artwork, then I tap into 3D drawing knowledge and perspective, detailing. Tattoo practice also makes you very patient, so that comes in handy as well.

7. What's next for you? Anything planned that you can share with us?

Deciding on my next move in the following days. Working on some new stuff which I think everyone is going to like! I'm not sure yet if I'll do them as auctions or editions, but either way they will be on FormFunction.

Follow ikaa's journey via his links below!

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