Duke +1 is an artist/designer based in Düsseldorf, Germany. He is a winner of the World Illustration Award. After his graduation in graphic design & fine art, he started to freelance. He has worked for commercial clients, with a focus on brand design & Illustration.
1. What are the World Illustration Awards, and what piece/work did you win for?
The WIA is an annual international celebration for great talents in the illustration industry. The Awards promote exceptional work by illustrators and present illustration as a major force in global visual culture. My Genesis series "NOISE" has been awarded for that. I submitted these pieces, without having the intention to do NFTs at the beginning of this year. Those pieces have been by far my most personal work, created during the lockdown.
2. If you don't mind me asking, what makes those pieces so personal to you?
These 3 artworks resembled my time during the lockdown of 2020. My darkest time, when I started to face my anxieties, doubts, depression, and self-reflection. It took me a while, to find purpose in doing art again. But I took it as a chance, to visualize my thoughts, which I couldn't describe in words. Like therapy. I tried new compositions, layouts, colors, shapes, and concepts. Those variables characterize the storytelling of BOOM, QUARANTINE, and YOU. I've tried to evoke emotions and feelings, and that takes courage. And the courage is leading me to enter a new process.
3. You mentioned you had no intentions of doing NFTs. What changed your mind?
I always knew that the NFT art scene had a big potential to fulfill your dream as an artist in the WEB3 space. I have been friends with Joyce, before joining the Solana Space. It didn't need that much effort, to convince me — to jump into the uplifting space. And I got the chance to meet Zen0 in the beginning. He gave me advice, just to observe the space and have a good time. The best advice, I wanna give others as well.
4. What would your message be to a new artist who just joined the NFT space?
Patience and observing — I think, that is the main key. I started right around the time of the beginning of the bear market. It's okay to step back and gather some time to reflect — rather than be hijacked by our emotions about your sales and drops.
5. You have a very unique style of art that has a lot of colors and a lot of moving pieces. How would you describe your style?
This kind of visual storytelling that I am doing is difficult to describe... maybe bold-dadaistic-audio-visual poster art.
6. What made you decide to put so many different elements on each of your pieces as opposed to focusing on any of those individual elements as an entire piece?
I've tried to express my emotions and storytelling with moving shapes, and figurative elements that I'm feeling for the story. The color palette is playing a huge role in my work. All these in combination are like an orchestral musical play in a format of an animated poster. I'm not able to express my abstract thoughts in words — so these kinds of visual thoughts make it happen.
7. Knowing how it helps you, how important do you think it is for people to find a way to express themselves, regardless of which medium it may be through?
I think expressing yourself is a very important part of reflecting on yourself — in a personal way, that maybe you in the first instance are dealing with. But this expression can also get seen by the viewers — they might relate to your thoughts, views about yourself, or the world in general. People who are expressing themselves in an artistic way will grow as artists — and also as a person, by finding their voice.
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