Artist Highlight: Voidz
Written by: Brianna Doroger (Social Media Coordinator @ OneOf)
Since 2018, Toronto-based digital artist Voidz has been releasing artwork that aims to blur the lines of reality. Despite remaining anonymous under his alias “Voidz,” each of his “voids” offers a new perspective on the mundane and invites its viewers to explore possibilities beyond their perception. His works have captured the attention of high-profile collaborations with Drake, Stromae, and Puma. However, most notably, his creations have sparked an interest amongst NFT collectors, curating sold-out one-of-one pieces that have collectors bidding for the highest offer.
As a notable artist amongst the NFT community, his release of “The Tadow Collection” in March 2022 on OneOf.com, a rendition of the 2017 “Tadow” viral jam session–now certified platinum record between Masego and FKJ, is a visual reinterpretation of the record through a series of stunning 3D motion NFTs to celebrate the song’s fifth anniversary. The sold-out collection available only on the OneOf Marketplace is just one example of his culture-shifting creations.
As of December 2022, his latest one of one piece, “Copycart” on SuperRare, again highlights his signature surrealist style that has gathered him acclaim all over social media reaching an audience of over 1 million viewers, thus captivating the minds of collectors and other creatives alike.
We asked Voidz several questions about his creative process, inspiration, and his thoughts on the future of digital art and web3. Here’s how he responded:
What does your creative process look like, how do you come up with the ideas that you do?
I think my creative process is a little chaotic and unconventional. I never really sketch anything or collect references before I begin like I think a lot of people do, but there are two main approaches I have for starting a new void.
Approach 1 you could call “Filling The Void”. This path speaks a little to the origins of this project and why I go by the name Voidz. It starts by searching for an empty space. I simply take a video with my phone of a location I find visually interesting — that has some kind of empty space somewhere in the frame. I open it up on my computer and just start experimenting in 3D. Throwing different shapes and ideas around and playing with different dynamic forces and movements. Sometimes this can be a slog with many iterations or completely different ideas that get scrapped and other times it can come pretty naturally. These pieces tend to be more in the category of surrealist eye candy.
Approach 2 is a little more conceptual. This is for pieces that have a more clear creative concept at heart. I’m a big list person, and most of my concept ideas come to me at very mundane and random times, so I am constantly writing down ideas throughout the day anytime something interesting comes to mind. A lot of times they are inspired by places or things I see out in the world or places my mind wonders as I’m observing something. I have thousands of ideas now I have collected over the years. For these pieces, it’s kind of the opposite approach of the “Filling the Void” Method. I R&D the specific concept in 3D first — then once it's feeling good I go out looking for the perfect location for it to live.
When did the first “void” come to fruition and how did that influence your current creations and the style you are known for
I released my first void on August 20, 2018. The piece is a giant sinkhole in the street at the main intersection at Dundas Square here in Toronto. I spent probably a full month or two working on it because I really wanted to nail the right vibe to get this project off on the right foot. I’m glad I did because it set a great tone to work off of and every void that has come after it in a small way is an extension of that first work.
There's definitely things I’d change looking back on it now 4 years later, but its a still a piece I love and that I look to for inspiration.
What is a new style you are looking to explore and is it something you can incorporate with your signature “voids”
Interactive augmented reality is a big space I’m looking to explore down the road. I think it’s a natural next step for where emerging technology can bring this style of mixed-reality artwork. Until the last year or two, I wasn’t convinced the tech was in place yet to provide the visual quality to do the artwork justice, but I think we are just about there now, and I’m exploring a few options of how to turn some of my pieces into immersive AR experiences.
Beyond this, a big goal of mine is to take this show on the road in the next year or two. I’d love to do a tour — traveling around different cities making work inspired by fresh locations and cultures different from what I’m used to here in Toronto. Hoping this can be powered by web3. This locational context is very important to all of my work so I’ve actually recently released an interactive map that plots all of my voidz in their location. (http://www.voidzto.com/map) I’m hoping I can expand the footprint of that map well beyond Toronto in the coming years.
Where do you see the future of digital art and Web3 heading, is there another industry that has not tapped into the market yet
I’m pretty excited about the current trajectory of Web3. While some have looked at the “crypto crash” we’ve seen in the last year or so as a negative thing, I think it’s actually helped push out some of the FOMO and speculation and people that weren’t in it for the right reasons. There’s less noise and I think truly innovative uses of this technology can really shine at the moment.
I think wider adoption of web3 within the music industry will be very interesting… But most of all what's most exciting to me is how decentralized web3 tech could be used in our political systems and governance to combat corruption and empower democracy in innovative ways.
Are there any emerging artists you’re particularly interested in or excited about?
So many great artists at the moment — it feels like a bit of a renaissance for digital art. Here’s a few at the top of mind currently: Nick DenBoer (@Smearballs), Michael Mcafee (@mcaffee.design), Dirk Koy (@dirkkoy), Mikhail Sedov (@subframe_studio), Birdo (@jerryrugg)