Blake Katheryn is one of the biggest name in the NFT community. She has worked with big clients such as Adobe, Adidas, Bloomsburg, Columbia Records, Facebook and plenty more.
SISTERE by Blake Katheryn
Could you start by telling us a little bit about yourself? Where are you from and what mediums do you use?
My name is Blake Katherine. I’m a digital artist based here in Los Angeles with a graphic design background that I studied in college. I also dabbled in oil painting and mixed mediums, and really just fell into digital art a few years after. I made an amazing transition from being a designer to now, an individual artist which has been a blessed time. I do flex between so many realms: tech music, fashion and I guess now crypto art.
Growing up, was your surrounding supporting your creativity to the extent that allowed you to get to where you’re at today?
Personally, I wasn’t very creative growing up but things changed during my junior year in high school when I stumbled upon graphic design when I was 16 years old. At the time, I was still looking for an extracurricular activity and I chose the graphic design class which I found myself loving it a lot. I ended up choosing to study graphic design and, after doing their research about the opportunities this job can give, my parents were very supportive of it. They weren’t an obstacle in my decisions whatsoever. Instead, my biggest roadblock was when I first applied, because I got rejected. I had to take a full year of doing oil painting, some concept classes and I even did dark room photography. But that was difficult because I had go back to my family and tell them that I didn’t get in. The second time I applied, which is also the last since they only let you try twice, I got in and I felt such a relief.
Can tell us a bit about what influences your colour palettes or the specific style that stands out in your work?
I started learning 3D while I was moving from New York to Los Angeles. Before then, I had never visited California or Southern California so moving here, it was completely a blind experience. Immediately, I was blown away by the sunsets, the art deco to the mix of Spanish influence in culture. It really fuelled that passion where I wanted to create things that have similar qualities, palettes, both these moods and these feelings that I get as an observer. While keeping the essence of the original inspiration, I still wanted to translate it into my own separate subjects. It’s very much like an abstract translation of inspiration, but it was just something that really infused itself into my style over time. Additionally, I was fortunate enough to start travelling a bit more because I was able to see so many new things from various cultures and places. This creatively refreshes you because you’re not overthinking while staring at a canvas and it allows to constantly get inspiration.
Can you share your experience with the pandemic and how it affected you as an artist?
The pandemic was a mix of being partially a blessing and partially the worst thing ever. The blessing was that I had a really good community around me. I live in an apartment complex where folks are pretty much around the same age and we supported each other. That was immensely helpful for my mental health. But the bad part was both of my parents were hospitalized and recovering from COVID. There was a lot of loss and with loss, you just have to be in touch with yourself and go introspective to mourn properly. All of it happened long distance. They’re all still in Florida and so, I wasn’t able to be there for anyone which was difficult. I’m at least grateful that my parents recovered. As an artist, I’m also very public about my anxiety, but I had been off anxiety medicine, dealing holistically with it for a decade. SadIy, I had to get back on it and I could no longer holistically go with it. When I went to refill my prescription after so many years, my prescription was sold out because so many people in LA were getting on the same drugs.
So when exactly did you discover the NFT world and when did you join?
I started hearing about NFTs during the end of spring in 2020 but didn’t look into it much before August. Then, I would see more informative resources, first through SuperRare I believe. It seemed really cool and some of the people I look up to in the industry, like KidMoGraph and Alessia, would curate for SuperRare while others were vouching for it. These artists aren’t naive so I trust their testimonies about this technology working out. So I signed up literally two weeks before the rush where everyone was signing up on SuperRare and Nifty Gateway. Beforehand, we were restricted as digital artists to being bridged more into a fine art appreciation with patronage. So I gave it a whirl and then things kept happening. It ended up being really amazing for both my professional development on a career point, but also as an artist. It just gives me more freedom to do personal works and personal studies over more intensive periods of time with better budgets because I’m able to find it.
Do you have any up-coming jobs or projects? Maybe tell us about what you’re doing for 0x Society?
At the moment, I’m doing some really long-term projects that are all personal and they will just further explore world building and universe building. As for the Solstice project, I am doing a partially interior, partially environmental piece because it just felt appropriate, especially for summer in Los Angeles. You want to be outside because it’s beautiful but when you go outside, you’re dying from the heat. So you’re usually inside with AC, looking out. I’m kind of taking that inspiration and this heat wave to create this piece. There’ll be a little bit of a celestial vibe to it too.
Do you have any advice for up and coming NFT artists or even for digital artists?
If you’re in the arts realm and know the history, the big influential movements and genres, whether it’s more current like digital art, education is power. Don’t underestimate how incredibly important it is to research and understand where your ideas and inspiration comes from because it can truly push the quality of your work and provoque a much more captivating interest in what you are trying to convey.