Kristian Levin, AKA No Creative Abode, is a professional photographer and a retouch artist who has turned towards 3D art with more than 11 years of experience. He uses his expertise from his previous fields of work to apply them in his 3D art, which he deems as a world where he can apply all his knowledge effortlessly.
GUN ANA by Kristian Levin
Can you start by introducing yourself and the mediums you use?
My name is Kristian Levin, also know as No creative or No Creative Abode, and I’m a professional retouch artist, photographer and 3D artist based in Denmark. I’ve been mainly working with 3D, and this medium allows me to use my knowledge and experience from photography and retouch to create my work.
Was creativity always encouraged in your life or was there a bit of resistance from your surrounding growing up?
My parents have always supported my creative side, but my dad did want me to get a real education. I listened to him and I went into business in school, but it just didn’t work out. I was actually Photoshopping instead of going to school most of the time. So I decided that this might be the path I should follow instead and it has led me to become a retouch artist and start photography, enabling me to get to where I am today.
How did you fall into surrealism and how did it guide you into developing your style?
When I was a kid, my aunt lived in Copenhagen, which is the biggest city in Scandinavia and she was very much into culture compared to my parents who weren’t into art that much, especially because of their day jobs. Every time I would go on a vacation to visit my aunt, she would take me to museums and cultural places and that’s where all my inspiration originates from. Then after moving to Copenhagen myself, I fell into this group of people who was into arts and slowly got like introduced to a lot more subcultural art and so on. So I would say that this really helped to develop my style.
Could you explain your process behind the creating an artwork?
A lot of the inspiration behind my pieces come from wanting to dive into particular architectural styles and they’re often based on churches here, in Denmark. I will use Pinterest a lot for references and would just browse on it to find interesting architecture, brutalism and so on that inspire me. Then, I’ll start building my piece based on that. At some point, I will stop looking at the references to start making the piece my on my own as I see fit. I’ll do all the lighting and then I’ll start adding the cloth which is more of a creative process because, the way I create cloth, I do it without having any control over it. I use the Houdini for that and use wind simulations shape it. Finally, I start editing, adding the cloth into the piece and fixing details that can be bothersome. The beauty of the final results is the randomness of the creative process since, through simulations, I allow my focal elements, like the cloth, and some minor elements, like the subtle cables in my works, to be shaped randomly.
When did you join the NFT space and how has your experience been so far?
I started looking into crypto and NFTs back in 2014-2015. Back then, that was the first big Ethereum hype because, of course, I first heard about Bitcoin, but it didn’t really grab my attention. I didn’t see the utility and the value in Bitcoin. But then, I started getting informed and I learned about smart contracts and such. I didn’t know what minting was at the time, but I understood that you can put photos on the blockchain and then have a proof of authenticity for when people stole the images and used them for commercial reasons without paying your utilities and so on. I had filled all the forms for SuperRare at that time but nothing really happened. I came back to it in November 2020 and started filling out applications again. I got on MakersPlace on the high pedal already, and then I got into SuperRare. Then I joined Foundation, but I never minted anything on it.
Do you have any advice for up-and-coming artist joining the digital art and NFT space?
My advice would be to be open and be prepared to receive critique because the only way you get better is by listening to people. It doesn’t matter if they don’t understand the process of how you do your work. For instance, I’ve experienced that a lot where people would criticize my work and I would think that they just don’t understand my process of doing 3D art and retouching. But i quickly discovered that others will often spot the mistakes that I don’t see in my work and it helps me improve in some places. So be open to criticism, be humble. go in with open arms and then embrace the community and the community will embrace you back. The best way to grow is to talk to people and to not be intimidated.