Welcome to already my fifth Cosmic Convos! I am very proud of the artist I was able to talk to this week. If you are familiar with the game industry then you should definitely know him. He has worked on many iconic characters for League of Legends and has also become a very successful NFT artist in the last year. He is very helpful and loves to share his knowledge with emerging artists.
Even though I’m not an artist or a big gamer myself, I feel like I learned a lot from my conversation with him. His career story is very inspiring and I hope it can provide motivation for upcoming artists who are just starting out. He is truly a brilliant artist in my opinion and I can’t wait to see how he develops in this fast-moving industry. I think he is on his way to becoming a legend himself just like his beloved characters. Enjoy reading my conversation with Zeronis!
Rei: Hi Paul, I really love your artist name Zeronis. How did you come up with it?
Zeronis: Thank you! I think I thought about the name in my head in Korean and it sounded really cool at the time haha. I guess the meaning or representation can be interpreted as nothingness which could also be the vastness of space and time.
Rei: Can you tell me more about yourself in general?
Zeronis: My real name is Paul Kwon, a Korean American born in Phoenix AZ in United States. I was a self taught artist who grew up loving to draw characters especially Final Fantasy characters and Star Craft units for fun! I like spending time indoors as an introvert playing games and creating characters from my imagination. Art was started out as a hobby so I wasn’t formerly trained by anyone or at an art school until I went to college in LA.
Rei: I know that you’ve worked in the game industry for a long time and have worked for well-known game developers. Can you tell me more about how your art career started and how it evolved over the years to where you are now?
Zeronis: So becoming an artist has been an unpopular career choice, at least in my friend group and high school in general. A lot of my friends were smarter than me and studied hard to become lawyers, doctors, and engineers. So initially I followed the same path also because my dad has a doctorate degree in computer science engineering. I quickly realized that it wasn’t for me after trying it out for a year. I liked art but I was uncertain about majoring in art so I chose a path that’s close which was product design.
After 2 years of it, I had to submit my portfolio to proceed to the upper-division but I was rejected realizing maybe my heart wasn’t into it and I didn’t try hard enough. I learned about the Pasadena school called Art Center College of Design so I spent 3 months putting together what I thought was an ok portfolio, I got in and even some scholarships as well. So that’s how my career in Concept Art started.
Rei: I think it’s really impressive, considering how good you are, that you mentioned that you’re a mostly self-taught artist. When did you start making art and how did you become so good today?
Rei: Nowadays you’re also a very successful NFT artist. When and why exactly did you transition into the NFT space and how has this experience been so far?
Rei: Seeing your art you must be an anime fan like myself, but what are your sources of inspiration to make your art specifically?
Zeronis: My main source of inspiration I guess would be Final Fantasy and Blizzard games that really influenced my love for art. Nowadays, I get inspired by so many things so it’s constantly shifting. Mainly I think I’m always discovering new artists and incredible art I see on Twitter posts. Also, It’s great seeing some Indie games making bold choices on artistic directions, and also the mobile gacha games are always super inspiring.
Rei: Which other artists do you look up too?
Rei: Do have a specific message that you want to convey with your art?
Rei: Do you have any specific goals you want to achieve in the NFT space or with your art in general?
Rei: I can imagine that many aspiring artists look up to you. I love that you’ve mentioned that you want to help by sharing your knowledge because you’ve been in their shoes. How exactly do you do this?
Rei: Imagine how the world would evolve over the next 25 years. How would this look like to you and what place would NFTs have in this world?
Zeronis: I am a huge fan of AI, the implications of how this will affect us in the future. Singularity, General AI, Quantum Mechanics and Neuralink, I think this rapid growth in technologies will allow us to achieve these visions of metaverse a lot more quickly than we imagined. I think of myself as an optimist when it comes to change so I’m really excited to see where we will be in 25 years. I wished I was smarter to understand these implications more in details but I enjoy listening to smart scientists and engineers talk about it on podcasts like Lex Fridman. I mean, imagine our artworks, or even characters that are created by super talented creators outliving the creators as fully sentient beings? Imagine even ourselves, our consciousness copied and pasted into the metaverse living on with our characters after the physical bodies have perished. I think we are at such an early phase of the eventuality.
Rei: Lastly, where can people find your beautiful art?
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Art admirer turned NFT collector.