It’s Sunday and it’s time for some CryptoArt goodness. For this week’s interview we’re back with another amazing visionary artist (I couldn’t resist, what can I say, I love visionary art). Jake Kobrin, an incredibly talented artist from California and now based in Bali, is known for his psychedelic and esoteric paintings of complex and precise detail. Looking at his art, it’s safe to say, he is a magician with the paintbrush!
His work explores influences from the Occult, Mystery School, and Mystical traditions of Western Esotericism as well as the Eastern spiritual traditions of Buddhism, Hinduism, Animism, and Tantra. He is one of the few psychedelic artists with a formal classical art education, having studied classical realist drawing and painting in Florence, Italy at the Angel Academy of Art.
So let’s dive in, we discuss NFTs and their effect on digital art, shamanic plants and esoteric techniques as a source of inspiration, and much more.
Make sure to check out Jake Kobrin’s website which is abundant with information for aspiring artists – such as how to earn money as a visual artist, art and creativity courses, and unleashing your inner artist.
How did you find out about the NFT space, and what attracted you to create your own NFTs?
I have known about NFTs since 2017, but did not mint my own until earlier this year. I discovered NFTs through fellow artists, as well as through my general interest in cryptocurrencies and blockchain technologies. What attracts me most to creating my own NFTs is to participate in the birth of the decentralized world, and to help foster the evolution of new technological paradigms. I was also attracted to it as a new stream of abundance, which for a digital artist like myself is especially significant, because I want to have the resources necessary to continue to create the best art I can possibly create, and to foster a lifestyle that allows me to do that full time.
How often do you create?
I create every day. Being an artist is a full time gig. Even when I am not actively making art, all of my life’s experiences are providing insight and inspiration for new works to be born.
Where do you get inspiration from?
I try to follow my interests and tastes with reckless abandon, which change all the time. I am fascinated by different states of consciousness, and how subjective and malleable our perspectives are. At the moment I am very inspired by Esoteric traditions from around the world, and the symbolism of these traditions. I am inspired as well by the experiences my experimentation with esoteric techniques has produced. I’m very inspired and fascinated by magick, and by the occult and paranormal and mystical aspects of life. Psychedelic drugs and shamanic plants have been a profound source of inspiration throughout my life as well, though I do not partake much anymore, as have been dreams and trance states produced by more endogenous means. I’m also inspired by other artists of many mediums, such as music, and from many different periods of time, as well as life in general. All of life is fuel for art.
Do you think NFTs are changing the way we see digital art?
Absolutely. I think for digital artists it is not too different. Personally I have always seen digital art as equally valid and valuable to that of traditional media work. But to the mainstream and collectors market, I think that this is the first time digital art has ever been seen as something valuable. Digital artists are getting their hard earned respect right now for the first time. A lot has changed since I used to show my early digital art to people and they would cringe and say, confused, “Oh, you mean a computer made that?” People are beginning to understand that digital technology and artistry is as complex to master as working with paint or any other traditional mediums.
Are there any CryptoArtists you would love to collaborate with?
Definitely. I have always loved Billelis’ work and his dark mystical scorpionic aesthetic. We could make something occult and sexy for sure. Android Jones has long been an inspiration to me, and I would love to collaborate with him in some way. Glass Crane is making ridiculously cool psychedelic animations, and I would love to see what sauce he and I could conjure. I’ve been digging Fvckrender’s textures and surfaces and his mastery of rendering as his name suggests. In general I’d love to collab with more 3D artists and animators as my art is more on the 2D side of things, and what I see people doing in 3D modeling, VFX rendering, and animation totally blows my mind.
What are you currently working on?
I’m working on a lot of different things at once, as usual. My most ambitious undertaking at the moment is to recreate the 22 Major Arcana Tarot cards as detailed and tightly rendered paintings. There’s a lot that goes into that beyond just the image making, as Tarot is a remarkably deep and esoteric subject and it is taking a lot of time for me to wrap my head around the symbolism and meaning of the cards. I’m almost finished with the digital rendering of the second card I’ve worked on, which is the eighth card: Adjustment. I’m also working on some pieces that combine 3D models I’ve created using Virtual Reality with computer rendering software, and then some 2D work on top of the renders. It’s all new tech for me so it’s fun to explore. I’m also working on some online courses and I have some traditional media pieces cooking also.
Where can collectors buy your work?
I have a major drop on Blindboxes.io, a new NFT platform that uses the Binance Smartchain as opposed to ETH. That drop has most of my best digital work over the last 10 years, and it’s only going to be up for auction for the next week or so. It’s a different kind of platform and all 15 pieces need to sell in order for any collector to get any, and if the box sells all collectors split the costs of the collection. If that drop isn’t successful these tokens will be burned and eventually be minted as 1/1s elsewhere. I also have work available on Foundation, though most of it has already sold, and I plan to keep minting there. There is one piece on Foundation I’m especially fond of which has no bids as of yet which is a musical composition I created with my girlfriend Lika, who is an amazing singer. It has a very esoteric feeling and I’m very proud of that project. I also have some rather low priced NFT editions on HicEtNunc which is an exciting alternative platform that uses the Tezos blockchain. I’d love to eventually mint and sell on SuperRare or Makersplace.
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Ivelina is an NFT and Blockchain lover. She has a knack for putting complex concepts into simple words.