The remnants of ancient cultures meets towering supercomputers and interdimensional spacecraft; set to the scene of sky-scraping mountains, temperate rainforests, and crystalline rivers.
Where forgotten jewels from past cultures meets post-psychedelic visions of the future, the great natural elements collide with digital imagination. Here is the fertile soil for the ever growing works of Justin Totemical, one of the Northwest Coast’s emerging digital art prodigies.
I managed to pull Justin away from his digital pen tablet for long enough to ask him about art, invention, inspiration, and the spiritual quest.
1. What drives your inspiration to create art?
Justin : Many things inspire me in different ways, Inspiration to me is the fuel that helps my creative engine burn bright.
Travelling, Being in nature, Photography, Watching Movies, Finding New music, Art books, Art toys, Video Games & Documentaries continuously add fuel to the fire.
2. What kind of world changes would you like to see in the future?
Justin : Right now the most important thing to me is humanity having less of a eco footprint, this includes utilizing solar more and better education that doesn’t become too preachy. There are some countries that are doing good jobs with this and I would love to see it implemented more across the world.
3. Is there an overarching message to your art that you like to expand on in writing?
Justin : I am really interested in discovery both inward and outward, for me a part of this is not having a specific direction. I like keeping myself open to new ideas or techniques within my personal work, and a lot of that for me comes from not having too many guidelines. So I guess if there was one consistent theme it would be one of exploration.
4. Where do you see the dance between art and evolving technology leading the direction of your art into the future?
Justin : It’s very exciting to be a digital artist alive today. The medium is still so young compared to traditional materials so it feels like there are endless possibilities ahead. New and updated tools are being created often and with the combination of these I believe it’s possible to create techniques that haven’t been seen before.
The future of technology is both frightening and incredibly exciting; I believe everything can have a dualistic view of looking at it. Many people see VR and AI as a disconnection, but from an artistic standpoint I can really see the benefit of using such technologies to further explore consciousness and emotional expression.
5. If you had unlimited resources to invent a new technology, what would it be?
Justin : Idealistically with the science and knowledge available today it would be more affordable and accessible solar solutions. Anything capable of reducing our carbon footprint in some way.
If I lived in a dream world, I would invent some sort of spore mushroom that could survive any climate and would infect anyone in contact with the ability to realize that we all need to be a little less selfish and work a little harder to do our equal part towards an egalitarian future. I would probably be locked up for tinkering with deadly spores and virus’ so it might be best that I am just an artist with limited resources 😛
6. Any good books / movies / media that you’ve been inspired by recently?
Justin : I love film, Art Podcasts & Audio books. Those are the top on my list of constant and inspirational media streams.
The last great film I’ve seen in theaters was Interstellar and was lucky enough to catch it on 70mm Imax. Christopher Nolan is my one of my favourite directors alive today, I love the intricate and emotional puzzles he weaves for his audiences. It’s rare to find a large production movie that leaves you thinking after the experience, offering more then just pretty visuals and predictable story telling. Right now for podcasts and art talks I’ve been enjoying Art Cafe put together by my favourite Polish concept artist Maciej Kuciara and another one called Collective Podcast with Ui Visual artist Ash thorp. Audio books are great to listen to as well while creating, Currently I am listening to Eat that Frog, Flow & the Original Dune.
7. What have you learned recently on your spiritual quest?
Justin : When I was younger I did a lot of self discovery, these days I have been more on a path of Self Discipline. Picking up my studies again a year ago really helped teach me that I needed to work much harder and smarter then I had been in the past. This included purging relationships, objects and habits that were not serving me. To truly embrace my goals I found it best to not have any emotional or physical ties with things that would be otherwise still be on my mind. This has allowed me to tackle the tasks of the day more freely and has really helped my productivity and happiness.
Thanks Justin for showing us a glimpse of the mind behind your stylus. Hopefully you’ll gather enough resources to come up with that infectious mushroom spore that makes people more compassionate and open minded. Life is a dream. In the meantime, looking forward to your upcoming works! – Phong
To keep up to date and check out Justin’s latest works, check out: