To celebrate our 2018 ULED 4K TV range, we collaborated with Jake Stollery, a digital artist, known for his impeccable use of colour, texture and contrast.
We sat down with Jake to chat about his inspiration and creative process which explores iridescence, form and motion. Read on to find out how Jake makes use of our ULED technology in a dynamic showcase of rich blacks through our Prime Array Backlight system and iridescent colours made even more vibrant with our Quantum Dot Colour technology.
Tell us a bit about yourself, how did you get started in digital art?
The primary catalyst of my youth was seeing ‘The Matrix’ — the heroes for me were not the superhuman characters, but the VFX supervisors crafting such breathtakingly original visuals. I remember thinking ‘I want to do that!’ — I want to create imagery which excites and inspires. I studied Visual Effects and Design at university, then as I graduated landed a role as a textile and fashion designer by day and digital artist by night, I haven’t looked back since!
Can you describe your creative process? After you’ve come up with the initial idea where do you go from there?
Once I have the initial idea I choose which process will communicate the narrative best — such is the excitement of digital art, the creative variety! Do I wish to work with stills and video, to capture elements with a camera? Procedurally generate textures and forms? Perhaps digitally paint or sculpt with a graphics tablet? There is a wealth of exciting process directions one can take an idea. Sometimes it’s the inverse, I will be curious about a new process with hardware or software and I will allow my curiosity and time spent with it to inspire the direction it goes.
Tell us about the collaborations with Hisense. What is this installation all about?
I have had the great pleasure of working with Hisense on several occasions. This work is called ‘Waveform I’, it is an exploration of iridescence, form and motion. I wanted the work to makes use of Hisense’s incredible TV technology as much as possible. From the rainbow of iridescent hues that pulse with the waveforms, made possible in such fidelity via the Quantum Dot Colour and Smooth Motion Rate, to the deep black background, a rich contrast provided by the Prime Array Backlight with its 1000+ Local Dimming Zones. As a digital artist, it’s like being handed the most premium creative canvas one could imagine. The excitement of limitless visual possibility and the noble sense of responsibility which comes from maximising such an opportunity. It makes my heart race!
What tools are you using when you develop your artwork?
I’m a huge fan of Evernote. After the idea has matured the primary tools I enjoy using most are Cinema 4D, Adobe After Effects, Illustrator and of course, Photoshop. In terms of technology, I am certainly passionate about computing power as I want the creative process to be as frictionless and enjoyable as possible – a slow computer is a pain to work on. I’m a massive hardware nerd as knowing the intricacies of how your tools work means you have the capacity to make the most out of them.
How did you develop your style? Who or what are your main influences?
Whilst narratively my artwork has recurring themes, I enjoy the versatility of aesthetic that digital creativity affords. I enjoy exploring different stylistic approaches for the fun of it, so I couldn’t say there was one primary source of inspiration. There are so many amazing creatives, from musicians, visual artists and writers, all crafting exciting content with which any one single element from their work could be the spark to excite one’s imagination. My advice would be to immerse yourself in as much great content from as many different mediums as you can, it’s a glorious time in human history for creativity!
What do you listen to while you create?
Streaming platforms allow you to consume countless new and incredible tracks constantly, I’m certainly a fan of the discovery algorithms. However some of my favourite releases of late have been ‘Too Much’ by Rome In Silver, ‘Skeletons’ by Crywolf, ‘Dans Ma Main’ by Jean-Michel Blais and Sydney based musician, Golden Features’ latest release, ‘SECT’.
You have a great sense of colour and contrast – how do you choose your palette and design?
I feel experience plays the biggest role in this, your sense of tonal range comes from experimenting and exploring with what works and what doesn’t in terms of setting the mood emotionally. Don’t be afraid to suck at something until you get it right, perseverance and commitment are the best ways to raise the probability of success at your chosen goals!
Have you always done work with motion? Or did you begin with static compositions first? [What encouraged the move to motion?]
Definitely started with static first and as enjoyable as it is creating still images, the desire to see them in motion is quite a compulsion! Imagine being able to see your painting come to life, it’s an entirely new dimension of creativity to explore, so motion was a field where I gleefully dived into the deep end!
When you design, is a huge part of your process the way it will eventually be displayed? i.e. whether this be on a billboard at a lower res; or on a high-end television? How key is this to your process?
Most certainly! Whilst I endeavour to make my work versatile, it is critically important to bear in mind the end result, especially in digital art, there are so many technicalities to consider from frame rates and codes, to aspect ratio and colour saturation. This is why I love the digital creative space so much! Take Hisense’s implementation of HDR10 — HDR Supreme, a 10 bit wide colour gamut capable of over a billion colours, it’s like every digital artist has been gifted a new set of brushes, opening a world of unparalleled creative possibilities. There is certainly no time to stand still and be bored when working with creative technology!
You’ve got a Hisense ULED 4K TV – what’s your favourite thing to watch on it?
As spectacular as it is to game in 75 inches of 4K glory, nothing flexes the cutting edge tech in these panels like a UHD Bluray. And for that it would have to be Blade Runner 2049! To me the movie is so visually arresting with a great story to tell. The aforementioned HDR Supreme technology of the Hisense makes the hugely detailed and expansive shots from the film even more rich and atmospheric. It’s a true luxury of life to experience content this way.
What other projects are you currently working on?
At the moment I am sinking my teeth into my most ambitious work yet, a digital art gallery for VR. It’s quite a task that I keep fresh by working on various artworks to populate it at the same time — right now I am crafting a series of motion works based upon caustics, the refraction of light as it passes through water. It is to be a peaceful and calming work set to a contemporary orchestral score, of which I am collaborating with a dear musician friend of mine to create.
Any advice to aspiring digital artists?
You’ve got to challenge yourself, you have to choose things you don’t already know how to do. If you want to stand out from the crowd it’s best to have as many feathers in your cap as you can.
Try to find and immerse yourself in the finest examples of creative work from every genre you can find, from movies and music to games and writing. This is all easier said than done so don’t lose your nerve, don’t let anyone dampen your spirit and keep that chin up, perseverance is the key. Oh and make your bed every morning, it’s your first victory for the day!
View the 2018 ULED range and take your at-home viewing experience to a whole new level!