Magnta - Our Animator
Announcing Magnta - The amazing Digital Artist who is reimagining each of our collabs with Animations including Sketches, Illustrations & Time Lapses!
We had a chance to interview Magnta - here it is:
Square Rooted (SR): How’s it going?
Hi !! Kinda sleepy 😆
Q: No problem - this still a good time?
Haha! yeah it’s alright, I was totally not looking how to write emojis on this thing 😆
Q: Ooh you got it :) hmm ok I’ll figure that out soon too. OK let’s get started then… So tell us about yourself!
What do you want to know?? 😅
Q: Well, you’re the digital artist doing all of the NFTs for this last phase - obviously very talented and you have a tremendous amount of experience doing this. How did you get started with digital art? Was it always digital?
Haha I wouldn’t say tremendous experience, I’ve been doing digital illustration since I was likeeee 13 years old? back then when digital tablets weren’t even a proper thing, I started drawing with a mouse… It's been a long while. but yeah, I’ve been mainly a digital artist most of my life.
But animating properly I actually started like 5 years ago I would say, never had a tool I liked for animating that I was comfortable with until recently 😆
Q: Definitely you have experience though - I think with the same equipment I wouldn’t get anywhere remotely close to what you’re able to do. I also can’t image animating with a mouse but I’m sure many people do. What equipment / programs do you use when illustrating / animating?
Q: Very cool - well… let’s take a giant step back and maybe talk about your collection prior to even Square Rooted. Tell us about it, and what inspired you to do that collection?
I was told about WAX, and what got me was the function of packing random NFTs, that I'll be using in the future more hopefully.
I’ve been wanting to do trading cards for like a year but I didn't find a digital option until now.
But about my current collections’ artwork, I don’t know what to say about it, I just draw what I like which is horror and naughty stuff 😋
Q: So for everyone reading this, here is your collection - you have designed a lot of templates in that collection - I think we first connected when some of your sticker packs were coming out, but since then - you’ve added these new - I don’t even know how to describe them - horror scenes where it’s showing like a instagram live feed of someone being murdered? So crazy! I haven’t seen that in a NFT before. Where did you come up with that idea?
Oh these characters from an idea for an interactive comic that I haven’t really properly developed.
They’re a group of serial killers that murders people picked by their followers on Twitter and Instagram.
There’s a big crazy cancel culture on twitter at the moment so that’s kind of the inspiration of it, people go really mad online.
Sam hosts streams where their followers can pick terrible people that have abused others and the murderers (XIII and Morrison, more characters will be coming soon) kill them live for the pleasure of the internet, it’s really fucked up I know 😆
These NFTs are a little peek to that idea I have, hopefully I get to do one day.
(A couple of those NFTs are still available, go get them https://neftyblocks.com/c/meninainabox/, finish reading the interview first tho)
Q: Yeah and as you were answering that, I’m watching the scenes - and the chat of the viewers - a lot of really great thought and design went into how those “screenshot” NTFs got developed. Can you talk us through your creative process? How does that work?
These characters are based on my favorite slashers and my favorite musicians.
A little bit of Michael Myers, a bit of Slipknot, I’m sure some have noticed 😆
XIII was the first character I created of this group, I love her.
The animations, I wanted them to look like CCCT recording so I looked for a bunch of references (important) to get it right, then I painted everything like a normal illustration (most thing I draw as I go tbh) and used a bit of puppeteering because these aren’t actually properly animated, I just moved the pieces as I needed. It made the movements look kind of broken but I think it helped make it more creepy if that makes sense 😅
I also made these super quick, like around 5 hours, I made them in a night each at least.
Q: Yeah I agree - it almost gives that part of the animation more focus because less is moving - and it does add to the creepy aspect. Well that’s amazing too - the quality of work that you can do in that time is really impressive. --- For Square Rooted, we show your art almost in phases - Sketches, then Illustrations, then Animation - with a full time lapse. We also have the Rough Sketch Animation. Can you talk about those phases - and when do ideas happen along those steps, versus your steps to refine and finalize the animation? Any things you can share with us as well so far that only you know about in the designs that we may not notice unless looking for?
Well the idea happens before even opening the canvas, I like to research about what I’m drawing first to get a better spirit from the creator’s project, everyone is really different from each other.
Most ideas just come randomly while I’m walking or doing anything else, trying to make it look right in my head before I do anything, I tend to brainstorm for ideas more in my head than on the canvas. I’m glad everything I have came up so far with have worked out 😆
Then, because my art style is pretty different from the creator’s, I try to design the character my own way to have a little extra reference.
And theeen, for the movements, I look up for more references yayy. With the first animation of the doggy, I looked for videos of French Bulldogs and analyzed their personalities, how they move and thingies like that.
With other animations I might not end up using this many references, sometimes I just take it out of my head and I have no idea what I’m doing so it ends up being trial and error with seeing what movements look right until I nail it.
Q: So I think what has been the most interesting (not being an animator) is seeing the creative process come to life - and it totally makes sense how a lot of the brainstorming is in your head even before the first line is even drawn. And at the same time, you can see, especially when you watch the time lapse how there is still refinements being made all the way to the very end. The other thing I’d mention is animating is much different than a single illustration. What are some things you can share about animating and the considerations you have to make vs. doing a single illustration?
A single illustration I can do muuuch quicker with more detail than a short animation.
Animating frame by frame you have to commit yourself that you’ll be drawing 30 or 50 or hundreds of drawings, and sometimes you notice the movement looks wrong: too quick, too slow, too stiff, and you have to delete and redraw a bunch of frames until you get it right.
It’s honestly a lot of hard work, time and concentration.
The worst is that I could do things simpler but I like to complicate myself by trying my best to make the movement as natural and fun as I can.
I also like animating on 24 fps, which means more drawings to do 😆
Q: Agreed - the amount of work definitely shows. And especially the iterations you go through - or using previous work to refine the next phase of it. Very interesting to see come to life! Also I think the flexibility of going from horror video clips to cute puppies and bubble boys whirling into new looks is a testament to your flexibility in characters. We certainly are putting that to a test in Square Rooted! I’d like to thank you for everything you’ve done so far - and the animations we’ve seen but not yet released - so excited to get these launched! Anything else you’d like to share with us in closing?
I’m glad that everyone is enjoying my work, I can’t wait to see the reactions of the creators when their packs are released.
You can follow me on twitter @meninainabox, one of my collections is called the same, and here are more links if you want them I have a ton of them: https://magnta.art/magnta555-homepage/ (Only adults on this page, put your kids away😆)
You’ll find all my WAX NFTs over there!
I’m coming with really fun things in the future on WAX, lots of packs and blending, LOTS of fun horror and cute characters and artwork, also NFTs you can use on Immersys and mooore animations.
So yeah , you all better stay around 💖