Merging Art + Technology with Machine-Generated Graphics

Jul 29th, 2019
Rachal Duggan

Maker Spotlight: Mixed Media Artist Samyo

Tell us a bit about your creative practice.

I produce a variety of generative graphics for live performances and creative spaces.

What’s your workspace like?

I keep my workspace as concise as possible to keep things light and portable. In some of my projects, I harness the Mac mini’s modular design to create a powerful and discrete rig with just one wireless network, an iPad mini, and Astropad.

Samyo’s workspace

How does Astropad fit in your practice?

I rely on Astropad to make my iPad mini my wireless monitor display. When I’m setting up a 3D environment to project content, Astropad allows me to walk around making all the precise adjustments I need easily. To make things more visual, I created this video of my Astropad process:

AstroPad LightForm from Samyo on Vimeo.

Walk us through your daily routine.

I don’t really have a routine but I always make sure I start with a ginger and lemon juice smoothie.

How do you merge traditional creativity with digital tools?

I program dials and sliders, set up rules and events, and map out parameters before I press play and watch how creative programming endlessly create content that will keep eyes glued.

As an artist, how have digital tools improved your workflow?

Digital tools help me create a workflow free from the limitations of conventional 3D mapping. With Astropad, there’s no easier way to mask and auto-trace than by using your finger to trace and fill.

How do you brainstorm fresh ideas?

I really enjoy breaking through mental blocks by working on other projects like music production or even yard-work. Once distracted, I come back with fresh ideas and new perspectives.

What’s your favorite thing about the work you do?

My favorite thing would have to be the clever ways of finding hacks for many of the tools and apps I use. I especially like finding the limits of those tools. Learning about their limitations is a great way to also keep finding new ways to circumvent them.

What’s the hardest part about the work you do?

Render-times! Thankfully, in the future, machine-learning will do-away with much of that.

If you had to describe yourself with one emoji, which would you choose and why?

It’d be the inquisitive emoji 🤔 because there’s always joy in learning something new!

What inspires you most?

The line between art and technology.

Follow Samyo on Instagram and see his portfolio here. Share your Astropad workflow with us on social using #Astropad for a chance to be featured.

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