Chris Chris 14.08.2023

Interview with Mad Cherry β€” Artist Based in South Korea

On this joyful day, my guest is Mad Cherry — an artist based in South Korea. She mainly creates digital drawings inspired by her daydreams and imaginations. The majority of her works are Imaginary Animals, her series illustrating surrealistic animals.

Chris: Please elaborate on your artistic background and the path that led you to venture into NFT art.

Mad Cherry: I am mainly self-taught. In short, I started considering art as a vocation during my early twenties and became more active as an artist since the winter of 2019. Before then, with my passion for animals, I wanted to become a vet. 

At first, I chose to learn digital drawing since it requires less space to keep the artworks and materials. When I was learning how to draw on adobe photoshop using a pen tablet, I found the variety of brushes and blending techniques attractive and stuck to digital drawing. The first series I started was Faced Fruits and Veggies, a series of fruits and vegetables with facial expressions. After two years, I started Imaginary Animals series, which is still ongoing.

I was clueless about NFT when I started digital drawing. I presented my digital artworks as digital prints or fine art pigment prints in fairs and exhibitions. When people asked me about the original artwork, I would say they were digital. However, I had moments when original artwork in digital file did not seem get much acknowledged, perhaps since digital images are easily replicable and intangible. I began to search about NFTs when I found that it allows some materiality to the original copy of digital artworks and has a market that acknowledges digitally created original art.

Chris: What strategies do you employ to build and nurture a supportive community around your NFT art?

Mad Cherry: I actually do not have a solid strategy about building a community around my NFT art. As of now, I am focusing on sharing and showing my work and engaging with others on twitter: participating in art share/ shill/ open call threads, interacting with other artists and collectors, saying “gm.” 

Chris: As NFT technology gains more mainstream attention, do you think it could revolutionize the way society perceives and embraces art in general?

Mad Cherry: I think it could be possible if NFT technology allows more ways to enjoy art; for instance, applying the collected NFT artwork in other services and areas that many people frequently use. Services such as social media, games, electronic devices, home applications could incorporate NFT technology to support display or utilize the collected NFT art. Changes in how people consume art would change how people treat art and revolutionize how art is perceived.

NFT technology has already paved a new way to collect art and broadened the spectrum of collectors. It allowed the idea of “collecting” to digital art while introducing another way to consume physical artworks. NFT technology made art collecting easier than before. People can collect art just from where they are, without concerns about needing spaces to keep the artwork. The market presents various genre of art with wide price range, making art available for more people. When NFT becomes more commonplace in other areas and services and owning a wallet becomes more popular, people could more easily step into art market. Art collecting may become more common hobby or leisure among people.

Chris: Can you share any specific NFT art collection you're particularly proud of, and what inspired its creation?

Mad Cherry: My main collection is
Imaginary Animals, a series of surrealistic animals I started since 2019. While creating new animals, I work on expanding the series as well. Through “appendix B,” I illustrate a part of their anatomy and explaining characteristics of each animal. I suspect my passion for animals are expressed in this way, unable to let of my interest in animals. 

The animals base on my daydreams and imagination. The inspiration for those daydreams may vary, I suspect. It could be something I saw, thoughts that were rooting inside, or remains of abrupt emotions. The first animal I drew was Pearl-eyed Magpie, inspired by a magpie sitting on a fence at a park.

In this series, I wanted to illustrate the animals as if I were delivering what I saw from another place. I used a delicate brush for this series to depict the texture of each animal and heavily add the sense of handwork in the digital medium. While I work, I think about why the animal came up in my mind or why the animal looks like the way it is. Often this is the step where I find the source of inspiration for the imagination.

Chris: What role do you believe curators will play in the NFT ecosystem compared to traditional art circles?

Mad Cherry: I have little experience with curators, but I have seen some galleries that showcase arts with a feature and thought it would be helpful for both artists and collectors to find each other. Although communicating with collectors become easier due to the use of social media, it is still hard for artists to find the audience who would be interested in their artwork in. It would also be the same for collectors since there are numerous artworks that they have look at. As there are vast number of artists and artworks introduced in the NFT art market, the role of the curators would lean toward making grounds for artists and collectors with common artistic interest to connect. Unlike traditional galleries, they would much less concern about taking care of the artworks or installing for better display. Instead, curators may focus more on gathering arts with a coherent theme, building a community, arranging events or exhibitions to introduce artists and collectors with common interest, whether it is the medium, the subject, the style, etc.

Chris: As an NFT artist, do you find it essential to remain transparent about your creative process?

Mad Cherry: Being transparent about the creative process is definitely essential in terms of copyright and authenticity of the work. Since there has been a lot of news with copyright and plagiarism regarding NFT art, the artist should be clear so that nobody has to worry about collecting a fraud. However, it does not seem necessary to show all parts of the process unless the artist wants to. If the artist thinks sharing their process is effective for communicating and engaging your collectors, it would be better to do so indeed.

In my case, I tend to share parts of my working process. I am used to working alone and sometimes feel nervous about recording myself or being on live. In addition, it is hard for me to record the whole process of coloring since it takes a long time to color each animal. I would need the recording program going while working on photoshop, which would push my laptop too much. So, I prefer to keep mid-stages of coloring or record short videos of coloring on photoshop.

Chris: Have you ever collaborated with musicians, writers, or other artists to create multimedia NFT experiences? If so, how was that experience?

Mad Cherry: No, I have not. Working with artists who create with different forms of art sounds like an interesting project.

Chris: What steps do you take to educate yourself and stay up-to-date with the latest developments in the NFT and blockchain space?

Mad Cherry: Usually, I read newsletters or resources from NFT communities, galleries, or groups. I read the ones that seem interesting or point out areas I wanted to know about. Checking twitter and joining spaces also keeps me educated on NFT. I do additional searches on topics that I want to know further or on things that I don’t understand. Also, just by using NFT platforms like manifold or foundation, I get updated by seeing new features and checking them out. Being active in NFT field seems to be crucial as well.

Chris: Thanks for being with me, any last words? Where can our readers follow you?

Mad Cherry: Thanks for having me! :) It was a good time to think about and check on my NFT journey. Readers can follow me on Twitter and Instagram, both @madcherry33. Most of my artworks are on Foundation and Known Origin. For more information, you can also visit my website.