5 min read

what are surreal environments?

how a videographer turned visual artist leverages his architectural interests and imagination to digitally create surreal environments
what are surreal environments?

meet jayson, a digital artist and videographer in southern california. while he got his start making music videos, he soon became a real estate expert, helping agents sell million dollar listings by shooting and posting homes for sale on youtube. most recently, the versatile creator fuses his interests, experience, and imagination to digitally craft surreal environments.

interview by: @sydneyia

art and imagery by: @jaysonk0312

where are you from and what was your first experience in and around art?

i'm originally from south korea but i grew up in california.

for context, my dad loved to watch mega mansion videos on youtube with me and would say “son, one day you gotta film one of these crazy mansions.” i really aspired to that, and i continued to love watching videos of insane 20-30 million dollar mansions.

so my first encounter with art was through photography. i begged my dad for a specific camera in kindergarten and he got it for me. from there, i started taking pictures and got into making videos. in elementary school i would shoot random music videos with my friends and when i moved to the us, i started experimenting with vlogs and i got into tutorial videos. for those i taught people how to code and install apps.

i went to santa monica college as a film major and i absolutely hated it. so instead of taking trivial class, i dm’d hundreds of real estate agents in la on instagram to see if i could shoot videos of properties for them and eventually one answered. we started to film large homes for sale, made a youtube channel together, and grew quite a bit, pretty quickly. we went from around 90,000 subscribers to around. 3 million subscribers now and is fully my career. through this journey, i met a lot of artists and was exposed to different architecture at the same time, which influenced my current art and inspiration a lot.

your current art meaning digital art?

yeah. digital art has been part of my life for a while. i was always into design, specifically minimalistic design, and while i wanted to get into making digital art sooner, i was intimidated by it at first. i was scared to learn so many different softwares. in 2017, i downloaded cinema 4d but after a week i gave up.

i didn't know where to start, but around 2020, i woke up one day and thought to myself, “i'm not going to improve unless i try” so that was my second attempt to get into digital art. from there i downloaded blender, which is much more user friendly than cinema 4d. with blender i was able to really advance. i started to experiment with surreal environments, which means i created environments that don’t exist in real life, or don’t make sense structurally. for example, frozen trees growing in a desert. that type of content was what i was trying to create. i wanted to make surreal, 3d, realistic looking environments. my job and 3d art really expresses that architectural and artistic side of myself.

i started to experiment with surreal environments, which means i created environments that don’t exist in real life, or don’t make sense structurally

what inspires you?

my biggest source of inspiration is music. i realized if i'm crammed working, nine to five, inspiration doesn't really come to me. when i'm on a road trip, listening to music, that's where my ideas really out. and being the pacific coast highway in la is my golden time to really get my mindset right. that said, if i'm specifically talking about digital art, i usually look on pinterest and instagram for creators and artwork that inspires me.

what's your favorite aspect of making art?

talking about digital art, there are obviously many processes, right? so the most exciting, thrilling part of the various processes to me is when i get the concept right.

process wise, you start with an idea. then you find your inspirations, form your concept, do the modeling, and so on. but i think making the concept to actually modeling, is the most fun part. you experiment with it, you make the structures, shapes, whatever, and then you get into little nitty details like textures and where the sun is coming from and all that. to me, that part of the process is truly bringing your imagination into it.

i just want to inspire people by showing them art that didn't exist before.

are you working on anything new or in particular right now?

i'm still experimenting with it but i want to get into 3d videos. I have a few videos that i made before but videos are especially difficult because you need to render so many frames. if i do 30 frames per second, it's gonna equal around 10 seconds which will require 300 photos.

what does being a creator mean to you?

being a creator means doing artwork that actually aesthetically and emotionally resonates with other people in a way where you don't need to explain what it is.

is there something that you hope people understand when they look at your art?

i want to bring them a totally different perspective. i think the point is to get people think, “wow, this concept could actually exist.” i just want to inspire people by showing them art that didn't exist before. i also want to make super realistic renders that people assume are real. i just want to make unique pieces, that's my goal.

was primitives your introduction to nfts or web3?

when i got back into digital art again, i started to post it on my instagram stories and so many people dmd me, telling me to make nfts of them. so that's how i got into opensea. i think the biggest advantage of primitives is that it's so user-friendly. everything's very simplified. i was able to just click, upload, select pictures, and we're pretty much done. compared to other platforms i had to study.

jayson's network:



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