You have an impressive list of photography clients including Pandora, Samsung, Volvo, Warner Bros, Hewlett Packard, Huawei and Billabong Women's. Could you tell us a little about your journey to building a creative career?
You could say that my creative path was set at an early age. I went to the Rudolf Steiner School from the age of 6, a school that nurtures all creativity, philosophy and the arts. Furthermore, my father was a professional musician so I was trained in classical music as well. I studied sound engineering, produced music, did a photography apprenticeship, then moved from Norway to Australia where I did a Bachelor of Photography at Queensland College of Arts. And this is how my journey as an international fashion and advertising photographer started, with the Gold Coast as my base for the last 20 years. I’ve always balanced my commissioned work with personal projects shot around the world, from photographing Harajuku girls in Tokyo, to crossing Cambodia on a dirt bike to traveling across Iceland. New clients took notice along the way, so it all grew organically. You never know what’s around the corner as a creative.
What drew you to NFTs?
I’ve always been into digital technology, both within visual arts as well as music production. I’ve also been interested in crypto since 2017, so it was a natural progression. It's such a disruptive technology, coming from being represented by galleries taking 50% of sales, and no royalties from the secondary market to interacting directly with collectors and much more frequently with other artists are all profound changes. The idea that the minted works are decentralized living on the blockchain forever is also a fascinating concept.
How do you create your NFTs?
When Covid hit and I couldn't do any photography shoots, I went down the rabbit hole experimenting with AI, training neural network on datasets of work from my own archives as well as found images. I was in a new world of endless possibilities, exciting and unpredictable, scary and beautiful at the same time!
Some of the software that I use for editing includes Adobe Photoshop, Premiere, Lightroom and Capture One. For GAN work I’ve been using Runway and also started experimenting with images, prompts and guided networks like VQGAN+CLIP running through Google Colab notebooks. I’ve also played around with 3D Lidar video scans, GPT-3, Midjourney and DALL·E 2. It’s fascinating to see how fast this new technology based on neural networks is evolving exponentially.
Why do you use Verisart?
I use Verisart as it’s the perfect way to certify the authenticity of my work, the COAs live on the blockchain and will automatically transfer to any new owner of the work. I believe a certificate with artist information and artwork details including the artist's signature adds value for the collector. I’ve been doing COAs for my fine art photography prints for about 20 years, and changing over to using Verisart will be a massive game-changer when it comes to organizing and keeping track of the certificates over time.
What has been a highlight of your career so far?
I think being able to do what I love and call it work, and get to travel around to world for so many years shooting for clients and personal projects, meeting new people and experiencing new cultures which I am so grateful for.
Stylistically your photography work and your NFTs are very different but they both seem influenced by fashion and bodies. Is there a dialogue between your NFTs and photographs? Does one influence the other?
In my current personal work, I’ve been most interested in exploring the space between fashion, art and technology, the works are often figurative, abstract, surreal and experimental. Some of these were minted as NFTs on SuperRare, such as the Artefact and New Breed series. I do plan on launching more photography works from my archives and career as a photographer in the future using Manifold custom smart contracts.
What advice would you give to yourself when you were just starting out on your creative career?
Advice to my younger self would be to block out the external noise, only measure yourself against yourself, focus on inspiration from within and always stay curious.
We love hearing about new artists and creators, who do you admire or find most inspiring?
I really admire the works of contemporary and visionary artists such as Olafur Eliasson, Kevin Abosch, Pindar Van Arman and Mario Klingemann to name a few.