Kugali Spotlight: Sy Blake
The artistic prowess of the London-born Toronto-based visual artist Simon ‘Sy’ Blake (also known as blckgold) speaks for itself. Though well versed in product design, animation and 2D illustration his creativity is best expressed in 3D sculptures. From textiles to hair textures his attention to detail is evident in each rendering. His art is teeming with personality and life. We would love to see these models come to life in an animated feature one day.
K: What gave you the courage to pursue a career in art?
SB: For me, it wasn’t so much about courage, it was just something I had to do. I’ve always been creative from a very very young age, so to me, this was just a case of finding out what I wanted to say, how I wanted to say it, and the best way to do all of that.
K: Can you describe the reaction of your family and close friends when you told them that you are going to be a professional artist?
SB: Honestly, I’m not sure my family really fully understand what I do, lol. If you asked my dad, he’d probably tell you I do something completely different from what my mum would tell you. But my family trust me and know that I am doing what I love, and as long at that makes me happy and gives me a bit of money at the same time. They don’t need to know the details… as long as it’s not illegal of course.
K: Now that you’re professional there’s a certain level of quality your fans have come to expect. Has this changed your creative process?
SB: Mmmm. good question, my creative process is a little less impulsive, I think more about what I’m posting, composition, design, posing. I have much more to learn to perfect, but the journey is enjoyable and I’ve gotten better through persistence.
K: Describe your favourite job or project and why?
SB: My favourite job has to be a project I’m working on currently called the International Doll Project, I get to learn about different cultures and put them into the designs of some wooden dolls. That’s a lot of fun, and the client is also super amazing.
K: Describe your worst job or project and why?
SB: I had a client who was extremely aggressive and long story short, we had to end our working relationship. I never got fully paid, but a little while after he did approach me to continue working with him. Of course, I said no.
K: Describe your creative process from the point of inspiration to completing a piece.
SB: My process is very fluid and I used to think it was unique to me, but it actually isn’t lol. In terms of my 3d character models, I sometimes start with a very rough and loose idea of what I want to do/say. As I’m working on the character I’m actually finding out more about them and making on the fly changes. The character may start with green hair and by the end be bald, because I may feel that works better for what I want the end result to be.
K: What do you think separates good art from great art?
SB: I try not to look at art in terms of good and bad and more in terms of… did you try, are you still trying, have you improved, are you still improving. It’s a journey and no one starts at the end. That being said, there are some things that automatically tarnish a piece.
K: When you think of beautiful art what is the first name that comes to mind?
SB: James Jean, his art for me is the essence of beauty
K: Dr. Who has granted you a chance to go 5 years in the past and talk to your younger self, however, you only have 15 seconds. What would you say?
SB: This one is easy, draw draw draw draw draw, and learn Maya. I feel having a solid foundation in drawing, knowing forms, shapes, bend stretch proportions, make your job in 3D so much easier and the result shows. and obviously, learn Maya so I can animate the hell out of my 3D characters.
K: Who are your top 5 favourite artists?
K: Describe your art in a sentence?
SB: This is actually so difficult. I don’t even have an answer really but something along the lines of visual empowerment for people like me.
K: What can we expect from you in the future?
SB: My goal is to get better and better, and put out more, experiment with animations, use different softwares and hopefully some great collaborations too.