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Q&A with Nate Kogan

April 01, 2013

You may have noticed something different about our logo today. We gave our logo to Toronto artist, Nate Kogan and asked him to do up something fun for April Fools Day.

April 1 is a day of fun and weird for the internet and we thought this fit perfectly.

Nate, an artist of many talents specializes in the fun world of gif's. His work is a mixed bag of gif awesomeness that mashes sex, drugs, kittens and puppies, religion and hot babes together into a totally different way of viewing digital artwork. Oh yeah...it's seriously f**ked up. 

Here's our Q&A with Nate:

The creative is radical....and a bit crazy. What exactly goes on in that head of yours? I gotta know...Experimentation or premeditated design? 

I LOVEEEE Playing. That's how pretty much everything comes out. The design process is a mix of inspiration, and then sand-boxing a bunch of ideas that I have in my head in one place and seeing what sticks to the theme best. I guess you could say it's a mix of both, but I always experiment with everything I do, even though I stick to a similar aesthetic

The obligatory question: What are your inspirations?

I love mess ups and mistakes, you know when you have something open on your computer and it glitches out? Well whoever was in charge of whatever is going on slipped up while making that piece of code or whatever, and I love the human element that creates mistakes in otherwise perfect machines. I get inspired a lot by the so called deadly sins because they seem to be the most fun as well. Everyone likes getting messy/hot/fucked up/crazy once in a while. I find it's good times.

What are some of the technical challenges that you face?

Because I play A LOT I don't really have too many technical challenges; I would say the biggest challenge is deciding what I want to do and how I want to go at it because there are an infinite number of ways to do something cool when you're talking digital. I find it's more of a curation game for me instead of a technical challenge, and the more I learn, and can do; the more I have to curate this in an orderly manner. From a social standpoint the challenge is showing people that the internet can be a canvas, and that a lot of the stuff going on in the online world is AMAZING material for artists, but this world is still in the baby stages, so people are very curious and have lots of questions. Challenging and fun!

Your gifs are the rage in Toronto. I've heard lots of people in town talking about it. What goes through your mind when you hear about people talking about your style of art? 

I am seriously humbled every time this happens. I respect my own work, or else I would not be doing it, but to have someone care about it and speak on my behalf and then gain this like... ARMY of mini evangelists who big me up really trips me out. I think it's awesome, and crazy and I love them all!


Do you intentionally attempt to trip people out with your gifs? 

I do! My goal in life is to create trippy experiences for people. I LOVE curating visual sensation.., and soon audio too ;)

You told me once about the fact that you promote the idea of others reusing your artwork. Has this ever happened?

Yes a bunch of tumblr kids love taking my work and adding,ripping, cleaning, messing up, reworking, and reverse engineering my stuff. I welcome it, and think this is one of the key concepts that breeds creativity. I believe in a remix mentality 

What's next? How are you evolving your artwork next?

A bit of sound production, bigger installation work with a bit of interaction, and last but not least saying goodbye to the GIF as I know it for something new that's much smoother and trippier :D:D

Check out more of Nate's work on his website at NateKogan.net  Viewing these samples here just doesn't do it justice.