Interview: Cartoon Advisory Juan Rendon
Luca Curci talks with Cartoon Advisory Juan Rendon during BORDERS 2021| BODIES+CITIES SKIN Venice International Art Fair, at Palazzo Albrizzi-Capello and THE ROOM Contemporary Art Space.
My name is Juan Rendon, my artist name is Cartoon Advisory. I am a 25 year old digital artist based out of Gainesville, Florida. I focus mainly on 3D Art & Motion Graphics. Working mostly with Cinema 4D and the Adobe Creative Suite to create my work, but I love to branch out and explore different programs to help me develop ideas even further. I have been creating under the name Cartoon Advisory for 2 years now but started working with digital mediums during High School in TV Production. I love using a lot of vibrant and energetic colors to drive my pieces. Psych of color and color theory are some things that I really love playing around with. My work is an extension of myself. Each piece represents a different emotion/feeling/idea from my life that I am able to interpret through surreal scenery and psychedelic palettes.
Luca Curci – What are you currently working on?
Cartoon Advisory Juan Rendon – My main focus right now is creating 3D digital art to sell as NFTs. I have been a part of the SuperRare family for a little over a year and have had a lot of fun creating and selling NFTs. I’m also working on some sculptures that I hope to begin production on in the next month or two. I have sketches and ideas in development but slowly making some progress on materials. This is actually a project I’ve wanted to do for quite a while now so I’m really excited and happy to see things progress as they have been.
LC – What’s your background? What is the experience that has influenced your work the most?
JR – I come from a TV production and musical background. I started playing guitar when I was really young (12/13 Y/O) and took TV Production in high school, which is where I began working with digital media on a creative/professional level. The musician side of me has always been fascinated by showmanship and “your brand”. I’ve always wanted to be in front of an audience performing. TV production allowed me to center my attention a bit and I realized that I didn’t really like being in front of a camera, but I still enjoyed the production process a lot. I was also skateboarding a ton at the time so my friends and I would film and edit skate videos on our free time. This allowed me to understand that not everything is meant to be serious and that if you’re not enjoying what you do there is no sense in doing it. Sometime during my senior year of high school I began working with Photoshop and photo manipulation apps on my phone and started to dive deeper into graphic design. During this time I also began going to festivals and concerts which allowed me to experience a ton of incredible new art and opened my mind to a lot of new things. It wasn’t until two/three years after I graduated high school that I realized that I could potentially make a career out of art, so I began doing research for schools nearby me that offered graphic design courses. Which is how I found Full Sail University. While I was at Full Sail I was hyper focused on being the best version of myself that I could be. I stopped partying as much as I was and put my head down and worked. I entered into this brand new world and I felt excited again to work on something new. My time at Full Sail was more rewarding than I could have hoped for. I met mentors and made friendships that I never thought I would have made. I also learned a lot of useful skills which I continue to apply and improve in my work today.
LC – Which art themes do you pursue? What is your preferred subject, if there is any?
JR – Overall my main theme is freedom: the idea of freedom, the feeling of freedom, the pursuit of freedom. I really love exploring the surreal worlds and scenarios that sprout from my everyday life. I try to recreate the world I see and feel around me with computer programs in an expressive and colorful way. I love exploring geometric design and use a lot of Deco and Nouveau references for my work as well. I really love studying Crop Circles and Tribal design and will try to mix these things together in a strange futuristic tribal style. Most of my pieces represent the idea of finding peace in your own journey. I try my best to put my own story into each piece in a way that connects with my audience and allows them to see and feel a little bit of what I see and feel every day. My mental health is something that I have been working on for the past couple of years as well, so I try to express my journey with that through some of my pieces. I have been able to use art as a way to cope with my mental health and will use all range of emotions to come up with concepts for my work. Art is my escape, without a doubt.
LC – What is your creative process like?
JR – It usually begins with a feeling or emotion that sticks in my mind. Could be from a movie that I am watching or something happening in my immediate life that is on my mind. Once that idea is swimming in my head I go to my sketch book and begin to quickly draw a rough sketch of what I have in my head. After I have developed the idea out on paper and I have an understandable picture of what it is I want to create I begin to work in either Cinema 4D or Adobe Illustrator. When I see the piece starting to take shape, I put down the sketch book and begin exploring different ways of manipulating my geometry and my scene. This process is a lot of fun because I love spending time creating materials and assets for each piece, sort of like creating my own little universe. I will also spend a lot of time setting the mood through different lighting and color theory techniques. My TV production background goes hand in hand with my 3D pieces as well, which is really fun. A lot of the composition rules and techniques that I apply to my work today come from lessons learned while filming and editing videos for school projects. Which at the time I didn’t really think would ever come back in a full circle like this. Depending on the project, I finish things up inside of either Adobe Photoshop or Adobe After Effects. Usually both have a similar process for color correction and post editing work, but animations will get some extra effects thrown in to put the cherry on top.
LC – What is the most challenging part about creating your artworks?
JR – The most challenging part about creating my pieces is trying to create a story with every single piece. Some pieces have been easier to connect a whole scene with (environment, props, etc), while others live in this strange, imaginary world, which I really love. Both serve their own purpose and have their own special place, but I am working a lot more towards merging ideas more with entire settings to create a story. This also helps a lot with animation, which I want to do more of. I’m a bit scatter-brained as well, so ideas will pop in and out of my head as i’m going about my day. I try my best to sketch them all down but not every idea that is sketched out is explored and not every idea is even sketched out. Sometimes I will be driving down the road and won’t really be able to draw at that exact moment. Then it becomes a race to see if I can remember the idea long enough to write it down at a stoplight. Also calling a piece done. I always find something else to tweak after “finishing the last touches”. I have the artists’ curse where perfectionism will keep me up at night.
LC – Do you agree with our vision of art and what do you think about the theme of the festival?
JR – Yes, I love the idea of “Being Liquid”. That was one of the first things that really stuck out to me, personally about ITSLIQUID GROUP. I have always been fascinated by the concept of flow and states of flow, so ITSLIQUID’s vision drew my attention immediately. I am big fan of the way ITSLIQUID GROUP is curating its shows as well. Although I see the purpose for specially curated events and exhibitions, I also admire the way that so many different identities and mediums come together to form one fluid piece. I love seeing so many talented artists coming together for such a groovy event. The two themes work hand in hand to create a beautiful exhibition. Our lives are becoming more and more intertwined as time passes. We are mixing identities and learning about each other more than we ever have. In order for us to create a sustainable, positive future we will have to take these concepts into consideration, and what better way to do that than through art. Bringing so many different backgrounds and ideas together into one place allows us to find the similarities and relate more with each other.
LC – Can you explain something about the artworks you have in our exhibition?
JR – “Butterfly Effect” is a piece that represents the events that have shaped me into the person that I am today. It’s a tribute to all the moments that I can look back to in awe and disbelief. Not all positive moments, but all of them had a significant impact on why am I am the way I am. Although this piece represents specific moments in my mind, I want anyone that looks at this to be able to relate to their own moments in their lives that changed everything. We all have memories that will forever be engraved into our character.
LC – What do you think about ITSLIQUID Platform?
JR – I absolutely love being a part of such an amazing family of creatives. ITSLIQUID’s platform is such an amazing place for artists, collectors, and art lovers to come and explore all sorts of different artists. It’s creating an immersive and inclusive environment for new artists and established artists to come together and do what they do best. Be themselves.
LC – Do you think ITSLIQUID GROUP can represent an opportunity for artists?
JR – ITSLIQUID has given me the opportunity of a lifetime and I know that it can provide the same for so many others. Being part of an international exhibition has been a dream of mine since I started making art, so this is one of those moments that I look at in awe and disbelief. ITSLIQUID’s team provides artists with an opportunity like no other. Getting pieces out in front of an international audience is what a lot of artist aim to do, so this is the perfect way to do that. ITSLIQUID GROUP also puts your art in front of an incredible audience. All of the pictures that I have seen on social media and on the website look like extremely successful events with great turn outs, which is another thing that any artist could hope for.
LC – What is your idea about ITSLIQUID GROUP?
JR – I think ITSLIQUID holds an amazing platform for creatives to connect and share their art. They provide a service that is not always easy to find in the traditional art world. They make sure to treat their artists with love and respect. I appreciate ITSLQIUID GROUP so much for this incredible opportunity and I look forward to continuing this amazing relationship with them.