We spoke to digital artist Yaappssee about her technical background, workflow and the inspiration behind the bizarre collages that she creates.
Sasha Goncharov aka Yaappssee considers herself a citizen of the internet – she was born in Russia, ‘but now lives online’. And the Tumblr blog that houses her oddball work, demonstrates the uniquely post-internet existence that she identifies with.
Her aesthetic is the product of Net Art leanings, an explicit rejection of graphic design norms and a firmly digital methodology. She fills portraits with Vaporwave-like Japanese text, chrome-surfaced 3D models and pastel gradients – the kind of iconography you would expect an artist whose nickname is ‘an amalgam of search engine Yahoo and Pepsi’ to play with.
What drew you to digital art?
For a while I was a pretty normal graphic designer but I quickly grew tired of conventions. I thought ‘I can’t do this anymore’, something inside me was protesting against conformity – an impulse inside was trying to break free.
It was when I started pushing back against norms and embraced the excess of digital art that I found my voice.
What motivates your very particular aesthetic sensibility?
Our generation is the generation of visual addicts – we consume an enormous amount of media and still we want more and more.
Going into 2015 I had an epiphany, ‘Gosh! The future is here!’. But around me, there was an acute shortage of bright, powerful and crazy art. So, I decided colour the void myself. I created what I wanted to see.
How would you describe your work?
I think my work looks like an advertisement made by stoned aliens, who have
enslaved the Earth by means of the commodity money system.
What’s your workflow like?
I source models, shapes and logos through google images then work through a process of necessary abstraction in Photoshop. These are the two most essential tools in my work.
What influences you creatively?
It’s hard to explain because usually my influences are subtle and intangible. They are just senses that I pick up on from the world around me. For me this is an ongoing spiritual search and desire to find and learn from the truth.
Life events, such as the death of close people or break ups also make for powerful sources of inspiration. It’s probably hard to pick up on looking at my works because I conceal meanings but they are there.