Ahead of our first studio drop in partnership with Zeblocks, we’ve interviewed Guillaume who is one-half of the team behind the project.
Guillaume went to college in Arts & Multimedia, where he developed his passion for abstract art and began oil painting. In his mid 20’s, he created a Web & Marketing agency from the ground up. Guillaume gained experience working in nearly every facet of digital design, from business cards, billboards, simple one pagers, to full website redesigns of fortune 500 companies like STMicroelectronics. Once Guillaume discovered Bitcoin, Ethereum and other blockchain ecosystems, it was love at first sight! He began gravitating to cryptocurrency and transitioning his conventional business towards blockchain development projects. With Zeblocks he can share his passion for blockchain, decentralization, and art.
Sebastian, the other half, is the one responsible for smart contract development and implementation.
He’s been working with computers since he was 8 years old. He began PHP developing around 14. Sebi pursued studies but he managed C++ and Python projects for his university, where he was employed for 6 months. After that, he worked with start-up companies as a full stack developer, but was especially focused on mobile application development. The last start-up he worked for was sold to TripAdvisor in early 2020 and it revolutionized the entire food delivery market in Austria, Germany and Switzerland. Sebi has always been involved in blockchain based projects, where he either helped on the front and backend (explorers and utilities) or on the chain itself. Sebastian is the brain behind Zeblocks and without him there would be no interactive experience or amazing applications.
What music do you like to listen to while observing the artwork? What music did you listen to while building the artwork?
I’m a kid that never really grew up. I’m still listening to a lot of ’90s rap, including Snoop, Wu Tang Clan, Dr. Dre, Nas, and Biggie. As a French Canadian, I’ve also been enjoying some French rap from Qualité Motel, Dead Obies, Koriass, Gros Big, and Loud.
Where did the name Zeblocks come from?
The first idea we had was “TheBlock” but as you can imagine, this has been widely used in the ecosystem. We started to look for something with the same meaning as “the”. “Ze” serves the same grammatical function as he or she, though it’s gender-neutral. It was fitting as we want everyone to see and feel themselves through our artworks.
What is your most played album over the past year?
Probably DAMN. by Kendrick Lamar
What’s your personal favorite color palette in the collection?
I really like how the “fingerprints” palette turned out. Not trying to be politically correct here, but I really enjoy it. My second favorite would probably be the “green beige pink” palette as it is a little less “flashy” and fits pretty nicely in my living room.
Who are the artists that have influenced you over the years?
People that have influenced me (Guillaume), are not necessarily, because of the aesthetics of their creations but because of their innovation, like NateAlex who i came across with his squiggly.wtf project. He’s always out there pushing boundaries and trying to be innovative — that’s the path we have decided to take as well with Zeblocks. Bryan Brinkman is another influence I had early on. He’s a very creative, humble, funny guy whose work ethic is impeccable. And finally, a good friend Snowfro (Erick), who needs no introduction, has been the one who pushed us to do our first generative art (Unigrids) during Art Blocks’ debut and since then we have been hooked on making on-chain art.
Any particular influences for this project?
The biggest influence for this project is probably Unigrids. We had the Sensthesia idea not too long after Unigrids as we had just created the first music on-chain. While working on it, we thought of doing it the other way around and having the music influence our art. The idea had been pushed back because of the creation of Beatboxes, as we expected immersive VR on-chain generative art would be a bigger advancement for the space at the time.
Audio/Visual work has been a common thread for you — what interests you so much about where audio and visuals collide?
We try to add new aspects and new technology to our projects and brought in music early on. It’s something that we tried to keep in our newer works, as it brings another dimension to the art. Through computers, we have a lot more technological possibilities than with a canvas, so we tried to make everything as interactive as possible. Music is definitely a dimension that add up to it.
Do you have any favorite artists in the NFT space?
Just to name a few: Alotta Money, Killer Acid, Joy, Bryan Brinkman, Deekay and so many more that would be too long to list.
Where did the influences for the different color palettes come from?
I really wanted to have some palettes that would fit in any home — but also in bars, clubs, and more colorful places. My moods and working ambience (including music) are probably what influenced them the most. I created some outside under a pergola, some at the computer late at night with beats on by myself, and others with the chaos of the family in the background.