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The Land of Hypnos Featured Artist #06
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Hello everyone! I’m smoothie. I’m an artist that grew up between a few worlds, a few countries, and most prominently - the internet. So my personality is a bit of everything from cold, distant that I learned from communications through the internet, warm, homely from my Filipino upbringing, and an undying urge to find ways to express the unexpressable from just wanting to understand or help others understood their own situations, place in the world.
How would you describe your art?
I would love for it to be called the writings that represent a generation, or poetry capturing the soul of the digital age. But to paint a better painting for everyone to imagine, I would say my poems are sort of abstract impressionist approaches to expressing the chaotic nature of my experiences in the digital age. I could frame the act of drinking as a teenager as something akin to the Greek Gods drinking in Olympus, and tie that directly in with modern day references of pills, suicide, while also talking about my personal insecurities. It all feels like splashes of different parts of my life, enhanced by my grandiose imagination - and the rhythm of a person that grew up mainly listening to Hip Hop.
It’s just internet, man. But turned all the way up to one hundred.
What/who are your influences?
It’s weird to answer influences because influence means a person, movement, or something whose effect on you is clearly seen in your work. And for me - I’ve never necessarily been inspired by a poet or a writer. The main thing that inspires me in life when it comes to influences or muses is never one’s craft, approach, or even method. It’s always been the emotionality of a person and how that bleeds into their work.
So when I say one of the main muses in my life is Edie Sedgwick - who expressed grace and extreme vulnerability in a way that still sends shivers to my heart whenever I see video clips or images of her. Or James Dean who approached acting with such a deep well of emotions that would brood and brood, until one or two things set it off and it comes out in a manic and almost cathartic manner. Like the heart of a child in the body of an adult.
Both of them inspired me heavily in simply how I express my emotions and how that would bleed into my art, my character, and basically everything I do. The writing part comes so naturally because of a combination of having gone through so much, and genuinely loving the craft of putting words together. And having them sort of dance together on a page. Like a line could just look or feel pretty and it would make me really happy to see that.
Do you have a favorite piece that you made? Why is it your favorite?
2x Cult, of course. And along with some pieces that y’all haven’t seen yet. But with what I’ve released - 2x Cult just touches a part in my heart that still gets giddy everytime I see it. And I love it because of how many things it references - what it actually is at heart and how that all just ties in together. Because people might not know but this is partly a love poem written for Lorde and in the process of writing with that in mind, I was sort of able to tie in numerous other concepts and reference even my love for Tom Cruise films. It just is packed with so much stuff and for it to seamlessly fit into one poem blows my mind personally. So yeah, I love 2x Cult and it’s my favorite that I’ve released but I might have some new favorites on the horizon so watch out for that.
What keeps you going?
It’s a deep question so I’ll try to give an equally deep answer. I guess you could call me a lifelong creative but that necessarily wasn’t my first choice in life. Due to a lot of different things happening, writing became the only outlet that made sense and it was an individual practice that I could do alone. A lot of other things I love like sports need other participants. And I never really had a dad who would take me to the basketball courts, or really any support system for anything. So I naturally gravitated to writing because it was a hermit type of passion.
And I was alone a lot. Being alone, you start to think a lot. And the more I thought, the more I just felt sad about imagining people who went through the same circumstances I did and them having literally no representation in terms of movies, music, or anything. I term them as in-betweeners, people stuck in between labels, situations, worlds, societies, or ways of thinking. I felt like they didn't have a voice. I felt like I didn’t have a voice.
So that sort of ignited that passion to just pursue creativity with the goal of telling those people’s stories. That’s why I love films so much and I graduated from film school - because I wanted to make movies about the in-betweeners of our world. So yeah, I keep going and I keep creating because it’s really bigger than me. I’ve stumbled through the years. Gave up a few times. Some of those times lasted years of blackout - no creativity at all. Just to stay sane and survive. But ever since being in web3, I now see a real path for me to be able to express myself and their stories.
And honestly - this is what I’ve been asking for my whole life. How could I stop now?
What message do you have for other artists?
I’d say a great message is just go call yourself an artist - that’s the most important step. Having done that myself multiple times in my life and having to reaffirm it a lot. You’re an artist. Doesn’t really matter what you create. Call yourself an artist. Being one is mostly long years of self-discovery and your work being milestones of that.
Don’t be afraid to be inspired by things that actually inspire you. You don’t need to be inspired by a specific painter because you paint or a specific musician because you make music. Your inspiration could come from growing up playing Runescape, or seeing your dad make pizza and that somehow ties into you making movies. Embrace that. There’s a reality, a truth to being inspired by things your heart naturally was inspired by.
It makes you whole as a human being. And you become a scribe of those experiences if you willingly accept them as having important parts in your life. I always say every human being is unique but systems are created to make that uniqueness of you - easily identifiable into labels. And if you don’t fit into those labels, you don’t have to force yourself to. You never had to. And that bravery that is inside of your heart - it’s going to inspire a lot of other people too.
Have you ever had reoccuring dreams? If so, give a quick description if you'd like.
A white door - it never gets bigger or smaller. But it spins and the more spins, the more I feel I’m sinking into it deeper and deeper. Until all I can see in my head is that white door.
Have you ever had a dream with events you thought happened in waking life?
All the time. I’m a dejavu person. I have a lot of moments where I think I already dreamt it before - those exact moments happening in my dream. And it could be the most mundane stuff ever like sitting down in front of a restaurant. I have dreams like that all the time.
Have you had a nightmare that has stuck with you years later?
Yep the white door. That’s the scariest nightmare I’ve ever had - for me. There’s those being chased, monster nightmares, etc stuff but nothing compares to the pure dread I still experience thinking of that spinning white door. And I never really understood what it meant until now. It’s like the most random thing to be afraid of.
Do you believe dreams are more than just thoughts in your brain?
Oh yes I do! I do an imagination check where I close my eyes and picture the sun - stare at it. You know what happens? My eyes burn. That’s why I’ve always thought imagination, thoughts and by extension - dreams are sort of bigger than thoughts. They are whole worlds, experiences being simulated by your brain. And sometimes I have no idea where it gets the idea to imagine certain things.
I once had a dream I was riding on a saucer but not standing, I was riding it like it was a skateboard and we were floating around a very yellow-ish planet with lots of isotope spikes everywhere. And it was really cool. I’d like to think that world exists somehow, someway.
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