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8 Questions With Maxim Zhestkov

Extraordinary landscapes turn into reality.

Imagination can take us far away, but Maxim Zhestkov’s works can do so much more. Russian visual artist and motion designer creates extraordinary landscapes with a mix of digital design, animation and storytelling.

After initially studying architecture, Zhestkov received a master’s degree in graphic design and fine art. Now, his digital art films explore and question nature and technology, and the organic to the artificial with an excellent score of sound to accompany the mind-opening visual language.

We spoke with him on occasion of the launch of Volumes, his latest art film that you can watch it below. Maxim was kind enough to answer our 8 Questions… enjoy!

1. How was the idea of your art film Elements born?

I suppose the idea about elements and small blocks of something which could connect and build something big and complex has always been somewhere in my head. I started playing with computer simulations and found how interesting laws of nature and math could create patterns in endless game of variations.

2. What inspires you?

Probably art and science. I think that something new could be found connecting different disciplines together. Space and life forms are endless sources of inspiration. For example – how nature made skin for octopus to create mimicry; I spent a couple of weeks reading and researching this endless issue. Using small elements in their skin octopuses could change their size – with these small muscles they could change patterns and even color of thir skin.

I think it’s so amazing. In my opinion the right way is to explore and seek this type of nature’s tools in my art projects.

3. How do you classify your art?

I’m trying to do projects which inspire me and could teach me a lot. Classification could create restrictions that’s why I’m trying to name it art film. This term is quite general and I’m totally open for experimentation inside this broad concept.

4. You studied architecture and got a master’s degree in graphic design and fine art. How much this influences you as visual artist and motion designer?

I suppose art and architecture are more about seeing the world rather than creating something. It is true to all visual medium. To be able to do something, you have to be able to gather and explore on the first phase.

5. Someone’s creativity you admire?

Leonardo Da Vinci. I read a book by Walter Isaacson and found so many interesting sides about him.

He was a lifelong learner and researcher. He spent all his life trying to crack visual code of universe and nature.

6. The most exciting/challenging project you worked for?

Sometimes projects with open brief could be intimidating because you have infinite numbers of possibilities… and this freedom could be deadly. I’m trying to setup some rules and restrictions inside each project to be able to think inside this personal universe and create inside it without rush and constant doubt.

7. What are your upcoming projects?

I’ve finished an art film Volumes, where I continued to explore this ideas.

My next project would be about human perception of technology. I named it – Distanl Lights.

8. Lastly, do you have a message Feel Desain readers?

Never stop learning and exploring.

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