When you speak of isolation, you speak of it very fondly. Yes, it is a major aspect of any artistic medium, but I'm curious. Do you participate in any live art work and if so, do your emotions shift in that state?
So, in mid 2006, I had did an ayahuasca ceremony in Northern California and that was another one of those near death experiences, one of the most powerful psychedelic journeys I had ever done before. It left me so rattled that I realized that I had to quit my job. I kind of abandoned the life that I had before and I was supporting myself by doing album covers, flyers, and whatever I could do that was creative. I met this dude named Lorin who went by Bassnectar, and he invited me to go on tour with him and I asked him if I could do the visuals. I was still a digital artist, but I asked if I could maybe do art and project on the projector. He said that I could do whatever I wanted as long as I went along on tour. I went on the tour and a friend gave me this big vile and the intersection of that opportunity just totally transformed my life. Instead of being an artist that totally made his art in the shadows and was reclusive in the studio all the time, I was on a stage. I was on stage and there were thousands of people in the audience. The first couple of times were terrifying being on stage and working on a piece of art with it being projected behind me for hours. I would stand next to Lorin on stage and people were a bit confused at first, but once people built the connection and acknowledged what I was doing, it gave me the encouragement and inspiration to keep going. You know, two months of doing psychedelics every other night on stage in front of thousands of people definitely got me over those fears. It made a really fundamental shift, you know? Before I was making this art alone and now, the art that I was making was part of the celebration. I was able to channel into the energy, excitement, and love of all of the people that were around. The celebration of the human spirit and life in general came into the work I was doing through this experience. I have never looked back from that point, and that platform really gave birth to the work that I do now.
Wow. What a compelling yet humbling experience. What projects are you currently working on that your community can look forward to?
I am doing two big projects right now. One is called Samskara which is a sanskrit word for moments in life that leave a psychological mark like a birth, death, surgery, or something traumatic. It's not objective; it's not either good or bad, it simply leaves a mark. Over a year ago, I was invited out to Thailand by this mysterious character to talk about a project involving domes, which was really the only information that I had ahead of time. So I went out to Thailand and met this character who was in his late forties who was kind of larger than life; picture a Marlon Brando in a saffron robe with a big scar on his eye [laughs]. This crazy Russian Hindu had this ashram out in rural Chiang Mai that was basically a digital ashram full of multimedia artists, animators, and electronic engineers and he wanted to take my art and use it to bring the story of the Hindu Vedas out into the public. We have been working for over a year and we created a 24 minute, 360 immersive dome animation that plays in planetariums and domes because he also owns a business where he creates and rents and sells domes around the world.