TokenEditions proudly welcomes Jorge Luis Miraldo - aka Shorsh -, a 3D Illustrator and art director based in Buenos Aires, and his newest collection “Distant Dreamers”. Each artwork in this collection portrays the statue of a head fused with a unique monument and submerged in a surreal atmosphere characterized by the exquisite colors, sounds, and textures of Shorsh’s recognizable creation style.
Shorsh began creating art (drawing, coloring, watercolors, photography and making collages) in his early years as a child. He fell in love with the process of creation and made it a point to turn these fun experiences into a living, by participating in painting and photography ateliers, alongside his studies in advertising and marketing. After his studies, he began working as an art and creative director for different local and international agencies. Then, nearly a decade later, Shorsh made the decision to pursue his dream of becoming a full-time, independent artist.
Inspired by one of his favorite artists, Beeple (who sold a compilation of 5,000 everydays on Christies Auctionhouse for just under $70 Million), it’s was also the moment when Shorsh started an “everyday” account on Instagram to share his personal projects, many of which were focused on his newfound love of 3D design. This was a pivotal time for Shorsh. "I had an urgent need to start my own path, and to make time for more personal projects, says Shorsh. The next thing I remember was my panic as I quit my job at the agency to pursue this dream. Today I’m glad and grateful I did it because as soon as I started making my first experiments with images and sharing them online back in 2015, the feedback was so nice."
Working from his own studio and simultaneously experimenting in the world of 3D design, Shorsh began selling his artworks as prints, where he was featured by multiple platforms. Over time his artwork became recognized for its ethereal aesthetic and 3D components, leading him to collaborate with global brands like Sony Music, Universal Music Group and Penguin Random House, and many other independent record labels and artists from USA, Canada and Europe. Shorsh has also received numerous awards for his art, including an honorable mention from 3x3 Magazine.
Shorsh loves music and has always been inspired by sounds. Specifically, he’s intrigued by the concept of synesthesia, which is the idea that you can physically imagine and see shapes and design through sound. By following his passions as a designer and music lover, he’s been able to blend the two worlds together by collaborating with musicians that inspire him. Unique to his Distant Dreams collection on TokenEditions, he also produced all of the sound design for each artwork.
A soulful individual, Shorsh is deeply connected and aware of the world around him, and it shows through his art. He sees the world through a lens of positivity and optimism that all of us can draw inspiration from. If he could go back and share a piece of advice with himself 10 years ago, he would have simply said “Always follow your curiosity, it will take you to amazing places. It can’t go wrong.” A great piece of advice for any young aspiring artist.
To summarize Shorsh’s creative process into one sentence - Trust the process, lose yourself in the art and treat each experience as a new adventure. I can’t help but draw a similarity to Shorsh’s thoughtful experiences and outlook on life to the philosophy of one of mother nature’s biggest advocates, Patagonia Founder, Yvon Chounard. Chourinard famously said that “how you climb a mountain is more important than reaching the top.” This climb Chouniard talks about is the flow state experienced when we immerse ourselves so deeply into something, that we lose track of the entire world around us. World renowned psychologist and master of flow, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi explains this as “a state in which people are so involved in an activity that nothing else seems to matter; the experience is so enjoyable that people will continue to do it even at great cost, for the sheer sake of doing it”. This is the beauty of it all right here. Forgetting about the destination, the expectations, the pressure. Simply living in the moment with a sheer presence that keeps distraction at bay. This is the journey. This is the process. This is how a true artist lives.
“Somehow the process, the way of doing things, is the actual work of art.”
For this drop, Shorsh worked with Cinema 4D, Redshift Renderer and After Effects for visuals. For sound mixing and mastering he used Logic Audio. For more workflow processes, he used Procreate for iPad to pin things, make moodboards and sketches.
TOKENEDITIONS TALKS WITH SHORSH
What was your first childhood memory of being creative?
Around five years old, I remember spending long afternoons drawing and coloring with pencils and watercolors, cutting out magazines and gluing the images in some different way to create new worlds. This was the very beginning of a pleasant ritual that I still practice today.
When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
After the period of wanting to be a fireman, :) my curiosity toward the world began to grow. I began to notice imagery and illustrations appearing everywhere– from toys and product boxes, to books and comic magazines. I wanted to know all about the people behind them, and their creative process. I also began imagining myself doing this work, and that idea was pretty fascinating.
What led you down the path of being an artist?
I was finishing high school and needed to make a decision on what direction to go next. Many changes were taking place back then in my life, and I was still very passionate about drawing, painting and taking pictures. I was spending hours of fun doing all sorts of experimental things in my computer with Photoshop, trying to take some of my ideas far beyond the possibilities of paper. I decided that I wanted to make a career out of the things that I was enjoying so much. Advertising appeared to me as the best possibility. I knew that it was going to be strongly related to marketing and selling stuff, but I was fine with it. I also started going to painting and photography classes at different ateliers here in Buenos Aires. This was a good way to experiment in these realms, and it doubled as therapy for me, which I always considered really important. Finally, in 2005 I got my first job at an advertising agency while I was still finishing college. Over the next few years, I worked as an art director and creative director for different local and international agencies. I’ve learned a lot about working on concepts and managing projects for clients, and I had the chance to work with many talented illustrators and photographers hugely devoted to the art of creating their images. That was inspiring to me. Although I felt confident within my element, I didn’t feel as comfortable with my job. I was spending all day and night at the agency, working on briefs that ended up just producing commercials for all sorts of things. These pieces weren’t as interesting and relevant as the process of developing a work of art. Sometimes a great deal of my vision for those projects got diluted in the process of making them, and the clients made iterations and adjustments before the project even saw the light of day. I then started to think about myself more as an illustrator. I had an urgent need to start my own path, and to make time for more personal projects. The next thing I remember was my panic as I quit my job at the agency to pursue this dream. Today I’m glad and grateful I did it because as soon as I started making my first experiments with images and sharing them online back in 2015, the feedback was so nice. I quickly started being involved in a nice deal of interesting collaborations with musicians, record labels and editorial companies. I’ve even had more time to put some personal work collections out there, which makes me so happy.
Who do you look up to as an artist, and why?
From visual arts to music and books, almost anything I feel connected with could potentially be valuable to me. There are many artists in the space whose work I’ve been following and admiring for years, such as: Beeple, Hoodass and Kidmograph. I often find myself going back to the same art books in my bookshelves to discover something new in them that caught my attention each time: Bosch, Escher, Dalí, Magritte, Georgia O’Keeffe. I deeply admire and enjoy each detail in their odd creatures, worlds, colors and textures. Their imagination and mastery never ceases to amaze me.
When did you begin to call yourself an artist? Was there a specific moment / accomplishment that led to this, or was it gradual?
I think it occurred gradually. I noticed significant growth when I started to make art an organic part of my life by experimenting with my craft every single day. I wanted to perfect my process and find new ways to enjoy it. Maybe one culminating moment was when I finally found my voice, bceause it made me feel more confident about what I was doing and who I was becoming.
Who or what inspires you most?
Traveling, going to unknown places, learning new ways of doing things and reading a good book.
With the life experience you have now, what advice would you give yourself 10 years ago.
Always follow your curiosity, it will take you to amazing places. It can’t go wrong.
How have you had to adapt the work and art you create to the “COVID era”? Please elaborate on the impact it’s had.
Apart from the hardness of the lockdown for all of us, It forced us to make some adjustments to our lives in order to adapt. I couldn't physically attend painting classes and suddenly live meetings became Zooms. It was hard to see people suffer. Vaccination was delayed way too much here in Argentina. Personally, I’m grateful because I always had my job and the chance to keep getting involved in different ventures. Commissions and opportunities grew for me with the growth of the digital space. I was also at my best moment here in the cryptospace, and I sold almost all my work minted on SuperRare. But I know that it was a hard time for many other professionals I know due to the extended lockdown.
If you could collaborate with any musician / composer / singer with your art, who would you choose, and why?
I would like to make cover art for Tycho, Soccer Mommy and Men I trust or even Hatchi. I feel their music is somehow connected to my colors and the vibe of the spaces that I create.
Rod Serling (creator of The Twilight Zone) famously said “The most important thing about the first sale is for the very first time in your life something written has value and proven value because somebody has given you money for the words that you've written. And that's terribly important. It's a tremendous boom to the ego, to your sense of self-reliance, to your feeling about your own talent.” This quote is applicable for all creatives, not just writers. What did your first sale feel like, and how did it change the course of your life (if at all)? How much was the payment amount, and what was it for?
My first sale definitely made me feel like I was being finally accomplished and supported in my journey as an artist. Someone was choosing my work to be part of their lives, and it really felt important to me. I sold a watercolor landscape painting. I wasn't really sure whether to let it go or not because I really liked it… but I sold it for 5000 Argentine pesos, which back then (more than 10 years ago) was about USD $1000.
Why do you make art?
Because I enjoy the journey. I love to lose myself in the process of making something new, researching, practicing ways to make my process more of my own. I often prepare in advance the things I’ll need for a long creative session in order to make it more enjoyable. This journey starts in a familiar and comfortable place, then into challenges and all the way to somewhere unknown but hopefully fascinating. Each image is a new adventure.
What does being creative mean to you?
It’s all about making interesting new decisions and following them with conviction. These decisions for me often revolve around looking for ways to improve my workflow and process, while keeping the focus on making it fun. Somehow the process, the way of doing things, is the actual work of art.
If you could live in any era (past, present or future), when would you live, and why? Who would be the first person you try to collaborate with?
I would live in the future- hopefully not a dystopian one. I would collaborate with the most powerful and imaginative AI to create mind blowing generative art.
What music are you listening to right now?
I’m currently listening Yumi Zouma, Vetiver, The High Lamas and some lo-fi playlist when I need more mellow tunes as background music for work.
What do you like to do outside of creating art?
Enjoying quality time with my family and friends, going to museums, theaters and concerts. I like to plan a nice trip at least once a year, ideally an adventure to somewhere new.
Can you talk about your evolution as an artist and your journey into the NFT space?
My work is mostly experimental. I'm always trying new ways of doing things and telling stories. Jumping into the NFT space was also an experiment. This leap of faith ended up having amazing results. Even though there are some shady things happening in the space, my overall feelings are positive. This experiment has really been worth it.
If you’ve released NFTs before, how has releasing your art as NFT’s changed your life (if at all)?
I decided to enter the NFT space through SuperRare back in 2020, which was an ideal time for the market because NFTs exploded shortly after. I minted almost 23 pieces back then and sold almost all of them really well. It felt great to have a bidding war on some of my works. It helped me reach big collectors, to chat with some of them and get to know their side of the story. I've met new artists and also created two collaborative NFTs with some renowned musician friends.
If this is your first NFT release, why did you choose to release your art as an NFT, and how did you choose these specific pieces of work?
Back in 2020 I decided to try NFTs because I believed that proof of ownership on digital assets is definitely revolutionary for us digital artists.I wanted to be part of this movement, not only as an artist but also as a collector and supporter of other artists
Why are NFTs important for the world of digital arts? Why are they important to you?
The concept of proof of ownership in digital assets that used to be just worthless copies is the most important aspect of NFTs. This has changed the way we can offer our work to the world by making it even more unique.
What is your favorite NFT piece or collection to date? (Yours or someone elses)
A Red Moon Rises is a collaborative 2D animation NFT that I created with an original soundtrack by the famous electronic duo Forester. I like the music and the poetry behind this one. Many brilliant things happened suddenly and it came out really well. Strangely, this one is still waiting to be part of a private collection.
Who are your favorite artists in the NFT space right now, and why?
Beeple, Hoodass and Kidmograph. They were making inspiring work long before NFTs even existed. I‘ve been following them and other artists who weren’t popular for years before the NFT boom. The dedication they put on perfecting their work and making ground breaking stuff is admirable.