How vaporwave helped me shape my (kitschy) style

Oh, the internet, what we would do without it? Maybe harvest potatoes like our grandfathers did many years ago, but instead, we are here, in front of our flat high definition screens, looking to the future with our own eyes. Truly an amazing time to be alive.

Or maybe… we look to the past? Our generation is obsessed with all things vintage. It’s the wish for (what we think) were the better, simpler and most romantic times. You see it everywhere, especially when it comes to music. Just get yourself a look into the youtube comment section of an old song, and like 90% of the comments are from twelve-year-old kiddos saying that they were born in the wrong generation. Sure pal, whatever you say (boy, we all were stupid as kids, don’t we?)

So, how this jibber jabber has anything to do with my drawing style? Oh well, the nostalgia is a powerful force, and sometimes can led us to discover wonderful things, especially when you are not searching for them.

I remember being looking at my Facebook’s timeline and discovering something that really kept my attention. One of my friends had been sharing, almost everyday, images of an estrange but engaging atmosphere. These Images would use often greco-roman sculptures, neon colors, japanese lettering and old Windows graphics. Of course, these images are part of the Vaporwave ‘aesthetics’.

Vaporwave is a microgenre of electronic music and an Internet meme that emerged in the early 2010s. The music typically features a fascination with 1980s and 1990s styles such as elevator music, smooth jazz, R&B, and lounge music often sampling or manipulating tracks via chopped and screwed techniques and other effects.

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Being the silly goof I’m, I thought it was kinda funny. Vaporwave is essentially a parody of capitalism that mocks capitalism… by exalting it. It thought it was great! You know, we all love capitalism but at the same time, it has gave us some weird shit through the decades. More or less at the same time, I was trying to design myself a mascot. A character that people could associate with me. The challenge you face designing a mascot is that must be simple enough to be remembered, but not so simple that could be forgot.

 

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I came out with this, but it was weird to me. I wasn’t used to draw minimalistic pieces, I would rather draw more realistic ones, with intricate details.

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I started to develope my cartoony, more simple style, inspirated by the pop simplicity of the vaporwave/future funk genre. All of a sudden, I was obsessed with neon colors and 80s aesthetics, things considered ugly, kitsch.

Kitsch, also called cheesiness or tackiness, is art or other objects that appeal to popular or uncultivated taste because they are garish or overly sentimental, which means that these objects are considered by other people to be ugly, without style, false, or in poor taste but enjoyed or appreciated by still other people in an ironic or knowing way or because it is funny.

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You know, Vaporwave it’s the mix of dated music and modern DJs tecnology, I started to see this cutesy style as a mix between kawaii and kitsch, vulgar, lewd art. Very, very pop!

I’m really thoughtful about my creative process: I think about the things that inspires me, I try to find patterns, conducts, habits… anything that can make a better artist. Being concious about our processes (creatives or not) it’s a great excercise. I has discovered that.

Minerva

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