We first came across this self-taught painter while looking for artists to help create artwork for the Kitty Bungalow charity event. Daveed’s distinctive textures and mood caught our eye while scrolling through the Async waitlist and searching for a specific style.
“Wow that’s dark… but I like it!” was the universal sentiment within the team while we deliberated lipstick wearing swine, barren tree branches, and human portraits that never smiled.
Daveed happily volunteered a background for “Forgotten Cats of Fallen Leaves Forest” which was the first Kitty-themed collaboration that sold for 10.1 ETH when its secret reserve pricing was triggered. The Kitties in this Async piece begin to fade away if the Layer owner doesn’t use the Layer in the last 24 hrs.
Our team walked him through setting up a crypto wallet as Daveed has never made or sold Cryptoart before and over the course of several calls we learned about his professional art background. Here is a slightly edited account of his fantastic journey:
“I am a self-taught traditional painter with a long record of galleries and museum shows. In addition to fine art, I worked in the movie industry as a model maker; building miniature models for the visuals effect industry. At one point, I switched to digital painting and became a matte and concept painter. ”
Daveed made art for several blockbuster movies such as The Fifth Element, The Day After Tomorrow, I Am Legend), Kung Fu Panda, How to Train Your Dragon and Moana )while maintaining a blossoming art career showcasing his work in various galleries and museums.
Right below is a detailed concept drawing for The Day After Tomorrow - courtesy of Digital Domain.
“One of my favorites movies I worked on was The Fifth Element. In the middle of building miniature cars and buildings, I switched to the digital side as a matte painter during movie production. I always saw myself as a painter that worked every once in a while for the movie industry in order to support my art. As it happens, the more successful you become, the more you get sucked in and I ended up doing paintings for companies like Digital Domain, Sony Pictures Imagework, Dreamworks Animation, and Disney Animation.”
Below is a photo of Daveed with his amazing painting for Batman Arkham Origins - credits to Blur Studios.
When asked about how aspiring artists can also reach that level of involvement with AAA movie production and gaming, Daveed replies: “Learn as much matte painting related software as you can, but also specialize in just one. There is no point in having a bunch of skills and be mediocre in all of them.
Specialize in one software first and then start expanding to others. For example, first learn your Photoshop, get excellent in that program and then learn applications like Nuke for compositing, Maya 3Dmax for modeling, and Zbrush for sculpting. If you want to be a matte painter I think first you have to concentrate on having basic knowledge of painting and photography and study color theory and perspective.”
True to his own advice, Daveed is able to vastly express himself more with his mixed media approach. Armed with elements of cinematography, animation, 3D modeling, and clever penmanship, he is able to tell a story that is completely different from those of his painting-only peers.
We see the same style within his debut Async solo artwork “What year is this 2020 or 1984?”
The artist incorporated several elements of his previous works: “The View from My Window”, “My City Was on Fire”, “It’s 1984” and weaved a layered narrative of how dystopian and regressive 2020 is turning out to be.
Each day, this Async artwork simulates the day and night cycle of a real world. At 6am PST, the sun rises and colors the city in a tentative, hopeful dawn. At 7am PST, it turns day-time, with Big Brother’s eyes scouring each corner for misbehavior. At 7pm PST, the scene falls back into night, as the surveillance lizard red-laser keeps watch and neon propaganda glow ominously in the backdrop.
Throughout it all, the main character remains unchanged. Either he is too meek and heads down to rise up for a rebellion, or staunchly un-moving and standing in silent protest -- that is up to the viewer to decide.
The Layers within this piece give control over which neon propaganda statement the Layer owner can display as well as the color of the signage. With several references to the novel 1984, this is an utterly dark and gloomy piece that is so fitting of Daveed’s style.
The art is available now for bidding and the artist is willing to wait for the right bids to come along. Don’t sleep on this one, because Big Brother is watching.
- Async Team