Lionel Radisson is a digital artist living in France. He started in graffiti, which led him to street art, and in conclusion, he became interested in art in general. He began with web-graphics experiments in real-time for a long time in the digital field. So it is evident that besides Architecture, illustration, and paintings, graffiti became a vast inspiration source.
Lionel follows a piece of straightforward advice in his life: Do it for yourself first.
NFT Granny: “Dear Lionel, I am delighted to meet you. I saw that you publish your artwork with the nickname “makio135”. Is there a story behind this name?“
Lionel Radisson: There is indeed a story which takes us back to the mid-90s. I was a teenager who was into rollerblading and hip-hop, and I started to get more and more interested in graffiti while I was roaming the city. I was looking for a pseudonym and there was this rollerblade figure called “makio”. I used it for my first paintings because I liked the sound, the letters,… and it stayed as my alias on the web. The 135 part came later when I got interested in numbers and programming, and also a reference to graffiti artists like Taki183 or Jon156.
How did you first become interested in art, and how did you get started with it yourself?
Lionel Radisson: From graffiti to street art, I became interested in typography, calligraphy, traditional painting, theories of the form (Gestalt) and colour, graphic design, and the use of space in scenography, architecture, or even through installations. In short, a thirst for discovery at a time when I was lost in Economics studies after a Japanese English diploma. So I chose to start again and entered the first year of a Higher School of Art and Design at 25 (Special thanks to my mother for her support ❤️). It was there that I discovered Processing during my 2nd year, a revelation that has drawn my last 12 years.
Your first NFT releases were loops, could you tell us more about the story of OBJKT#22189?
Lionel Radisson: I did only web graphics experiments in real-time for years, using the Canvas API. Then I felt like creating more complex compositions while staying on the web. That’s when I started working with the SVG format to have perfect renderings no matter the resolution. Then, inspired by the work of Dave Whyte “beesandbombs” and Etienne Jacob, I decided to animate these pieces. So I developed a tool that allows me to work on visual loops composed of thousands of elements without the need for real-time and with the possibility to add post-processing and finally to export fluid loops in GIF, MP4 or WEBM format. OBJKT#22189 was made with this tool and is part of a series inspired by M. C. Escher, impossible geometries and the Penrose triangle in particular.
Which of your artworks are you most proud of?
Lionel Radisson: I have a huge impostor syndrome that I’m just starting to get under control (sometimes 😅), so this is a pretty tricky question, but if I had to pick just one piece of my work, it would undoubtedly be the “Growing Space” series. Looking at these pieces brings me a certain serenity. It represents several things at once for me: This space that I discover growing and bursting with new creations all the time, and the fact of focusing on an important, central point and forgetting the noise all around.
Is there an artist you would like to work with? Like a collaboration?
Lionel Radisson: I had the opportunity to make several collaborations for the first time this year with Q1R0Z, Thomas Lin Pedersen, Mario Carillo, Un Petit Sapin and others are being discussed. Each time, working with these artists and confronting our practices to arrive at a result that meets our requirements has pushed me to question my work, to seek new approaches. It’s pretty challenging and, at the same time, so rewarding.
I admire many artists and would love to work with and learn from them. I think collaborations with Matt DesLauriers, Andreas Gysin or Nadieh Bremer would be amazing, even though I wouldn’t even know where to start.
We are curious 🙂 Would you be willing to share any plans for upcoming projects?
Lionel Radisson: I was lucky enough, thanks to the NFTs, to be able to recently make a dream come true, namely to quit my job to be able to devote myself full time to my artistic practice. Since then, I have taken the opportunity to start several more complex long, form generative art projects. I just released Slashes, a collection of SVGs generated in-chain directly using Solidity smart contracts and a release that I’ve been working on for a few months on a platform I can’t tell the name yet, but it’s the home of the most meaningful releases for on-chain generative art 🙂
Then, I’m thinking about exploring more new emerging spaces in the NFT scene with different projects, meeting new audiences, discovering the world of DAOs and finally, taking the time to use my Axidraw A2 to make new series of plots and find the pleasure of paper again.
Who or what are your biggest influences or sources of inspiration?
Lionel Radisson: Architecture, illustration, painting, graffiti and saturation in urban space are my primary sources of inspiration. I combine this with different influences such as the De Stijl and Brutalism movements. I am also a big fan of a number of traditional arts coming from Asia. Such as calligraphy, martial arts (I practised Kung-fu for ten years) or even cooking 🙂
Do you remember the first time you heard about NFT Art?
Lionel Radisson: In the summer of 2020, my Twitter timeline started filling up with the #NFT tag. I started looking into it a bit more in November 2020, just trying to figure it out. But it’s really in March 2021, following Joanie Lemercier and Frederik Vanhoutte that I got into it.
How do you enjoy the NFT Art you have collected? Do you have a way to display it for example at home?
Lionel Radisson: I’ve had a few pieces framed when possible, but I’m running out of walls. So I’m looking into solutions for displaying my collection right now, including MonoX7 by FRAMED* or a custom display based on LattePanda.
Which tools do you use to create your art?
I also explored different languages like Python or C++ with Arduino or Raspberry Pi. This is always depending on the project, constraints, or desire to learn. At the moment, I’m experimenting with Solidity, and I’d like to move on to Rust.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
Lionel Radisson: Do this for yourself first. That’s the most important thing, to find satisfaction and fulfilment through art. I am a rather introverted person, and often this practice has been a way to express what I feel, an escape or an outlet. It’s a kind of therapy that brings me particular well-being in my daily life, and I couldn’t do without it.
Is there something aside from art or NFTs you collect?
Lionel Radisson: I am terribly addicted to beautiful books. I love the printing techniques, the way they are made, the pleasure of having them in hand, of leafing through them, admiring the layout, the choice of typography. In addition to being objects of transmission, books have a unique presence as objects and are a great source of inspiration, far from the screens.
What do you feel the moment a project you’ve created dropped?
Lionel Radisson: I like to experiment in many different directions, different types of output (loops/static/plots/interactive/generative), so the release of a project is always a strange moment, a mix of strong emotions, relief and excitement to finally be able to show a piece of work I’m proud of and, even though I regularly post WIPs and it usually goes very well, I always have the anxiety to know if the piece will find its audience.
- Full Name: Lionel Radisson
- Date of Birth: 21st August 1983
- Current hometown: Lyon, France
- Languages he speaks: French, English, and studied German and Japanese a long time ago
- What did you want to be when you were a child: I wanted to be an architect, building massive Lego towers. In a way, architecture’s inspiration for me can be seen in my work today.
- Education: – Scientific baccalaureate, specialising in maths, fine arts and German
- – Two years of university studies in applied foreign languages (English/Japanese)
- – Bachelor’s degree in economics and management that I left in the third year
- – Superior diploma of fine arts, specialising in design