Toomuchlag is a digital artist based in Zurich, Switzerland. Passionate about 3D character creation, he left his background in economics and law behind. With a name holding its own story, toomuchlag invites us on his journey of self-expression through digital art. From “Leading the Path” to “Axis Mundi – The Word Library”, his work blends love for fantasy with a unique perspective on history, religion and the cosmos. Be inspired and discover what 2023 holds, including a physical piece and exciting collaborations in “Le Anime”
NFT Granny: “Dear toomuchlag – thank you very much for taking your precious time. Your name is quite interesting. What is the history of this nickname, and what does it mean? And if you could change your nickname nowadays, what would be your new artistic name?“
Toomuchlag: The name toomuchlag came out randomly. I was looking for a social media name with free handles for Instagram, Twitter, website and so on; I was tinkering with a few ideas, and all of them were taken. I tried to think about something that was connected to me, and I remembered all of my friends would always say that I was lagging while playing video games online because I had a crappy computer, so I started playing with the idea of latency and lag. And that’s when eventually I settled on toomuchlag.
If I could change my name, I would probably keep the same, I like toomuchlag, but if anything, I would shorten it to LAG. That’s why I have the ENS name lag.eth, but it’s going to be hard to get social handles for it.
How did you first become interested in art, and how did you get started with it yourself?
Toomuchlag: So my background starts in economics and law. I studied economics in high school even though I was already really passionate about creative stuff. Always been a big fan of fantasy books and movies, storytelling and fantasising about other words with magic possibilities beyond what would be considered standard. But since my family it’s quite traditional, I was always taught that I should get a regular job like a banker, a lawyer or a doctor and have a steady income to rely on. Eventually, after going to law uni, I realised I wasn’t fond of it. I decided to try something much closer to my passion which at the time was video games, and went to a short school of computer animation and web design. Here I discovered how much fun it was to create 3D characters and worlds and bring my visions to life.
After that, I moved to London, where I worked as a freelancer in MotionGraphics for about ten years, and we have always been very creative but I never really produced art of my own. I started creating art at the beginning of Covid when freelancing work came to a halt due to events being cancelled everywhere. I have time on my hands and I decided to open an Instagram page and post “everydays”.
After a year of Instagram everydays is more or less when I discovered NFTs, and that’s where I started driving deeper into my own art and form of expression.
Could you tell us more about the story of your project “Leading the Path”?
Toomuchlag: The artwork titled leading the path is a unique piece dedicated to a unique individual in the crypto sphere called crypto pathic. It was auctioned in NFD tokens, which is literally a fractionalized Doge photograph called “Feisty Doge”, which is itself an NFT. This is a very advanced NFT auction mechanism, especially when we talk about fractionalization and tokenization attributed value for said NFT. I invite you to dive deeper on your own because it’s an exciting project and experiment.
Which of your artworks are you most proud of?
Toomuchlag: It’s hard to pick a favourite, but I would say my latest artwork, ‘Axis Mundi, ’ the word library, is probably my favourite because, being the last, it represents my journey so far and the progress I’ve made as myself and my art. Some would say your best piece is the one you haven’t done yet.
Is there an artist you would like to work with? Like a collaboration?
Toomuchlag: There are a lot of artists I would love to collaborate with. Instead of naming a few specific ones here, I will let you discover the ones I’m working with right now, as 2023 will represent a year of collaborations for me, especially my project ‘Le Anime’. Collaborating in this phase is very underrated, mainly because the scene is still so small and it’s early days. It’s really easy to collaborate with your dream artist right now, and it’s something we should definitely be doing a lot more!
We are curious 🙂 Would you be willing to share any plans of upcoming projects?
Toomuchlag: I’m currently working on a few new pieces. I’m most excited about the next steps of the project ‘Le Anime’. We will release the experience update very soon, and the collaborations will start this month, so there’s a lot of cooking in the pipeline. I’m also working on my first physical but I won’t share more at this stage! Lots to be excited about!
Who or what are your biggest influences or sources of inspiration?
Toomuchlag: Without a doubt, my most significant source of inspiration is fantasy books, movies and video games. I have always been a nerd and always enjoyed fantasy adventures where you play your own character and get to develop your story and your narrative. A lot of inspiration also comes from day-to-day activities, talking to people or interacting with friends and having a conversation about life in the cosmos and the beyond. I also draw inspiration from the past from the history of humankind and religions and worship which is sometimes reflected in my pieces with strong iconic elements and symbolisms.
Is there something specific you are trying to express with your art?
Toomuchlag: I guess my work being less abstract than others, is a bit more direct at first it gives you a location character form of context. But in reality, it’s an invitation to open your mind to a different world with different rules and possibilities; there is usually something mysterious in every piece, something to discover, whether it’s a riddle or hidden meaning. I like to have the viewer create his own idea and story about each piece and how each piece connects with the others. I’m creating a different universe with a new story, and although I have my version of the story, I love that each and every one has its own version of it.
What do you feel when you are creating new art?
Toomuchlag: Creating art is the best feeling when you’re creating a new piece or coming up with ideas. You enter a state where nothing else matters, and you’re completely focused on creating. It’s a very liberating sensation, one that engulfs you. That’s why you hear artists say things like, “I haven’t slept in days” or “I’ve been working so long on this piece I forgot to eat”. It’s sort of addicting because it’s an escape from the mundane and our duties. Every time you finish a new piece, you have this sensation of relief and accomplishment, but it lasts a very short time until you’re ready to dive in again.
What do you feel the moment a project you’ve created dropped?
Toomuchlag: Stressed and excited, I’m human, so the project response will affect me, but I’m also very excited because it usually means I just finished a big job and I’m ready for the next.
Do you remember the first time you heard about NFT Art?
Toomuchlag: I found out about NFT around September 2020, and that’s when I started because I immediately saw its potential and what it could mean for digital art. I was already in Crypto since 2017, so I already had an Ethereum wallet ready and work ready because of my Instagram account. This allowed me to jump right into it as soon as I learned about Rarible, an NFT platform growing very fast at the time. I sold some pieces the same day that I discovered the platform, which gave me a huge confidence boost, and I decided to continue on this path that eventually led to today.
How do you enjoy the NFT Art you have collected? Do you have a way to display it for example at home?
Toomuchlag: I’ve never been a big material guy, so I only have one digital screen I was gifted on my birthday to display NFT art! But I do love and enjoy collecting art, and I have a few Metaverse galleries! I can’t wait for a day when the screens will be much cheaper and thinner so I can feel my walls with all the pieces I have collected. I also collect a lot of Waad purely to support the artist and the space because I firmly believe it’s important to contribute as others have done with me.
What would be your biggest wish for the NFT Art scene? What is currently missing / not fully developed to reach full potential out of it?
Toomuchlag: I wish for the scene to grow and, of course, be more inclusive and allow everyone to be exposed to collectors and communities where they can find support to continue their careers in the field they love. Being able to make art for a living is the dream of money and obviously not realistic for everyone, but I believe we can help make it a reality for as many as we can. A world with more artists is a cooler world! When VR and augmented reality are more advanced or deep dive with neural link will allow us to experience Metaverse how it is intended, sort of like the matrix. Digital content will be the main content; at that point, NFT art will have its full potential released.
What is the most disturbing thing when it comes to NFTs and cryptoart in your opinion?
Toomuchlag: I don’t think there is necessarily something disturbing about NFT art. Still, there are definitely practices that damage the space’s reputation as any other space, things like manipulation of prices, scams, failure of security systems and so on and so forth. As space grows, things like this will eventually be refined and polished and become more robust, so overall, we should be headed towards a more secure and safe ecosystem.
We would really like to know, where do you see the NFT Art scene in the future?
Toomuchlag: I see NFT art becoming completely mainstream and adopted in many different ways. Fine art is fine art – digital or traditional. It will be considered the same art. If anything, I think Blockchain improves authentication systems by a mile. But when we talk about NFT, we have to understand that it’s so much more than just finding out; as we can see with PFP communities, that is a lot more under the surface. Without mentioning that NFTs or not just art but a technology that can be used for many, many things. Things like loyalty cards, insurance, membership cards, ticketing, and much more.
Which tools do you use to create your art?
Toomuchlag: I mainly work with Cinema 4D, octane render zbrush, marvellous designer, substance painter, Photoshop, after effects and other tools. I do change software here and there depending on the need. I think it’s our duty as artists to experiment constantly and adapt our workflow to the new tech.
What does a typical day for you look like, and what do you like to do when you’re not busy with NFT Art?
Toomuchlag: When I’m not busy with art, I like to travel or do activities that involve some degree of fitness, like climbing, hiking or swimming. I’m a big fan of nature, so when I’m not at the computer, I try to be outside. I like to spend time with friends or meet new people as I find human connections very fulfilling.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
Toomuchlag: “Make a plan and stick to it.”
Is there something aside from art or NFTs you collect?
Toomuchlag: Not really as I said before, I move a lot between countries, so I’ve never had a lot of material stuff. That’s why I find collecting NFT art very convenient, as it goes everywhere I go.
Where do you like to travel?
Toomuchlag: Literally anywhere in the world is huge and there is so much to explore.
Full Name: Stefan Mathez
Current hometown: Zurich, Switzerland
Languages he speaks: Italian, English, French, Spanish
Education: Economy and Law, Bachelor in Arts
First Job: Motion Graphic Designer