Tyler Hobbs is a generative NFT Artist from Austin, Texas. His biggest influences are painters. He enjoys various styles, but he also thinks abstract expressionism has probably had the most significant influence on him. He also gets a lot of inspiration from observing the natural world around him. Even a little taste of those goes a long way in his artwork. For the future, he has a few potential mural designs underway. He loves creating artwork in the public space, where anyone can enjoy it as part of their normal day. He hopes to continue mixing mural work with his normal studio work over the next few years.
NFT Granny: “Dear Tyler, thank you for taking the time to answer my question. I saw that you’ve been making generative art for a few years now! Although I have talked to many generative artists so far, I am still not sure what it is exactly. Could you explain to me – a silver surfer in her best age – what generative art is?”
Tyler Hobbs: Generative art is through a process or system. In most cases, it’s created with custom-designed computer algorithms that generate images. This is also known as algorithmic art. The process that the artist designs usually has some element of unpredictability, so that each image it generates is a bit of a surprise!
How did you first become interested in art, and how did you get started with it yourself?
Tyler Hobbs: I have been creating artwork since I was a child. I always loved drawing and painting, and I was fortunate enough to have after-school painting lessons when I was young. It always interested me, but I had other interests as well, such as playing the guitar and drums, skateboarding, and computer programming. In the end, art is where I decided to focus my time because it held the most opportunities for growth and learning.
Can you tell us more about the story behind your recent project “Fidenza” on Art Blocks?
Tyler Hobbs: Fidenza is the evolution of some of my favourite art algorithms, with as much refinement as I could muster. I wanted it to have a relaxed, loose feeling – almost a little bit casual. It was also essential to me for the algorithm to have a lot of variety in its output. Because the Art Blocks drop produced 999 images, the algorithm needed to operate in a wide range of interesting ways in order for it to not become repetitive. At the same time, I did not want to sacrifice quality. I enjoyed every output to be good enough for the recipient to be happy with it. Those two desires are pretty tough to balance, so I was pleased that Fidenza seemed to hit the sweet spot!
Which of your artworks are you most proud of?
Tyler Hobbs: Well, Fidenza is undoubtedly a good candidate. So are some of my significant mural works. Overall though, I’m most proud of having continued to do new work over the years, even when it was difficult. I think if you can make it through the complex parts, success is bound to follow.
Is there an artist you would like to work with? Like a collaboration?
Tyler Hobbs: To me, the most interesting collaborations would be with somebody quite different from my own practice. I’m thinking furniture makers, or fashion designers, or architects, particularly high-end ones that are willing to experiment and try something new. The generative approach is mainly foreign to these fields, which means it’s an area that’s ripe for exciting new ideas.
We are curious 🙂 Would you be willing to share any plans of upcoming projects?
Tyler Hobbs: I have a few potential mural designs underway. I love creating artwork that exists out in the public space, where anyone can enjoy it as part of their normal day. I hope to continue mixing mural work with my normal studio work over the next few years.
Do you remember the first time you heard about NFT Art?
Tyler Hobbs: Around the start of 2020, everybody started blowing up my inbox, telling me about new NFT developments and that I should start making NFT artwork. I did a little research and learned about Art Blocks, and that was the first NFT platform that really clicked for me. It’s perfect for generative artwork!
How do you enjoy the NFT Art you have collected? Do you have a way to display it, for example, at home?
Tyler Hobbs: I don’t have a digital display yet. I’m considering making some high-quality prints of my favourite pieces to hang in my home. Honestly, my main problem is that my house is already really full of artwork!
We would really like to know, where do you see the NFT Art scene in the future?
Tyler Hobbs: I expect NFTs to dominate the digital art space for the foreseeable future. I also expect a larger focus on digital art, in general, moving forward. I’m also guessing that NFTs will make their way into the traditional art world as a convenient proxy for physical art pieces. Like, collectors may purchase the NFT for a Picasso and not even bother taking possession of the physical object. They might just leave it in the vaults until they’re ready to sell the NFT. I could see that being attractive for the class of people that collect art as an “investment”.
Which tools do you use to create your art?
Tyler Hobbs: It’s all made through custom programming. I primarily use Quil, a Clojure (a programming language) wrapper around the Processing framework. Processing is an open-source set of tools for making generative artwork, mostly low-level graphics utilities.
Who or what are your biggest influences or sources of inspiration?
Tyler Hobbs: My biggest influences are painters. I enjoy a wide variety of styles, but I think abstract expressionism has probably had the biggest influence on me. Some of my favourite artists include Wassily Kandinsky, Agnes Martin, Franz Kline, Cy Twombly, Mark Bradford, Vincent van Gogh, Bridget Riley, Sol Lewitt, and on and on.
I also get a lot of inspiration from observing the natural world around me. There are so many peculiar patterns and processes out there! Even a little taste of those goes a long way in my artwork.
Is there something specific you are trying to express with your art? Is there something aside from art or NFTs you collect?
Tyler Hobbs: The artistic value of code. The strange divide between computer-driven aesthetics and the analogue world aesthetics that surround us. How can we merge the two as we move more into digital lives?
What does a typical day for you look like, and what do you like to do when you’re not busy with NFT Art?
Tyler Hobbs: For fun and exercise, I still like to go skateboarding or bouldering. I try to relax by playing the piano. Of course, I spend a lot of time with my girlfriend and my family. I enjoy cooking for everyone!
On the art side of things, there are so many things to do besides just creating artwork! I get SO many emails. I have to package and ship artwork, keep my website up to date, post things on social media, keep my financial records in order, apply for shows, and so much more.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
Tyler Hobbs: There’s no such thing as a silver bullet, only lead bullets. In other words, if you want something big to happen, it’s going to take a thousand small, concerted actions to get there, rather than one magical solution. You might also think of it as having to build a house one brick at a time. Just focus on the process, and trust that all those bricks will add up to something over time.
Is there something aside from art or NFTs you collect?
Tyler Hobbs: Physical artwork! I can’t help myself; when I fall in love with a piece of work, I buy it.
- Full Name: Tyler Hobbs
- Date of Birth: 1987
- Current hometown: Austin, Texas, United States
- Languages you speak: English, and a decent amount of Spanish
- What did you want to be when you were a child: An astronaut, and then a professional skateboarder
- Education: Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science from the University of Texas
- First Job: Bussing tables at a restaurant