Ahead of his upcoming drop, we had a chance to speak with prolific Madrid-based photo manipulator, vector artist, animator, and all-around do-it-all digital artist Bit Errror.
Brady Walker: You’re incredibly prolific and work with a range of styles and techniques. How do you think about the concept of building a body of work?
Bit Errror: When I started, I didn’t have a clear idea on how to build my body of work, and I still don’t. I didn’t start this with the idea of building an artistic career or anything like that, I just did it because it was something I enjoyed. I know it can be important to have a recognizable style, as it’s a good way for someone to recognize your work when they see it, but I think that can be limiting, at least in my case.
I like to experiment, try different materials, different software and different aesthetics, that’s why I think that more than a style, perhaps what can give unity to what I do are the topics that I deal with and approach them from different aesthetics.
You can’t always express what you want using the same tools and styles, at least I can’t, so I try different styles and techniques until I find a way to express what I want. In short, I prioritize enjoying what I do over maintaining a recognizable style and a body of work that is coherent in terms of style and technique.
BW: Tell me about your One Thousand Poster project. How did it start, and how is it going? It looks like you’re at about #569, is that right?
BE: Right now I’m at 850, but I’m posting them little by little. In the end, it’s taking me a little longer than I expected because although I work on one poster a day, I also work on other minting jobs at the same time.
It is a project that began in 2019, before I began to mint my first works on MakersPlace. At the time, I was working as a designer at a tech company, but in my spare time I was doing my more artistic work. I had already seen people doing similar projects and it seemed like a good way to force myself to work every day, to develop my creativity and also to practice with tools that I didn’t use so much in my day to day and discover new ones.
BW: Re the One Thousand Poster project: what have you learned from the process? Would you have any advice for someone embarking on such an ambitious project?
BE: I have learned or rather developed discipline. You don’t always feel like sitting in front of the computer, but discipline allows you to get things done even if you don’t feel like it or aren’t motivated. There hasn’t been a day in the last 4 years that I haven’t worked on something. When you do something you love, it’s easier, but there are still days when you don’t feel like it.
I have also learned that things do not have to be perfect, that there is a moment when you have to stop because you will never be 100% satisfied with the work. You always think you can improve it, but there comes a time when you have to give it up. My profession before this was a sound technician, and when I was studying music post-production they told us that “a sound mix is never finished, it is abandoned” and I think that in art it is somewhat the same. By having to finish a piece every day, you eventually learn to accept it as finished even if you’re not 100% satisfied, because that never happens.
A piece of advice would be to start and see where it takes you. When I started I didn’t even know if I would be able to finish a job every day, I just did it without expectations and in that process a lot of things ended up happening, I started minting works and selling them and in the end art became my main occupation. And if you don’t finish it, or if you stay in the middle, it doesn’t matter, what counts is trying.
BW: It appears that you’ve undertaken similar projects, such as A Video a Day and Animated Poster a Day. How many of these projects have you done? What’s come of them?
BE: These are not projects per se, my work involves finding stock photos, videos, and other royalty-free elements and using them to create something new. I realized that I could reuse some of the material I had created for the posters and, in some cases, animate them. The first works I minted were posters from that series, and that’s where it all started. It was a way for me to utilize my own materials.
BW: Animated Poster a Day 31 is your avatar. Does this piece hold any special meaning for you?
BE: It is one of the works that I like the most because it marks a specific moment. It was a few months after I started minting works, they started selling, and I realized that this might be something that I could do full time, something that I had never thought about and my mind would literally explode, so it’s a work that expresses how I felt at that moment.
BW: In pieces like From the Wall, Spring, Broken Eyes and others, you play with a motif of layering flowers onto a face. What do you hope people take away from these images?
BE: I really enjoy mixing faces with textures as it offers many manipulation possibilities and technically they are not complex works, well none of my works are, I use fairly basic techniques. This mixture of faces and nature is also a way of saying that we are intrinsically connected with nature, that it is part of us and we are part of it, and that we cannot live unconcerned about it. I like these works because I think they are aesthetically appealing and try to symbolize in a general way this relationship that we have with nature.
I don’t know what people will take from these images, I hope the feeling of that connection we have with nature.
BW: Can you tell me about Front Row Seat to the End of the World?
BE: I wanted to talk about how it seems like we don’t care at all about what’s going on in the world. We live in our own bubble and witness certain things from a distance because we don’t directly experience them.
We see how we destroy nature, how we mistreat people who migrate from their countries in search of a better life. There is poverty and inequality in a world rich and conscious enough to be able to change all that, but economic interests take precedent over everything else. It is clear that we now live much better than in previous times, but that does not mean that we cannot do more to solve all these problems.
We witness the destruction of the world in the front row, without much concern as long as it does not affect us directly.
The idea of the destruction of the world is an exaggeration, a resource to make what I want to talk about more evident, although the person who sees it may reach other conclusions. I suppose that each person will understand different things looking at the work, because I never explain my works in the description.
BW: Can you share any specific techniques or strategies you use to overcome creative blocks?
BE: I use two strategies when I have a creative block, the first is to simply stop working, do whatever else, when I see that I am wandering around aimlessly, I stop and forget a bit.
And the other way is just the opposite, I look for materials without a specific idea, wandering through image banks for hours sometimes doesn’t work, but other times your head makes a connection seeing an image and something new or a solution to something in what you are already working on comes to mind.
BW: Can you talk about any specific influences or inspirations that have shaped your creative vision?
BE: The inspiration, I believe, comes from everything that is in your head, everything you have seen, movies, art, photos, shows, the music you listen to, the things that happen to you, all of that stays in your mind and then filters out through what you do.
Sometimes it happens to me with the title or lyrics of a song when I listen to music, a scene from a movie, works by other artists, other times the inspiration comes from something you want to talk about or an emotion you want to express.
Culturally I like a lot of different things, so I couldn’t say what inspires me in particular, or what my influences are, I guess a bit of everything. Sometimes you’re not aware of what drives you to do something, it’s a mix of everything that is in your subconscious, from the connections that your brain makes based on everything you have fed it during your life, I think that’s where creative vision comes from.
BW: How does frustration manifest in your creative practice? And what strategies do you use to get past it?
BE: My greatest frustration occurs when I want to do something and I am technically unable to do it. Sometimes I find that I cannot express what I want to say in the way I would like because I do not have the necessary skills to use the tools I need.
To overcome this, I try to study that specific technique or software. Sometimes it can be complex to learn or my computer may be too old to handle it, but trying to overcome these challenges and even if I can’t, already ends up relieving that frustration. If necessary, I try to find alternative ways or set it aside for a while.
BW: How do you manage your time and prioritize your tasks as an artist?
BE: I dedicate a lot of time to the search for materials, a lot of time to the process of creating the pieces and the minimum possible to promotion.
The rest of the time I spend doing physical exercise, watching series or movies, listening to music and reading. I would say that I do these 5 things every day.
BW: How often do you finish new work? How much of it do you mint and how much do you discard?
BE: I finish a piece almost every day, but it’s for the poster project. As for the rest of my jobs, I couldn’t tell you why I work on many things at the same time, I go from one to another depending on how advanced I am or my motivation or the ideas that come to mind at that moment, it’s my way to work, it’s a bit chaotic, but that’s what works for me.
I have many finished works yet to be minted, I prefer to mint them slowly and I discard many projects, I have a portfolio full of discarded projects, around 150 right now, and of the ones that I have finished ready to mint, it is likely that I also end up discarding quite a few.
BW: What is coming in the near future for your art?
BE: This year I will do four Drops with Makersplace, I will also do some others on other platforms and at the end of February I will participate in JustMad, a contemporary art fair in Madrid, where there will be a stand dedicated to crypto art.
In April, one of my work will be shown at NFT NYC at Community Artists Showcase, that’s the most imminent.
BW: What advice would you give your 20-year-old self about art and creativity?
BE: Don’t be afraid to create something new, practice and do what you can with what you have, art and creativity is all about self expression so there is no right or wrong way to do it, we are all creative, do it without matter what happens.