Artists Featured

Sluj (Smashdirt)

Highlighting digital artists of the new age

Welcome to Artists Featured newsletter.

Exposure and visibility is one of the key struggles of a digital artist. Being an artist myself, I know the joy of being appreciated by someone who enjoys my art.

My goal with this newsletter is to do the same, to pinpoint and elevate works of other artists. To bring more eyes to them, help them getting the attention they deserve. I also do a little interview with each artist. You can find that mixed in the newsletter.

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So, without further ado..

Sup @everyone, it's time for another editorial. This time it's gritty, lo-fi digital maestro Sluj. Let's get right into it.

Sluj has come to the center of my attention when he dropped a piece called “Bro wants in”, basically an ode to something I can't explain no matter how hard I try. This artwork is also a great introduction to his art.

Basically what you can see is a first-person video-game like point of view. You are looking out of the door into the dark rainy night, and there is a..

cat, with a pizza.. Exsqueeze me?

That was literally his first artwork that caught my attention.

Right on the first look it is very clear that Sluj enjoys using a certain level of shitpostism. It's all dark, grungy and raw, just like most of the shitposting memes out there. Yet a very real emotional value lurks behind these lumps of unsorted pixels.

In a very weird way, it awakens a deep sense of an affinity to the modern digital culture. The pixelated look alone brings the observer back to the ‘90s and early '00s, reminiscing of classics like GTA Vice City or San Andreas, I am sure a lot of us could go even further back in time to dig up older classics.


Q: Who inspired you in your style? I keep losing myself looking at your pieces. Guide us through your mind process when you work.

A: i find a lot of inspiration in my environment, especially in the music i listen to, the games i play, and the anime and shows i watch. inspiration is incredibly important to me as an artist. my art style is mainly influenced by the aesthetics of the ps2 (which is my all-time favorite console), the vhs era of the 80s and 90s, and the sci-fi genre. these influences give my art a nostalgic and retro-futuristic feel that i love.

my creative process isn't straightforward; it's not a blueprint that i follow each time. each animation i create follows a unique process, but if i were to generalize, my thought process would typically be as follows:

inspiration comes first, which gives me an idea. then, i write the script for the video, to capture the concept. after that, i move on to creating the storyboard, a crucial step that has significantly leveled up the quality of my art since i began incorporating it into my workflow. the storyboard helps me visualize the flow of the animation and refine the details. finally, i start working on the animation itself.

While reading Sluj's answers I have realized that his process resembles my own a little. It's diverse, chaotic, seemingly random.. That was a pleasant realisation which made me so bullish on writing this editorial.

Originally I wanted to comment that one special thing about Sluj's art is that it literally screams RGB. Based on the answer above it's probably the Playstation 2 inspirations I have been seeing in his artworks. After all, I spent a lot of hours with that console as well.


Q: What does RGB mean to you? Wrong answers only. Right answers only.

A:

Q: Alright then, keep your secrets. Favourite video game of your childhood? Why?

i played a lot of games when i was a kid, so i can't really choose a favorite. but i can tell you about the best ones i really loved back then. gta san andreas was amazing, downhill domination was so much fun, and cs 1.6 i played those games a ton, hahah! it feels like it was a long time ago, but i remember those days well.

Isn't this a beautiful synchronicity? I had already had the San Andreas part of this article written when I got the answers. Anyway I can relate to this a lot, I always used to turn on the cheat for high jumping bunnyhop and bike-parkour'ed all over the city. Legendary game.

It needs to be said that Sluj's style style is an epitome of digital art. A perfect blend of basic colour units (red green blue) of the first computers and TVs, often brought to perfection using a VHS grain effects. I am also in love with those glitch stripes that tend to appear on the screens of old TVs.

His art carries a certain calming aura, a sense of a deep rooted nostalgia that breaks through whatever the medium Sluj uses. Moreover, it complements it.

His short movie you only live once is an amazing example of this mixture of a native digitalism with something older, I'd even dare to say animistic, or tribal.

It is only about 20 seconds long, yet it keeps you thinking how all you want to do right now is to get out, touch some grass and forget the ones and zeroes for a while, and it does so by using precisely ones and zeroes (and a bunch of gritty pixels). Bravo!

Q: One last question. Bro wants in. Will you let him?

A: oh you mean that little cat? nah keep him outside


Price ranges: Quite wide range of prices on Solana ranging from 0.5 sol an edition to 20 sol reserve price for the short movie.
On Ethereum mostly between 0.5 and 2 eth for a 1/1. Although holders are quite diamond holders, secondary prices are usually 4+ eth.
Chains: Ethereum, Solana
Links:
Farcaster: https://warpcast.com/smashdirt
Twitter profile: https://twitter.com/smashdirt
SuperRare: https://superrare.com/smashdirt
Foundation: https://foundation.app/@smashdirt
Exchange: https://foundation.app/@smashdirt

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