An Interview with Kam, Founder of ConsonantDesign
Amidst a sea of glimmering gold and silky-smooth animations, this 3D art mastermind talks gaming, being a responsible adult, and that age-old question; Pokémon or Digimon?
As someone with very limited experience in 3D design, it scares me.
There’s just so much to learn! Modelling, texturing, lighting… and that’s before we even get to animation and camera work!
Perhaps that’s part of the reason I find 3D art NFTs so appealing. The elite circle of 3D artists on WAX is small, but is jam-packed with incredible talent, and today, we’re talking to one of its flag-bearers – ConsonantDesign.
One look at one of Kam’s NFTs, and you’ll want one. Once you’ve heard from the man behind the magic, trust me, your wallet balance will never be the same again!
Read through to the end of the interview for our ConsonantDesign Interview Card, dropping next week!
Pssst… there’s three hidden claim links to previous Interview Cards within this article. Happy hunting!
Hydro: Hi! Could you tell me a bit about yourself, your background and how you got into NFTs?
Kam: I’m Kam, I’m 28 years old, born and raised in New Zealand, and I’m the creator of ConsonantDesign.
I’ve had an interest in computers, technology and video games my entire life. In high school, I would always take as many courses involving computers where possible. After high school, I went on to study 3D graphics, character design and animation at Animation College New Zealand, then on graduation, I was lucky enough to be able to work for a big animation studio, working on the creation of multiple kids television projects and films, including CGI production on a feature film for Universal Studios.
You never know where life will take ya. I’m a person who can become tired of repetitiveness, and I eventually had a complete 180 degree career switch into Market Research due to unforeseen circumstances. I worked in that field for a few years before the itch to create artwork returned. When inspiration and artistic drive arrive, you have to take advantage of it!
This is where the ConsonantDesign collection originated from. I needed a creative outlet to escape the monotone work environment.
I had known about crypto and blockchain technology for a while, but it hadn’t been as widespread as it is beginning to become now – even though we’re still in its infancy.
Could you give us a hint to which Universal film you worked on?
Oh man, it’s nothing too spectacular. A little embarrassing, since as I mentioned, I only worked on productions for very young audiences, but if ya must know, it was the ‘Shopkins Feature Film: Chef Club‘.
Where did the ideas come for the design of the ConsonantDesign collection?
I began researching the NFT scene and discovered plenty of awesome platforms and amazing communities. I met up with Frazel (creator of Food Monsters) and we became friends right off the bat. He eventually invited me to co-run a Discord for various WAX projects and their communities – The Online Inn. We invite everyone to join us – there’s always a lot going on in there!
I’ve always loved the idea of creating unique, awesome creatures, drawing inspiration from video games and franchises like Pokémon, Digimon and Funko. WAX allows me to release my own cute collectables to the world!
How long do these take to render?!
I’ve seen a lot of low effort NFTs out there and wanted to create something with a lot more production/time investment with some polish for people to enjoy. I put a lot of effort into my NFT work, from start to finish. The theorycrafting of the NFTs and the blends, the creature concept art, 3D modelling, rigging, animation, shaders, lighting etc. takes a very long time!
The rendering of a single fully-animated NFT can take up to 19 hours on my RTX 2060!
Woah, I knew it wouldn’t be quick! What do you like to do outside the NFT space, when you’ve got those renders on the go?
I get some limited work done on my old laptop whilst rendering, or take it old school and sketch on paper. Usually I’ll take a cheeky break and relax or get a game in, maybe get some chores done and pretend to be a responsible adult. I’m sure I’m not the only one, haha.
What are your favourite video games? Did they play a part in leading you down the creative path? Have they inspired your art in ConsonantDesign?
Video games were definitely an inspiration to go down the path of 3D graphics. Or were they the distraction along the way? Haha.
I’ve played almost everything, from the earliest of MMO days on the Flyff/World Of Warcraft grind to the countless arcade games on Warcraft III.
These days I don’t play so much, but you’ll catch me in the occasional Dota 2, Apex Legends or Overwatch match when I get invited.
Where does the name ConsonantDesign come from?
It took forever to try and find a brand name that wasn’t taken! The word ‘Consonant’ can loosely define being harmonious or in balance, hence the reason my logo looks like an alternative yin-yang design.
How did you come across the WAX blockchain? What has your experience of WAX and its community been like so far?
I went down the Google rabbit-hole, researching the top NFT platforms, comparing them and making a judgement based on what I wanted to create. WAX just makes sense for collectibles. Negligible fees and an awesome community – what’s not to like?
Let’s rustle a few feathers… Pokémon or Digimon?
That’s a tough choice! They both have some unique creature designs. Overall I’d probably say Pokémon, BUT it’s gotta be limited to Generations 1-3. Not the biggest fan of some of the later designs. Don’t hate me, someone had to say it!
I can certainly see a Pokémon/Digimon influence in your work – where else do you draw inspiration from?
Inspiration is a funny thing – it comes and goes. Sometimes you can’t pick and choose where it comes from. Maybe you’ll randomly come across something that invokes imagination, whether it’s from other works or your environment. Sometimes you can see potential in a branch off of other people’s ideas. I’ve found browsing websites like Pinterest, deviantART etc. are often helpful when you need a starting point.
Are there any other NFT artists/collections that you admire, WAX or otherwise?
I’ve been keeping an eye on various projects in development (often too many to keep track of!) that are showing a lot of potential and future direction within the space.
A few people have requested I create something within Immersys. Might need to reach out to them with some ideas! stuckatsixpm always has something interesting going on, and Frazel’s new AETHER faucet on our Discord has intrigued me too.
What’s your favourite NFT that you’ve made so far?
I’m biased – I created them so I like different things about each one!
I’d love to hear the answers from the community, and any ideas of what they would like to see from me in the future!
What have you enjoyed most about working on your collection so far?
Oh, definitely the interactions with the community, and being a part of the evolution of the NFT space, alongside other passionate creators.
It’s awesome to have free reign with the designs and project details on everything I create. That allows me to really enjoy what I do, and makes it a labour of love.
What are your thoughts on the NFT space in general? Are we in a bubble? Are we early?
I think the NFT space has massive room to grow. We’ve already began to see businesses and companies adopt NFTs and blockchain technology into their marketing & advertising practices and I believe this will only continue to grow.
Whether it’s stakeability or otherwise, are there any plans for your NFTs to have additional use cases?
There’s certainly some plans in the works right now, but I can’t reveal too much – that’ll be down to those partners. I’m always toying with ideas for more utility in my designs, it’s just a matter of finding a balance between achievability, practicality and quality.
Where would you like ConsonantDesign to be in 3 months? 6 months? 12?
I’d like to see more people join the community we’re building, and I’d like to continue getting my unique designs into the hands of enthusiasts and appreciators worldwide!
I want to keep creating high-quality NFTs that have had a lot of effort and development put into them that people find appealing and can treasure. We’re still in the very early phases of my plans for the brand with plenty of ideas on the horizon, so stay tuned!
Is there anything you’d like to add? Anything you’d like to say directly to the reader?
I’d like to welcome any NFT or blockchain enthusiasts to come hang out with us in The Online Inn! We’re constantly growing and holding events and giveaways within our amazing community, which includes tons of projects from a lot of different creators. Feel free to come and say hello to me personally in the ConsonantDesign channel – I love engaging with the community!
Time for our traditional end questions!
What fuels you?
Oh man – like a lot of artists, I’m usually running on empty, haha.
I really enjoy the creation process and the possible validation you receive from the community if you’ve created something awesome that they enjoy and want to share feedback on.
I encourage all constructive feedback and criticism on my work, positive or negative. It helps me to find direction and to discover what the community does or does not want, allowing me to cater to a wider audience. It’s important that, whether you think something is good or bad, you make sure to tell the artist why, rather than just saying “this sucks”!
Long-term; which will be the predominant currency, crypto or fiat?
Long-term, I believe cryptocurrency is the next logical step in the evolution of all currency, but it may alter from its current form as governments step in to regulate and possibly centralize how it works. Crypto is just more efficient and convenient than fiat.
One unusual fact about you?
I am seemingly naturally nocturnal. I always drift back to staying up all night and sleeping during the day, no matter how hard I try!
You can invite three people, dead or alive, to dinner. Who do you choose and why?
Kurt Cobain, Socrates and Stephen Hawking.
I love rock/metal and other heavy music, and Kurt is a legend. He would be the chill one, balancing out the conversation between Socrates and Hawking. Could you imagine those two in a discussion on philosophy, science and logic? That would blow our minds!
What is your purpose in life?
Unexpected existential question!
It seems that life’s purpose is to find purpose where there may be none. Is purpose and meaning not a human, man-made concept?
We all reside within the human condition. Be kind to one another in this short moment of personal existence, and be aware of your impact on the zeitgeist.
I don’t believe you have to have a set purpose in life. Create and explore!
Enjoy your time being benevolent with others on this rock floating through space!
Kam has an inquisitive mint and a heart of gold, shining bright like the gold on many of his NFTs! His work just gets better and better – ConsonantDesign is a prime example of a collection where every single NFT gives you some series FOMO!
This collection is something truly special, and we can’t wait to see what Kam will make next!
In celebration of the interview, we have our ConsonantDesign Interview Card dropping next week, along with a collab in the works!