Artist Interviews: Leon Kendal
In our mission to build the community aspect of The Pixel Gallery and to encourage a conversation around art, we have set out to interview a number of artists from around the world to learn from them about their creative processes.
Today's post features an interview with Madrid-based AI-inspired artist Leon Kendal.
• Tell us about your journey as an artist, how did you get to where you are today?
My journey began as an amateur photographer and is evolving to explore new art forms using the latest technologies available. I have been taking photographs for more than 10 years. Whenever I go on a trip I always take my camera with me. About a year ago, in addition to photography, I started to explore generative art. Thanks to my background in tech, I was able to venture into this new world and discover the great potential for the creation of art through this medium. As I delved into this world of generative art, I came across a completely new and fascinating field: the creation of art through the guidance of an artificial intelligence. These two new art forms made me rethink my relationship with photography and propelled me to further explore these new fields.
At this point, I think that thanks to these new forms of producing art, especially through AI, I can discover new mediums of thought and expand my imaginative power virtually without limit. This is not an easy task since the space of possible outcomes produced by an algorithm is greater than we can possible fathom. So, my goal is to explore part of this space, generate pieces that reflect my taste, curate them with a subsequent post-processing stage —if needed— and eventually share the results with the world.
- What draws you towards producing artwork in your current style?
I think a lot of my inspiration comes from literature, films and life experiences. I am an engineer and an inveterate reader, I devour all kinds of books, specially sci-fi and non-fiction science books. I also watch many series and movies, but I try to be very selective in choosing what I watch and read to avoid wasting time with poor stories. You know, time is extremely limited and we have to manage it the best we can. On the other hand, as an engineer I have a very analytical mindset that redirects (or tries to redirect) most of my creative ideas towards points that are sustainable from a scientific point of view. At this moment I try to balance both worlds: the creative and the analytical, sometimes leaving more space to one and sometimes to the other, and other times combining both. For example, my collection 'Chaotic' is conceptually scientific, each of the pieces tries to explore a concept relating to the chaos theory; but the execution of all of them is purely creative as in the case of the Pinball Machine or the Barnsley Fern just to name a few.
- How do you start a new artwork?
The start of a new piece is quite varied. I always carry a notebook with me in which I write down all the ideas that occur to me. These ideas can come from a book, a movie, a dream —or nightmare—, a conversation with my wife or a friend, or even from things I've seen or heard when I walk down the street: an advertisement on a bus stop, a painting in a museum, an unintentionally overheard conversation on a train, etc. These ideas are often the starting point. From there, I start the exploration process through AI where I make forays exploring the idea and a myriad of different variations, figuring out which might work and which might not.
- What makes you feel happy/content/pleased with a finished artwork?
I usually put a lot of thought into every piece I release. I am very demanding on myself so I pay attention to every detail. Sometimes the result I get through AI is so good that I don't need to edit practically anything, but in other occasions I have to spend some time on a post-processing phase, just to get exactly what I want. I often let several days go by, so that I can come back later with a fresh mind and see the pieces from a different perspective and then decide whether or not I am satisfied with the results.
- What are the greatest challenges in an artist’s life?
In my case and at this moment in time I think it's time management. I have a full time job and a family to take care of, so I have to manage my time very well to make time for creativity and artistic exploration. This is not all, I also need time keep learning new stuff, to be on social networks sharing my work and talking to people. It's hard but it's very rewarding. Today, for example, one of my collectors reached me on twitter telling me that he was going through a difficult time and that one of my pieces had touched his soul. These little magical things outweigh any challenge or sacrifice I have to make. This is priceless.
- Where can readers find out more about your work?
They can visit my website to see all the artworks I have released so far: leonkendal.art. I also have a discord group where I can chat with everyone and where I have a lot of information, not only my current collections, but also works in progress and ideas: https://discord.gg/KWCqhwkMhT. Finally, I also have a twitter account where I share my latest pieces to the general public: https://twitter.com/leonkendal_ai/.
Check out Leon's profile on The Pixel Gallery: https://thepixelgallery.co/artists/leon-kendal
For all of our updates and to join the conversation, be sure to check out our channels: