NSFW but safe for NFT! German artist Pierre Schmidt, born in 1987 and also known as “drømsjel”, creates mind-bending imagery that combines digital illustration and collage techniques. He takes old-fashioned 20th century style (sometimes pornographic) photographs and puts his own twist on them by manipulating each photo with his own vision of surrealism. Using photo manipulation, illustration, and collage, Pierre has found the perfect balance within each medium he utilises, creating a diverse set of terrifyingly beautiful pieces of art.
What was your path to doing what you’re doing now?
I come from a pretty rural working area of Germany. Not much to do there but use your imagination, so when I first got the internet in the early 2000s and then Photoshop graphic design and creating digital artworks became a slow and steady obsession. Fast forward to working in an agency as an intern when I left school, I decided I didn’t want to make art dictated by others but for myself, so I left the agency, packed up and moved to Berlin. So yeah, here I am now 20 years later from first plugging in a dial up router. Since finding out about NFTs I was curious to move forward, as a digital Artist I guess its a natural progression using this medium – but one where I’ve moved to it in my own time. Wanting to understand the process and enjoy the journey has been key, rather than mad rushing to jump on the next big thing. Art is not a thing for me. It’s my life. It’s freedom.
When you were growing up, was creativity part of your life, and how did you decide to focus on digital collage technique?
Film, music, art and bland surroundings will make your imagination run wild as a kid. I tuned into that pretty quickly. Created my own worlds. The Small Town Boy mentality has gone hyper.
Did you feel different at the time you realised yourself as an artist?
Nah, I feel the same, which might be a bad thing? Who knows. I legit have no self awareness at all. Too much of a daydreamer… I like it there.
Do you collaborate with other artists?
Mostly with musicians, but not yet with artists. I’ve always preferred to work alone. But I am open to it in the future, perhaps working with an Animator, I can see that as a potential collaboration. Hieronymus Bosch crossed with Lynchian softcore vibes. That would be cool.
As a creative person, do you ever have those moments where you feel like everything you create is just shit?
Sure, I’ve many unfinished artworks. I think that’s the biggest curse as a Creative – knowing when an Artwork is finished. But I’m always working for balance too, so when I feel like that, I move away from the screen, go out cycling, listen to music, it’s all what I need to get back in the zone. So yeah, when I feel like everything I create is shit – I drop tools and go away, then come back to it later. Or just leave it as a file. Best remedy.
Have you taken any big risks to move forward?
Absolutely, I’m pretty stubborn and kind of a creature of habit, but I also like to venture out into New Frontiers to gain new inspo and get my technical processes more streamlined too. Every change I make feels like a risk. I just gotta get comfortable with taking it. I get a kind of high off the inner conflict to be honest… comfortability, uncomfortability, it’s a buzz to jump off and do the next thing, but you’d never know the inner turmoil I have ha, Ive an excellent poker face
Are your family and friends supportive of what you do? Who has encouraged you the most?
My wife. She believes in what I do and encourages me the most. She is the business brains. I’m the Creative. Two flip sides to the same coin. I just want to make Art and live there. I’m not as patient as her in engaging with the real world, she’s helped me ease into that… Crap fact too, my birthday is the same day as Dali, hers the same as Dali’s wife, Gala. And well, nobody but him liked her either. Jokes. I like her, she knows me inside out. I may have gotten here without her, but it might have taken twice as long and been boring AF.
Did you have a mentor? Who was it and how did they inspire you?
I don’t have a mentor, but I have many people who have inspired me. Musicians, Actors, Directors, Film, Artists, Writers, Vintage Magazines, Retro Architecture, history, culture, the grotesque, the weirdos of the world, normcores, nerds and freaks. There isn’t anyone specific. More a couple of specific moments where I was truly inspired.
Is it important to you to be a part of a creative community of people?
I love the solace of working alone actually. I’m always watching, looking and learning so I’d say I’m more the creeper cheering everyone on at the edge of the community. Engaging with people has always been a little difficult for me, I like to make my own worlds and keep the door open for you to come in. What I do particularly like about online communities though is that you get to see more of people’s souls than that of real life. There is more freedom with online communities. Create, be, do, and say what you want. Your authentic self. Your soul in that moment. I love that.
You’re already a successful and well established artist, what made you pursue NFT art as a medium?
NEW FRONTIER TECHNOLOGIES? You know I’ve been waiting to get on and create NFT’ Art my entire career. Foremostly I’m a Digital Artist. In the Art world, they’d say I’m an Amateur. The amount of times I’ve been turned down for exhibitions because my work wasn’t created in oils. But yeah an Amateur Artist – I’m down with that moniker too. Amateur comes from the Latin word Amare – which means to do something purely for the love it – Doesn’t mean you have to be any good at it. Who gets to say who is good and who’s not anyway? I’m not about that. To be an Artist you have to feel it, to be a great Artist, people have to feel it back. So fuck the galleries. Fuck the critics. Fuck the restrictions. It’s always been an issue for me as a Digital Artist. This Art World Creator Classism, Frankfurt School of Thought. I’m already falling in love with the NFT’ Art community purely as a clap back to the shit we’ve had to navigate for years. They don’t care. Create what you love, a meme, a painting, animation, music, avatars, fuck it – you put it out there and loved doing it and you know theres no guarantee someone will love it back but if they don’t, well we never lost anything eh?
What inspired the work in your first NFT drop?
Colourblind – that might be my biggest fear. Being colourblind. But as a positive spin, I used so many colours and created so many elements that it kind of makes you lose your senses when viewing, the viewer gets transported quicker then into their own world. I like that. Wherever that is.
What are your short plans for the next NFT drop?
I’m green here, there’s so much going on I want to take it all in. The next NFT Art has not been created yet, I’m always looking for inspo and may look to incorporate what I see around the community in my next work. A mirror of what I’m seeing, in my own style of course. Maybe.
What advice would you give to someone starting out?
Stay Authentic, don’t follow trends, put yourself into your work and revel being a fucking Amateur. Also turn the music up and turn it off in equal measure.
If you could go back and do one thing differently, what would it be?
The only time I look back is to see how far Ive come and I urge everybody else to do the same.
Do you have any unrealised or unfinished projects?
YES! But I can’t say who they are for…as is always the case with High Profile clients and NDA in place, ha, but hey we will have none of that here, NFTS, NSFWS, No NDAs, no problem.