By Tony Fantano
Welcome to César Pelizer’s digital playground, where practical designs blend with ethereal mindscapes and where circumstances of the human condition are displayed in the form of NFTs.
Pelizer places his 3D statuesque characters, designed in his iconic style, on an interactive plane where they intermingle with their surroundings. His use of bright colors, clean lines, and bold shapes is visually appealing and the unclear nature of the scenes leave the interpretation up to the observer.
Subjects that Pelizer depicts are naturally relatable, which makes it easy for anyone to empathize with them. In”The Stairs of Self Discovery,” the scenes he creates teleport your mind’s eye back to a place of peculiar recognition where infantile bonds to wooden blocks and action figures bring on a sense of vague familiarity.
There is a light-hearted nature to much of Pelizer’s work. In “Gone for a Minute” he disarms the viewer, opening them up to an unbiased interpretation of his NFTs.
In “Holding it Together” Pelizer exemplifies his characteristic style. His use of lighting has a sophistication and professional tone that makes his work stand out. His art evokes an emotional response which calls us as observers to step outside of ourselves and question the validity of how we commonly perceive reality.
“Feeling Good,” Pelizer’s first minted NFT on SuperRare, sold for 1.03 ETH on March 18, 2021 and has recently had its list price set at 5 ETH. The artist went on to create collections of as many as 21 NFTs that have generated a revenue of at least 15 ETH in sales on SuperRare.
Pelizer, like the majority of the NFT community, is willing to share his knowledge about the new digital marketplace. He answered some questions about his background in art, his insights, and predictions about the budding digital art world on the blockchain.
TF: How did you first hear about the world of NFTs and what convinced you to start minting your digital art?
CP: I first heard about NFTs like most people, on Twitter, and after doing some research I finally got my head around the concept of digital ownership. As someone who has been producing personal works for many years, I couldn’t be happier.
The main focus behind minting my first NFT was basically the concept of enabling myself with the time to keep creating my personal works, as it can be really hard to take a break from the commercial works schedule.
TF: How did you develop your individual artistic style and what was it like to start transitioning to working digitally?
CP: I’m one of those kids that can’t quite remember the first drawing, or the first time I became interested in drawing – it was what I did all the time as a child.
But I do remember the first time I became interested in animation and digital works – it was watching a behind-the-scenes of Toy Story, and how it was the first feature-length, computer-animated film, and that blew my mind.
I was never that good at free-hand drawing as a child, so later in my teens I fully embraced the idea of drawing with a ruler, especially with circular shapes, and I think that is where my style and interest in graphic design came from. Fast forward a few years, the first time I used Adobe Illustrator I couldn’t get enough of the restriction of the basic shapes combined with the option to fine tune a free-hand drawing with the pen and bezier handles.
TF: What are you trying to say through the NFTs that you create?
CP: I like my work to be ambiguous. Most of my pieces have a personal meaning behind them, but they are also open for interpretation depending on the viewer’s angle and opinions. Broadly speaking, my work treads the line between dreamy and predictable scenarios.
TF: After minting your NFTs on SuperRare, what have you learned about the NFT marketplace from an artist’s perspective?
CP: My take on NFTs as an artist is the chance to enter a whole new space that is growing by the minute. Being part of it from the early days is exciting but also very confusing, as most new technologies in their early days.
TF: How do you see NFTs growing in the popular commercial market in the future and what impact will it have for artists?
CP: I really hope in the near future we’ll have some kind of connection between physical and digital works being displayed together in galleries, but also online for those who can’t physically attend – just like how digital meetings have already become normalized in a work environment.
The impact of NFTs for artists is huge, especially new artists. Art finally seems closer than ever before, as you don’t need much to start creating nor to show your work to a bigger audience like you do in the traditional art market.
TF: As an artist, what are some of the differences between selling your art in a traditional gallery and a digital gallery?
CP: I never had the chance to sell my work in a traditional gallery, and that is the whole point of NFTs in my opinion – making it more accessible to people and giving a platform to buy and sell digital art which unfortunately is not part of the traditional gallery environment.
I think NFTs brought a lot of attention to digital art like we have never seen before, and hopefully the barriers between the title “digital” artists and just artists will get blurred overtime.
TF: How were you able to make the connections to start designing features and directing commercials for The New York Times and Kroger?
CP: I’ve been working as a designer, illustrator and animator since my late teens. Over the years I worked for various design studios in different countries before I finally managed to establish myself as a director with a personal style – it wasn’t an easy ride.
TF: How do you blend your personal vision with your commercial work?
CP: I try to look into personal work as the core of my commercial work. Without my personal work I wouldn’t have a commercial style at all.
Allowing yourself to have some time off from commercial works and allowing yourself to create things for no one else but yourself, ultimately, will attract clients and they will use your own personal work as a reference for a commercial project, but at the same time it is nice to keep some differences between the two, so your personal work can also serve the purpose of some kind of therapy when you feel you need some time out of the commercial world and go back to creating for the sake of creating.
TF: What is your artistic process like from the idea all the way to minting the NFT to be sold on the block chain?
CP: I tend to keep many small sketchbooks. Sometimes those sketches are nothing more than a few lines or even just a couple of words.
Once I have an idea in, or at least a starting point, I start to sketch things in more detail before I start making things in 3D.
TF: What are some new projects or concepts that you are working on?
CP: I have a couple of new series in my sketchbooks, including a new short film and a series of small loops I’m working on in collaboration with a sound designer friend. Stay tuned!!
As popular commercial interest continues to catch up with the emerging NFT market, artists like Pelizer stand as digital torch bearers who find themselves right in the center of a growing and unregulated medium where their imaginations lead us forward into the next artistic renaissance. Collectors can access Pelizer’s collection here on SuperRare or his website at http://www.cesarpelizer.co.uk/