Essence: f. Needed and indispensable characteristics for something to be what it is.
Hysterical Minds is proud to announce to the world its ninth pack: “Twisted Essence”. We can just count the time in hours for this pack to be released, so we are going to start burning the engine! What were our pretensions? After the great results of our previous release, “Shadowness”, we wanted our artists to go further, so we asked him to go one step forward: For the first time in this collective, we presented a dual pack: there was a conceptual requisite, as it usually is, but also there was a list of compositive requeriments that no one was expecting for.
"The double theme was something new for me, and I tried to take it seriously for the work I was going to submit. The conceptual part, the human essence, was interpreted as the human need to believe in something bigger than them; the technical part was solved using the rule of thirds and perspective. I think this one was such a challenge and took more time than expected, but eventually that helped me out to create one of the best pieces I have developed so far."
Juan Carlos Barquet (JcBarquet).
In one hand, almost complete freedom to create a conceptual premise, the twisted essence of the homo sapiens, from all of its prisms and interpretations... but in the other hand, no centred compositions would be allowed, so our artists would have to limit themselves to use compositive rules, such as the rule of thirds or the golden ratio, but also getting through foreshortenings or impossible perspectives: but nothing at all about working on their comfort zone, as we know it.
"Exhibition after exhibition, I think that the evolution of each artist in the collective has been constant in terms of challenging themselves regarding to creativity and skills, depending on the proposed themes. This time, we have needed to search in our brains to plan and create a piece outside of our comfort zone, and the results can be seen with a naked eye."
Martin Thompson (Bolverk).
And even more: after a release such as “Shadowness” we knew we had to increase the standard quality level. At the end, we wanted to exploit our chances as much as we could, having the handicap, also, of creating at the same time parallel projects, that are slowly seeing the light, such as our recently released book "Retrospectiva".
The creation proccess has been fussed over, and the collaboration between artists has been crucial, having as a result creations done at their best of capabilites, thanks to the grupal thinking and feedback as well as the mutual help. The result is a release that only shows the germ of what's to come.
"When I read the theme and requisites of this pack for the first time, I decided to challenge myself. You can say that this has been one of the most headaching illustrations I have ever done due to the perspective you can find on it. It's been an experience that has helped me a lot, thanks to my collective mates, who have helped me to improve a lot with their feedback. I have to say that I was one of the very first one to start collaborating with this collective, and I have to say that this place has grown up a lot... it's actually spectacular."
Joshua Cairos (Oscuro).
So, who could be better that our own artists to talk about a release such as "Twisted Essence"? We have been talking with them and they have told us their impressions about the proposed theme for this pack, how they have dealt with it and how they have resolved their images (sometimes, in multiple times).
“Personally, this pack has been such a challenge for me, because the proposed theme is so deep, and every artist has a different point of view when it comes to represent the human essence. In my artwork I did it taking in mind life experiences that makes us to take different paths in life, for better but also for worse, like the solitude that everyone experiences at many points of their lifes, and that helps them to deal with certain obstacles. We all need a time to reflect, to meditate, or just to do what we want with no more people interfering around.”
Luckily, the initial surprise (and confusion for some) became a challenging curiosity that everyone took with great passion and creativity. We have seen borning pieces that go from twisted love relationships through wars, religious conflicts, psychotropic travels and fictional, surreal and dark metaphors that depict to perfection what we wanted to portray:
“To have worked on this pack was so inspiring from the very beginning, because the theme had so much possibilities to work on, so much, that at times, I was lost in between the giant brainstorming I had. Anyway, I decided to choose one of those ideas and work on it until I could see it finished. I decided to work on a religious theme because I wanted to add a sinister and sick touch to my piece.”
Pablo Lizardi (Plizardi).
But, how did our veteran artists face this theme? Would it be for them a challenge to get out of their comfort zone, or would they surprise us showing their compositive knowledge?
"I found the theme very interesting, less simple and hence more stimulating. On the compositive area, I was inspired by "The flagellation of Christ" by Piero della Francesca, dividing the scene according to the golden ratio. The use of the frontal point of view obbeys to my need of no dramatizing the piece: for me, communication comes form the eyes, all what I want to portray is in my characters' eyes, who have to get into the sight of the people who are looking at them. The girl's sight begs for "forgive me... forgive me at once". I think that's so twisted. In Italy, to have a cricket on the head means to have thoughs that are disturbing you... the girl thinks that her discomfort comes from the cricket, but in fact, it's herself who's addicted to her thoughs and she's unable to let them go."
"I liked the theme of this pack from the beginning, both from the conceptual part and also for the compositive one as well. I felt so comfortable with the technical area, decentering the composition: using classical rules is something I do quite often. The other part was a bit more difficult, but more educational.
Collective mates liked the idea of my piece, but they also pushed me to go to places I didn't expect to go. I introduced my idea to them, and they were like "it's good, but you can improve if you change this or that", and that was the good part. I like way more what my piece became that what I had in mind at first. That's one of the biggest advantages of working with more artists, even more if they're more experienced than you: help and criticism are fundamental."
But also, we had new artists on board, and maybe, due to what they might think about the collective at first, they were surprised when they noticed the new theme for this release:
"Being the first pack I work in, Twisted Essence was an idea that attracted me specially because it joins technical and conceptual inspiration, and challenged me to add a deeper value to my pieces by combining both premises.
I was so inspired when I saw everybody taking different paths and such a variety of mediums to represent this proposal, so that pushed me to take certain risks and new ways to create my own images. To get out of compositive habits, take new ways to create images and to focus on points of view, and to link all of it with our twisted ideas, had made of this pack something truly special."
"This is the second exhibit in which I take part, and at the beginning, I had some problems to face the proposed theme. Freedom was almost total and even if this sounds contradictory, that freedom made me doubt and to be unsure about the ideas of my submitted pieces. I had no problem at all with the compositive requeriments, but I wanted to take risks in two things: to create the first cinemagraphs of the collective and to create a piece with a color palette that otherwise I would have never used. The cinemagraphs were a challenge for me, because they are just photos with movement, but I'm completely alien to the photography world. It's been a real discovery and I have enjoyed a lot planning and creating these works (with the help of my girl, I must admit). I have also had the chance to prepare a tutorial of one of my illustrations for the pack and to collaborate with Bolverk in his first ever cinemagraph. At the end, it's been a very profitable pack and a great experience!"
As you can se, if our artists are so satisfied with the results... Do you think that you are going to be able to flee from the charm of this artistic collection?
So the introduction of "Twisted Essence" comes to an end here. It's time to enjoy the marvellous work our artists have produced, which doesn't need any kind of introductions or explanations: a wide angle of shapes, colours, sensations and emotions, of which we are pretty sure that won't leave you indifferent, and, why not, will make you reflect about the essence of human nature.
I really hope that your minds end up being as twisted as ours after watching this exhibition. Thank you very much to everyone, to our artists and to you, our audience. And get ready, because this is just an appetizer! Just in a while, "Twisted Essence" will make its triunphant presentation. So, don't you say that you haven't been warned!
Hysterical Minds Art Director.