The Creators Series: Raven Kwok
Ladies, gentlemen, coding beginners and coding experts, we would like to introduce to you (drum roll, please), Raven Kwok.
For the first blog series, we recently interviewed the visual artist, creative programmer, and mastermind behind this project called CA00, an example of how intricate, highly detailed, and aesthetically mesmerizing pieces of artwork can be created through computer programming.
Ladies, gentleman, coding beginners, and coding experts we would like to introduce to you (drum roll, please), Raven Kwok.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I’m from China. I just got my masters degree this May at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and am currently trying hard to follow a career path to financially support my own work and research. Besides what I do, I like mutton hot pot, sashimi, metal music (Nevermore, Megadeth, Kreator, Opeth…), gaming, and pool.
What do you do? What are you creating?
I’m an artist/designer/creative developer. Currently as a freelancer, I do everything thrown at me. My latest work is a series of generative visuals designed for Betatraxx, an Electronic Musician in L.A.
Why did you learn to code?
Because it is fun and cool to me. When I was in middle school in the early 2000s, Flash and RIA were the big things at the time. I was inspired by some early pioneers (especially Yugo Nakamura & Eric Jordan) who are able to both design and code to create a bizarre web-based experience, and I wanted to create something cool just like theirs. I guess this is how I got started.
How does coding fit in with your creative process?
My artistic and research interest mainly focus on exploring generative visual aesthetic. So coding is a must in my creative process to build up a system with customized rules and algorithms, and eventually to generate and produce the visual outcomes.
Why should everyone learn the basics of coding?
I don’t think it is a necessity actually. But I would encourage people to try taking it as a hobby, and see if it grows on them.
What do you think is the biggest misconception about coding?
Coding doesn’t necessarily mean dealing with web search queries, parsing data and stuff. It can also be used to create something unique and beautiful.
What coding program and language do you use?
I mostly use Processing (a programming language based on Java), which is mainly used by artists and designers.
Do you have any advice for aspiring coders in your line of work?
From a general perspective, I would say have a wide range of interests while keeping your main focus point. Yes! Going interdisciplinary! Amazing things happen when you bridge/blend multiple things/ideas from different subjects.
If you could pick one talent to be born with, what would it be?
Well, it would be guitar playing. I have always wished to become a guitar shredder, apart from being a visual artist who codes to create weird stuff :)
Raven's work has been featured in Graphic Design NYC, The Creators Project, and much more. You can checkout more of his pieces on his website.
If you're interested in learning more about coding and how it can be used to create unique and beautiful things, check out The HTML500, Canada’s largest learn-to-code event.