The future is digital. We talk about bitcoins, immersive metaverses, exclusive NFTs, and more that continue to merge the physical and virtual world. As we keep painting such grand imaginations, most of us fail to keep up or understand these new concepts and ideas. There may be loads of opportunities for all but time is needed for these dreams to become a reality.
To see how an artist fits into this new world, we spoke to Jun.obj, a digital creator known for his detailed 3D figures and spaces. You can find anime, games, and sci-fi elements with the occasional humor infused into his work. If you’re a 90s kid who loves Maple Story, check out his intricate Zakum Helmet NFT.
Discover Jun’s story on his transformation from a civil engineer, the definition of success in the digital sphere, and potential metaverse offerings for digital creators.
Who is Jun Wai?
Jun Wai [Jun.obj] is currently a freelance 3D artist. What will the future unfold? That’s uncertain.
How did you transition from a civil engineer into a digital creator?
When I was working full-time as a civil engineer, I realized the industry is corrupted and underpaid. The risk-reward ratio isn’t there. I didn’t see myself doing that long term and decided to take the plunge to shift my focus elsewhere.
Somehow along the way, I met Edmond Looi. I get to work with him on a gunpla [Gundam models] project for fun. It was to customize a Z'Gok model with Yeezy 700 Wave Runner colorway. We became friends from there. He shared the process of his journey, his train of thoughts on everything else that matters, and his take on sneakers and fashion. All these added up to the catalyst of my switch.
The only connection between a civil engineer and a digital artist is the logic behind the software. I used to work in a consultant agency. The software I used gets to visualize the building in 3D wireframe form so you can do the calculations for the structure. That to me was interesting but boring at the same time because of the limitations of the software. You can do building stuff but can’t create anything you want in your mind. From there I just switched.
What is the story behind your artist's name – Jun.obj?
OBJ [Object] is a widely use filetype in a 3D space. It’s fun to use it as my IG handle. I’ve seen people, for example, if they’re into music, they would use .wav. If they’re photographers, they would use JPEG or PNG. It’s fun and also establishes that I am a digital 3D artist.
Tell us more about your art style and the message you want to convey.
I don’t have a specific art style. I gravitate towards glass or chrome texture because it is hard to manipulate materials like that to what you desire in reality. In 3D, I have the freedom to do all that. The results are always unexpected. I find a lot of joy in doing that.
I’m also inspired a lot by my black cat [Lucifur]. I love him, he’s so cute. I find the actions he [Lucifur] does inspire me daily to make edits from his pictures. It’s a mood he makes me feel that inspires me to do something related to him, that’s the intention behind it.
Do you think your art is mostly influenced by games or films? How did you use this source of inspiration to create your original artwork?
I’m heavily inspired by games. They can depict a very different world from real life. For example, maybe I like a sword design from a game. I would have the urge to make my adaptation of it in 3D.
Your Instagram feed shows a massive change. From experimenting with textures and elements, designing intricate characters and scenes, to creating NFTs. How do you see your growth in these past 2 years? Any takeaways that you can share with us?
There is growth but I won’t say it's massive. I’m constantly learning as I work on my side hustles. I found out about NFT about 1-2 years ago. I was researching about crypto and I came across some articles related to NFT. Like everyone else, I couldn't grasp the idea of people paying so much money for a digital visual. I started digging more into it and found that people are building art communities with this. It is a very good platform to get like-minded people together. I would say you have to be careful when you buy into NFT. Always do your research and ask others who are familiar with this field before putting your money in.
In the past 2 years, there’s definitely been growth on a personal level, thanks to the local brands that are willing to work with me such as Kittie Yiyi, Joe Chia, Zalora, Phyn Studio, and Idle/idō. I'm thankful for the people I met and worked with along the way. The process brought me new perspectives and opportunities that I would never imagine to come across alone.
"In the end,
you still need to take that virtual goggle off
and live in the real world."
What do you think makes a successful creator and artist in the digital sphere?
In the digital sphere, if your collection sells out or has a massive following, you are considered successful. [Success] to me, you should focus on being able to live on your own terms. That to me is a success. Anything else more than that is a bonus. Yes, you need luck but it’s the amount of effort you put in to achieve what you want.
With the Metaverse up and coming, what do you think it means for digital creators?
Metaverse is a very confusing word. People are throwing it around like it’s a space that exists but, in reality, it’s not there yet. Even Facebook is using this term to get in more new investors while the buyers have no idea what is this about. This will definitely open a lot of opportunities for digital creators, graphic designers, or non-creative people in general because you need people from different backgrounds to run the entire thing (e.g., programming, managing community…etc.). Regarding the loss of human touch, I believe it is up to the person how they approach creating the art piece.
NFTs aside, what do you intend to bring to the Metaverse?
To be honest, I intend to bring something out from it instead. My current plan is to make my own figurine series. I will design and sculpt some figures in the 3D software, then try to 3D print them and bring it into real life. It’s a fun concept to think about and execute. Rather than adding it into the digital space, I want to create a physical model of it. Creating something in the digital world and bringing it to the physical world. So, you get the best of both worlds and not only nose dive into the digital space. In the end, you still need to take that virtual goggle off and live in the real world.
Any projects we should look out for this year?
My NFT collection and website. My website, hopefully, end of this year. The NFT collection will take a while to plan this and execute well.
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