MODERN DAY RETRO
AN INTERVIEW WITH NICK KEMPTON
Nick Kempton is a multi-faceted creative based in Ohio, USA. With a background in tech, Kempton's work references vintage styles made in modern ways through digital art and animation.
"Tell us a bit about you."
I am a 26 year old graphic designer from North West Ohio. A computer has been a central part of my life since I was very young and I started messing around with Paint.Net which was an alternative to Photoshop when I was about 15. That was where it all started for me and since then, Graphic Design has always been something I have done. At first it was just for fun and now its my job; Im completely self taught and everything I do comes from exploration, trial, and error.
"I have been striving to create something that felt analog, but was completely digital."
"How did you get started creating this VCR inspired style?"
Well, I have always liked the retro/analog feel of VCR styled distortion. I have been striving to create something that felt analog, but was completely digital. Nostalgia is a huge motivator to me. I love to create things that make me feel nostalgic. Something that puts me in a different, older reality.
"As an app developer and lover of technology, how does your artistic ideas merge with the more logistical side to your brain?"
I think that those two things stay separate for me. I would like to think that there are always two ways of looking at creative work. Say for example you are creating a 3D render, you could look at it artistically, or you can look at the 'math' of how it was created, each separate polygon that is modeled, how the lighting works, etc.
"Your work is highly aestheticised. Working from typography, to animation, to this retro vintage style. How do you decide what medium to use when developing an idea?"
Typically I just roll with whatever feels right at the moment. Whichever I am inspired to take on that day. It's not always a thought process for me! I will often use websites like Pinterest or Behance to inspire me before I work on a piece. I feel that influences which medium I use.
"Your work features a lot of reaching hands, isolated figures, and abandoned urban landscapes, can you tell us more about what you wish to communicate to your audience?"
Honestly, it goes back to nostalgia. That is really what I aim to portray, whether it be through VCR style distortion or 3D renders of urban landscapes, which I am really fond of. Something about the way a neon light shines really gives me that feeling. Also, anything that can cause someone to briefly escape from reality. We all need a break these days.
"Thank you, Nick."