The first time I heard of this artist, I asked, “What is a Beeple?” The person telling me about him only knew he was from the Appleton area and was one of the best cinema 4d artists in the country. My next question was, “What is cinema 4d?”
I was preparing to put on a show at The Draw of local digital artists and I had to know more. I looked up Beeple’s Instagram account and instantly got lost in what I discovered to be a magically, odd world. The more I scrolled, the more I loved it. I found out that Beeple has been doing an image a day for more than seven years, and has been creating VJ clips and giving them away via Creative Commons. Beeple has also been invited to speak all around the world.
So what do I do? I send Beeple a message and ask him to take part in the show I was organizing. Surprisingly, I got a message back.
In a matter of days and several emails, he agreed to show his work as part in the digital exhibit. Later, either over a beer or Indian food, I found out that he gets so much email that he has his mom respond to much of it (I still don’t know who I was actually corresponding with, Beeple or Beeple’s mom). We talked about our kids (almost the exact same age), the projects we have both been on, the obnoxious clients and the occasional good ones. We commiserated about how we tend to work on things we don’t like or agree with just to get to the end of the day and do what we want to do. All and all, he is a professional artist doing his best to create captivating work and pay the bills, something I think a lot of us are struggling with these days.
I could ramble on, but let’s just say Mike Winkelmann, a.k.a. Beeple, is one of the best guys around; so much energy, so cynical, truthful, self-deprecating, and I think I love that the most about him!
Text: John Adams
Photos: Mike Winkelmann