Identity is a tough notion to tackle in any context. In our current age, it’s difficult enough to understand the complexities that come with a “concept of self,” but throw burgeoning technologies and digital culture into the mix, and identity becomes an entirely different ballgame.
For artists, identity is about more than just simply understanding the concrete facts of being oneself. But perhaps it is the desire of and journey to find one’s identity that drives so many creators down a path between the intricacies of formative experience and the need for self-expression.
This is surely true with AlienQueen: a multifaceted creator using art as a medium to understand her past and evoke manifestations of the mind and identity. Every week, nft now’s Next Up unveils a new artist from our curated list of ascendant talents who have been making significant waves throughout Web3. This week, we’re excited to feature AlienQueen.
AlienQueen is a contemporary artist based in Miami who specializes in digital illustration. Her works are heavily inspired by psychedelics, dreams, sex, and death. Through her art, she seeks to evoke comfort and anxiety simultaneously.
In addition to sci-fi themes, AlienQueen’s experiences growing up as a Cambodian refugee living in the United States also influenced her art. Specifically, she and her family’s experiences over the years have contributed to her unique perspectives on love, mortality, and connection.
The subjects featured in her pieces are often meant to project a sense of immediacy, as well as palpably suspended in time. Her many collections, laden with her distinctive color palettes and compositions, have become quite coveted throughout Web3 and have led her to collaborate on a variety of influential projects — most recently Snoop Dogg’s NFT passport series.
We had the opportunity to ask AlienQueen a few questions about NFTs and her artistic process.
nft now: How did you first become interested/involved in NFTs?
AlienQueen: I first became interested in NFTs when I read an article about Grimes selling her digital artwork on Nifty Gateway. She is an artist that I admire, and I thought [her drop] was really interesting. I did some research, and since I am a computer animator/illustrator, I wanted to explore the NFT community.
nft now: How would you describe your art?
AQ: My art is definitely psychedelic trippy art, captivating, colorful, and vibrant. These artworks induce a sense of visual stimulation, where the characters and objects blend and morph together with a melting effect. I try to recreate my feelings or what I see during a psychedelic trip.
nft now: What’s your process like? Where do you usually find inspiration?
AQ: I never know where I am going when I start an illustration; the creativity comes during spontaneous moments, and then I would sketch what I would feel during the moment. Some illustrations would take weeks or even six months, all depending on my emotions and vision.
Most of the time, I vibe to some good music, get lost in my wonderland, and draw obsessively. My inspiration usually comes from within me, like an experience, emotion, and even parts of my childhood. I’m not very good with words, so I convey my emotions in artwork the best way that I can.