Hafid is a diversely talent 3D animation artist, originally hailing from Mexico. His designs include strong cultural elements inspired by where he grew up and his upbringing and experiences within his grandmother’s doll factory. Some of the most salient and coolest works from Hafid are his take on digitally enhanced neon face filters. You’ve probably seen them around Twitter, and can now even wear them as NFTs!
Under the designer spotlight, both the DIGITALAX + GDN Treasuries have purchased one each of Hafid’s live pieces from the DIGITALAX web3 fashion marketplace which will be held in the treasury vaults.
Item: Look #3
Item: Mandil Mexicano Ocho
My design journey started in middle school, probably even earlier. My definition of design is broad and far-reaching. For example; I grew up in a poor area and at times I would want to play basketball and shoot some hoops, and I would hang a bucket onto a lever on top of our door to use it as a basket. Other times I would create a swing out of rope or even imagine up games that I could play with my cousins.
It was in middle school when I first discovered photo, video, and sound design. I remember learning Photoshop, Sony Vegas, and FL Studio, whether it was to create something for my friends, complete homework tasks, or include in vibrant parties that I would host.
In High School I grew my interest in 3D design and immediately skipped painting class, (Mainly because I was bad at it) to instead dive more into 3D software. It became my passion. I would learn how to model things for projects of all kinds for different classes. Though during my Junior and Senior year I took some engineering courses and that’s what really fueled the joy for digital design.
University allowed me to explore my passion for computers and technology and merge it with my need for creative expression. And although engineering was interesting, it wasn’t so compatible with the abstract and free aspect of design— the aspects that I enjoyed the most and found to be the most liberating. Engineering requires extreme amounts of precision for real world applications— safety is a massive priority. I simply wanted to create and not worry about killing anyone in the process (i.e. collapsing building) and my art did just that.
My college, The Arts and Technology college at The University of Texas in Dallas, had a studio named The 3D studio, managed by my mentor and professor at that time Andrew F. Scott. He introduced me to an unimaginable world where I could apply my little knowledge of engineering and the world of art and design. Thus I was introduced to digital fabrication, projection mapping, 3D printing, amongst many more techniques that combined design, professional tools, machines, and pure creative expression. It was my heaven.
Throughout my degree I also dabbled in photography, videography, VFX, and ultimately 3D animation. Professor Scott made sure that I also had experience with real world materials such as metal, and real life tools to control the metal and bend it to will. My capstone project was set to be a projection mapping experience for an opera in downtown Dallas, but it was canceled due to the beginning of the pandemic sanctions in the US. All that I turned in at the end were the animations that I created up to the point that everything was still thought to not be postponed. I graduated in 2020 and didn’t walk the stage until the year later because my interest for the digital world surpassed any experience from the physical, also because I started to understand the bigger picture of what I wanted to do with my career and the people that I wanted to be surrounded with. Anyone that was more interested selling out to corporates wasn’t on my list.
In 2021 I met my crypto godmother Pplpleasr and my life changed ever since. She took me on a journey with multiple projects throughout the year starting with X*Y=K, then Ethereum: The Infinite Garden, the August/September cover of Fortune magazine, and I helped a bit with Serendipity towards the end of the year. This allowed me to understand more about Web3 and it brought me closer with all the communities that wanted to be part of the movement of the decade, it was wild and still gets wilder by the day.
Nowadays I create content using Unreal Engine 5, Unity 3D, and any other digital tool that interests me or that I see will be beneficial to my future goals as a creative. I am diving into digital fashion more than ever and my journey is just getting started. I look forward to learning Houdini, to create more interactive experiences with game engines, and to meet and engage with more people across these communities. The possibilities of what I can do, of what we can do to express and to experience life expand the more I meet people, and the more I understand about myself.
Any patronage of the Weekly Designer Spotlight goes directly to the Global Designer Network Treasury, Spotlighted Designer and Core Writer (50/35/15), for further growing out the infrastructure, community and market of web3 fashion, the open metaverse and more. For this week, the core writer was GDN member Emma-Jane MacKinnon-Lee.