Get to know Sinclair

Sinclair in conversation with Artchild on his new series CONNECTED.

April 26, 2023 | By Artchild

Photographed by Evan Jenkins

Artchild presents CONNECTED, a collection created by Sinclair launching on May 2 that invites collectors to personalize their own Sinclair portrait using his curated palettes. Created using a single continuous line, his works are a reflection on what connects us.

From left: "Mr. Jazz", "EYE SPY", "The Fortune Teller", "GUARDIAN ANGEL", (2023). CONNECTED will launch on May 2 and will allow collectors to customize their own Sinclair portrait by choosing between 6 palettes curated by the Artist.
From left: "Mr. Jazz", "EYE SPY", "The Fortune Teller", "GUARDIAN ANGEL", (2023). CONNECTED will launch on May 2 and will allow collectors to customize their own Sinclair portrait by choosing between 6 palettes curated by the Artist.

Sinclair is a self-taught abstract artist from Chicago who is best known for his one line artworks and what he calls his “meta-cubist” compositions—his nod to the masters of the past whose influences echo in his work and simultaneous embrace of present-day mediums within the metaverse. His artistic journey began with drawing his classmates’ portraits using one line—a defining memory marking the beginning of his love of abstract art and exploration of the theme of connection.

Never shying away from new mediums, Sinclair is constantly expanding on his practice through experimentation with any format he can get his hands on, including animations, collage, clothing and sculpture. Leaping between physical and digital compositions empowers Sinclair to think about his body of work holistically and the ways his collectors can enjoy it. Devotion to both his own evolution and the connections with his audience have been key to the artistic path he’s carved out for himself.

Evan Jenkins captures Sinclair in his Chicago home.
Evan Jenkins captures Sinclair in his Chicago home.

A: How did you get into creating art?

S: I think I’ve always been creative, ever since I was a kid. I remember making my own comic books and drawing them myself. But what really got me into art was fashion and customizing my own clothing. My senior year in high school, I started painting and drawing on clothes and even made my own clothing brand.

At that time, I remember thinking if I wanted to be a “real artist” I had to learn how to paint… I had never painted on canvas before then. When I did, it was like a spark went off in my brain. At that moment I knew I was meant to be an artist, and that’s what I was going to be doing for the rest of my life.

A: How would you describe your artistic practice?

S: It really depends on what I’m inspired by in the moment. I don’t force anything, and I let my passion lead me. It’s very free flowing, but I’m always trying to tap into something deeper. I’m always trying to express my true self, and I’m always trying to make something nobody’s ever made before.

When I’m in the studio, I’m either bouncing around between 3-5 canvases and drawings, or really honed in on one particular piece. Either way, when I’m creating I feel like my mind is at peace, and I think that’s something that I’ve always loved about making art: the peace it brings me, as well as the joy it brings others.

A: Is there an idea you consistently aim to present through your work?

S: In one way or another, I’m always trying to express the idea that we are all connected. I think people go through the same things, and feel the same things, but the world can make us feel so separated from each other. I try to tap into what connects us when I create, so when people view my works they can feel more connected to me and to each other.

A: Tell us the inspiration behind composing your one line works.

S: Back in 2016, when my artistic journey began, I started drawing people with one line to express the idea that we are all connected. I was really inspired by the fact that a single line could hold such a deep meaning.

Fast forward to 2020 and I had just gotten my first iPad to start working on digital art. I really wanted to revolutionize my one line works. I had this idea: what if I made them move? What if I animated them? What if I took moments in pop culture that I thought connected us and animated them using one line? So I did just that. The first “pop culture” moment I chose was the infamous Kanye vs. Taylor Swift moment at the VMAs, where Kanye interrupts Taylor by getting up on stage and grabbing the mic. After I made it, I remember seeing the finished product and being blown away. I had no clue how it would look when I started making it, but I loved how it turned out. That was the birth of the first one line animation—I titled it Imma Let You Finish.

A: How has your background influenced you?

S: I didn’t go to art school and I actually dropped out of college to pursue my art full time, so I’d definitely say that going through that made me very independent in my career and in my creativity. What I mean by that is, I’ve never been told how to create or what to make, and I think that this freedom has made a huge difference in my work. I’m not worried about how others are going to judge me and my art. I’m only concerned about innovating and being authentic.

I don’t know if this is considered my background, but I’m also colorblind, so my relationship to color is very different from others. I base my colors off of how I feel versus any particular color theory that you might learn in school.

A: How do you want people to connect with your artwork? What feelings do you want your artwork to evoke?

S: I just want people to connect with it—however they connect with it is entirely up to them. All of my work has a deeper meaning, but I personally feel like it's the viewer who decides an artwork's meaning. I want people to view my art with an open mind. Let my art speak to you and it will.

A: Tell us about the process of developing your upcoming collection on Artchild.

S: It’s been really fun and exciting. We’re doing something that I’ve never seen done before. A couple months before Artchild and I started talking, I was having ideas about customizable art, but I didn’t know anybody that could make it possible. It blows my mind that Artchild was in the same mindset as me, at the same time, and we just happened to link up. I consider it fate.

The project has been a lot of work, in the best way. I’ve drawn a total of around 300 different faces at this point, and I’m narrowing it down to only 4 for collectors to choose from for the drop. The process of making these faces has been very back and forth for me. I’ll think I have made the perfect faces for the final collection, and then a couple days later, I’ll realize that they aren’t the ones. But with art, everything is a process, so those 300 different faces that I’ve made and deemed “not good enough” have led me to these 4 that are perfect.

A: What inspires you?

S: Anything can inspire me. Sometimes it’s something within me, sometimes it’s something I see, or something I hear while walking down the street. I think what inspires me the most, time and time again, are people. I love that everyone is so unique. People have so many different energies and emotions, and I love putting all those different vibes into my creations.

Innovation also inspires me. I never want to make the same thing twice. I want to be the person who makes something completely new. I want to be the one who makes something that makes you go, “WOW.” I have this drive to create what has never been created.

A: What’s the first thing you do when starting a new piece?

S: I usually just let loose and allow the brush or pen to lead me. I try not to think too much when I create, especially when I start a new work because thought can get in the way of expressing my true emotions. So when I start a new piece, the first thing I do is let go. I let go of expectations or preconceived ideas of what I “want it to look like” and instead, allow the work to look however it wants to look like.

A: What drew you into embracing the blockchain? How has it impacted your practice?

S: I’ve always posted the majority of my work on Twitter, so when I started seeing talk about “crypto art” on Twitter, I thought, why not get involved. I was already into crypto so crypto art sounded like a match made in heaven! Not only has it allowed me to find a collector base that truly values and appreciates my work, but it also allows me to sell animations and digital artwork, which are a huge part of my body of work. I feel like the blockchain and the rise of crypto art has made me want to innovate and perfect my craft even more because now there is a worldwide audience for the type of art I make. The blockchain has allowed me to remain independent as an artist and still be successful, without the need of gallery representation, which is really important to me too.

A: Do you think there are any misconceptions about NFTs? On the flip side, do you think there are ways in which the crypto art space could improve?

S: I think a lot of people in the world only know NFTs as profile pictures of cartoon animals or a ponzi scheme of some sort, but in reality, there are a ton of digital artists who make fine art that use NFTs as a way to sell their work. There is a true digital art revolution going on RIGHT NOW and it’s in the world of NFTs.

I think the crypto art space could improve with people focusing more on innovation, versus just sales. Innovation is what will drive awareness to this space, and innovation will drive sales. I want more immersive virtual exhibitions too. I also think it would be wise of us crypto artists to study a little more art history too. Even if we are self taught, I think it’s important to become familiar with the past masters, and see how we can further build on the foundations that they created.

A: Do you ever look back on your work and self-examine, or do you prefer to push yourself to what’s next?

S: I think there needs to be a balance. Sometimes self-examination can go too far and cloud your mind with insecurities or worries. But I think it’s important to take a step back, especially after a show or collection drop, and assess what happened, the good and the bad. I believe that life is all about growth, so I try not to dwell on the past. Learn from the past, but continue moving forward with a smile on your face. I think that’s the best way to go about it.

CONNECTED goes live on May 2.

Each edition will be available to collect as premium 9”x12” framed giclée prints on Hahnemühle German etching paper and for the first time on Artchild, NFTs minted as ERC-721 tokens on the Ethereum Blockchain.

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