Interview with OELHAN, French Digital Artist and Animator
Updated: May 14, 2021
This week, we spoke to French digital artist, motion designer, and VJ, Jordan Coelho who professionally goes by the name Oelhan. His dark-hued illustrations and animations that primarily depict plants and humans are heavily inspired by the aesthetics of psychedelia. During our interview, we learn about the influences behind his mesmerizing art, his fresh, new journey into NFTs, and his suggestions for artists just entering the world.
Tell me a little about yourself and what attracted you to making art.
Hi, my name is Jordan but I go by Oelhan. I’m a digital artist and animator based in Paris, France, I love making trippy animations and mixing 2D and 3D. I like purple. I like when it’s dark but still vibrant, psychedelic but smooth, cold but still warm…I’m mostly interested in animating humans and plants.
Who or what are your biggest artistic influences?
I think music is my biggest influence. When I’m searching for something new, I put music on, some “Tame Impala” type of song. Then I start doodling on a sheet of paper and look for something interesting to animate. I know I have artistic influences, but there are too many to name. I take inspiration from photographs, illustrations, animes, random stuff on Pinterest and mix my references together until I find something nice.
What’s your goal when making art?
Until 2021, I had two goals when making art. First, have fun. I’ve been making animation loops on the internet since 2014 and I enjoy it. The second was to grow my portfolio in order to show clients my style and what I can do as a motion designer and art director to help me get the big gigs.
Since I heard about NFTs and started minting my work, I see that selling animations that I’ve always made for fun can be my main source of revenue. This idea is amazing, like the thing I was doing for free I can now make money with it. Awesome!
And if everything works well, I also want to start collecting.
How has your style evolved through the years?
That’s a funny question. Actually, my style went back and forth between 2D and 3D, going from simple shapes to characters to frame-by-frame…During the first four years of my career I was trying to figure out what my “style” was, and only about a year ago did I find something I really like.
On your Instagram and website, you talk about how divisive NFTs are for the art community with people often being strongly for or against NFTs. How did you decide that creating NFTs was right for you?
It was surprising to see that 55% of my Instagram audience is against NFTs. I made my own little investigation, crossed sources, spoke with crypto artists, non-crypto artists, anti-crypto artists, pro-crypto artists, read about blockchain, debated with friends and I found out that the pros beat the cons in my opinion. So I invite everyone to not make up their mind about NFTs after reading their first Medium article. Do your own research.
As a side note, I also think that crypto artists shouldn’t brag about how much they sell. I think it creates a lot of frustration that becomes hate at the end of the day, so...
What advice would you give to artists interested in entering the world of NFTs?
I’m super young in this crypto art world, so I don’t know that much. I would say to learn before, search the internet, ask people, join NFT-related Clubhouse rooms. It’s a lot to understand so take a week if you can and investigate. And of course, get back on Twitter. I ran away from it in 2014 and came back in 2021. It has improved a lot in seven years. I was like, “We can make a thread over tweets now?! Interesting.”
What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced while getting into NFTs?
I’m not a native English speaker and I make a lot of spelling mistakes, so my biggest stress is making sure that I don’t mess up my drop descriptions. I re-read a hundred times before clicking “Tokenize.”
But the true challenge is to get invited and/or accepted onto a main platform. It’s very frustrating when you apply and have no answer. You feel ghosted. Not good for the ego.
When is your next drop?
Sometime next week, I’m working on a new piece that I hope will turn out nicely. I’m posting sneak peeks on Twitter ;)
Where to find OELHAN online.