Midge Sinnaeve is a belgium 3D artist who likes, as he says, to “mess with human figures in 3D applications“. And you’ll see why in a sec.
Midge likes to play with the human shapes merged into technology, always in an artistic, experimental and mystical way, with eye-catching compositions and nice post-production technics.
With him, we will learn more about him, and talk about biohacking, digital self, transhumanism, technology, and… art! of course 🙂
Let’s dive into the world of Midge Sinnaeve!
Midge Sinnaeve – Digital portrait
Can you describe yourself for our readers?
My name is Midge Sinnaeve, I’m an artist from Antwerp, Belgium. I studied Multimedia Technology at a local college and have been obsessed with CG for over 25 years, starting with the arrival of the first computer in our household when I was in my early teens.
Most of your projects are based on the human figure. Can you tell us why?
Ever since I got an copy of “Poser” from an old mac magazine years ago, I really enjoyed messing with human figures in 3D applications. There’s something innately interesting about the digital representation of a human that I find fascinating. Over the years, this idea of our digital personality has only grown to be more prominent and I think that topic has only strengthened my fascination with this representation, and has even become one of the themes present in my work.
Your art is about technology and humanity. Do you think they will merge eventually in the future?
I think we’ve already seen the beginning stages of that process. While something like a smartphone ins’t necessarily merged with us, a lot of people almost feel naked when they don’t have it with them. Even things like biohacking and the transhumanist movement are all indications of where things could be headed in my opinion. Like anything though, we’ll have to wait and see which form it will eventually take.
Are you scared about the future? Is your art somehow a warning?
I wouldn’t say I’m scared, although there’s a lot of potential for misuse of technology to oppress and control. That being said, this has been true of technological advances as long as they have existed and in the future, with proper education, I think the benefits will outweigh the cost. With my art, I sometimes try to serve as a reminder to people that this digital self is ever-expanding to follow you wherever you go, even more and more physically. I hope it causes some people to realize this and maybe set more boundaries when it comes to privacy or even learn more about the technology they interact with daily. If you couldn’t tell yet, I’m a pretty big nerd myself. 😉
How do you start a project? And what is your motivation behind?
Almost all of the work I share is personal work, so there’s no pressure when starting. Some of the images I create are research for client work, but most are just for fun, to relax and let my mind wander a bit. A lot of the time, I’m just experimenting and looking for interesting techniques and workflows. I wouldn’t say I have a grand overarching plan or motivation, I just really like creating art. The first image I ever created as a teenager was because I wanted a cool wallpaper for my desktop, I’m pretty sure some of that motivation still lives on.
Which parts in 3D do you like the most?
For the longest time, I enjoyed shading and lighting the most, as well as finishing images with some compositing. Lately, I’ve been getting back into creating my own little tools and learning python to automate things, which has been a lot of fun. A lot of my work has come from wanting to find interesting ways to skip the modeling phase and get to the more fun parts faster, and I’ve learned to appreciate weird geometry and broken meshes along the way.
Another fun thing to do is start by scanning things with photogrammetry and goofing off with the results. 3D gives you so much freedom to approach the same idea in so many different ways, it’s all about having fun!
“(…) try to understand the underlying concepts of what someone is explaining
rather than just pushing the buttons “
Which softwares do you use and why?
Currently, almost everything I create is made with Blender (on Linux). There’s some other stuff here and there, like Metashape and Gaea to name a few, but I would say about 90% or more of the work is all Blender. I switched over from other software a number of years ago and outside of the fact that I really like working with it, the open source mentality and community are a big factor in why I stick with it. The can-do spirit of it pushes me to learn things in a deeper way and nothing about the application is hidden from you, due to its development nature. I found that vibed really well with the way I think and combining it with Linux has been one of the most personally satisfying moves of my career. It’s not for everyone, but it has worked well for me. I still think people should just use what they want to use, there tends to be some defensiveness around which software people use and it has aways baffled me a bit. Just use the tools that you enjoy using!
” Sometimes taking a break and doing something completely different
can help sort your mind out “
Do you have any resources to advise beginners?
My CG education in college was quite limited, so a lot of what I know, I learned online. YouTube and Vimeo are such great free resources when it comes to education. Just make sure you try to understand the underlying concepts of what someone is explaining rather than just pushing the buttons.
Another great boost is an internship. Once your portfolio gets a little better it can be a great experience interning at a studio, you’d be surprised how much you can learn when faced with deadlines. Having experienced people around you to ask questions is awesome.
Where do you find inspiration?
All over the place, really. I believe that anything you see can spark a good idea. Sometimes taking a break and doing something completely different can help sort your mind out and generate some ideas you’d like to try once you get back to making art. There’s even nothing wrong with taking some of your favorite works of other artists and studying them to figure out how they might approach certain problems.
Do you have other artists that you admire and who inspired you?
For sure! For years, there has been a great group of artists in the Los Angeles motion graphics scene like GMUNK, Ash Thorp, Beeple and Danny Yount to only name a few, that have been a great inspiration.
That’s only a small amount of artists though, there’s so much beautiful work being created all over the place it almost feels unfair to only name the people I’ve mentioned here.
See more of Midge Sinnaeve works here: