Meet Blake Kathryn, The Artist Behind ZoukOut 2018’s “Fembot On A Mission”

Themed The Interplanetary Voyage, ZoukOut 2018 is set to be a vision that will awe the crowd with its grandeur and futuristic elements. This refresh in creative direction sees ZoukOut 2018 featuring its first 3D model to front the campaign, in place of the traditional female model. Zouk Singapore said ZoukOut has “always been about going on a musical journey and experiencing the magic of Zouk outdoors.”

“The futuristic theme and decision to replace the ZoukOut girl this year, is meant to signify and welcome a direction change for the 18-year-old festival.”

Designed by Los Angeles based visual artist, Blake Kathryn, whose notable works include The Chainsmokers’ “Side Effects” music video, and campaigns for Adidas Originals and Complex x Sprite.

The Fembot’s 3D model is created with Blake’s signature aesthetic of surreal undertones, futurism and vibrant palette in line with the festival theme following the narrative of a “fembot on a mission”. It also bears resemblance to the work of cult Japanese artist, Hajime Sorayama.

Blake Kathryn shares her the inspirations behind her futuristic and surrealist works, working on ZoukOut’s fembot and how she would like her art to be remembered.

Fembot on a Mission by Blake Kathryn
Fembot on a Mission by Blake Kathryn

Popspoken: Hi Blake, in the world are you, and how does a typical day in the life of Blake Kathryn look like?

Blake Kathryn: Hi and thanks for having me! I’m Blake a visual designer based in forever sunny Los Angeles by way of New York and Florida. As a freelancer my days vary, but it’s typically spent at the home studio balancing client work and my personal craft.

Being physically cursed with an inactive trade, I try to interrupt the workflow mid-day to go on a hike or winding walk for a full body refresh. When I find my schedule manageable I switch gears and learn a new trick of the trade, read, or sketch to recharge. The evening hours are reserved to cat cuddles, gallery and music outtings, or catching the latest blockbuster.

Popspoken: How did you get into 3D/4D design, have you always been acing art class in school?

Blake Kathryn: Flattered at that thought but I’m far from a born natural. I had an average level of creativity growing up – doodling on notes, coding my neopet pages, and that about covers it.

My artistic roots began taking form in college where I studied graphic design and took a heavy dose of painting classes. A couple years out of school I felt lost in finding a visual voice and taught myself 3D to force a newness into my workflow. It seems the medium was my calling all along and just took a little while to find.

Popspoken: What inspired the futuristic and surrealist aesthetic in your works?

Blake Kathryn: As an introverted child of the 90’s I was partially raised off Nintendo, Saturday morning cartoons and a generous imagination. I also grew up in Florida, a notoriously weird state that probably deserves full credit for the surrealist side of me.

Anyway, from those early days to today I’ve loved getting lost within fantastical stories of larger-than-reality parameters. Mix that with a lifelong hobby as a vibrant dreamer, and my subconscious seems to be a local resident between the two realms. The visual result, in my personal work at least, is often a dark touch of surrealism with a utopian coating through subject matter and a pastel metallic palette.

Artist impression of ZoukOut 2018 Stage by Unlimited Productions
Artist impression of ZoukOut 2018 Stage by Unlimited Productions

Popspoken: What are your thoughts in working with ZoukOut for this project?

Blake Kathryn: The overall direction and team was wonderful. As an admirer of retrofuturism, crafting a cyber babe while paying homage to the chromatic 80’s was a dream brief.

An important detail to us was to maintain a largely natural face – preserving an organic softness and the ability to convey human emotion. Needless to say she’ll be serving several moods.

Popspoken:  Lastly, what would you like your art to be remembered for?

Blake Kathryn: I love Syd Mead’s mantra, “I’ve called science fiction ‘reality ahead of schedule.”

Even if at the smallest scale I hope to contribute works that envision, and perhaps help manifest, a more beautiful future. At the very least, if I create works that give others an ethereal moment to be lost within I’ll rest content.

Get tickets to ZoukOut’s first futuristic-themed party here


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