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  • Writer's pictureHakan Öztunalı

The Confession w/ Carbon Mechanics

Continuing to explore the corridors of Internet. And now I am with Carbon Mechanics. I genuinely feel dynamic by locating super duper artists standing-by to revealed. This is a never-ending project. They are rewriting my entries with their art and perception on my blog, and that's the epicenter of my diary. Some people may confused of what I do, or where it is swinging as a roadmap. And I can merely answer the question by mentioning; after many years, we will see the motive altogether. I just allowed various talented personas to enter and accompany. It was not easy for me to design the whole process of it. On the way, miscalculation ruined some of the projects. It was necessary, and I need to be a sinner to purify myself from sins like you. We are not pure creatures, and we will never be. So no need for self-deceit. Moreover, one should tolerate any torment as long as it has meaning. There is nothing to conceal over here.

carbon mechanics
(Courtesy of Carbon Mechanics)

Thank you kindly for your time. Could you please introduce Carbon Mechanics?

Carbon Mechanics: Hello, and thank you for having me. :) I am Carbon Mechanics. I was born in a small industrial city in eastern China and am now living in Canada. My previous name was Inorganic Carbon - it comes from my abbreviated chinese real name.

One secret about me: I am a pale blue fungus nurtured in the deciduous woods, which transforms into a dim star in the northern sky as the sun descends.

What begotten the interest you have over digital arts and illustration?

Carbon Mechanics: From a young age, I seemed to have a keen interest in shapes and lines, and I began drawing as soon as I could hold a pen. To me, drawing feels less like a hobby or an interest and more like an integral part of my personality. It wasn't until 2018 that I started working with digital painting; before that, watercolors and ink were my primary media.

While I believe digital painting sometimes misses the organic charm inherent in hand-drawn works, it is undoubtedly very convenient and adaptable, perfectly aligned with the dynamic rhythms of contemporary life. Illustration has become my most comfortable mode of expression, allowing me to blend tangible and abstract ideas within a finite canvas, lending them visual layers and narrative. Each step in the creative process of illustrating is a delightful exploration, filled with discovery and learning.

What are the veins of your art aesthetics and values?

Carbon Mechanics: My aesthetic is deeply influenced by traditional East Asian arts, such as paper cutting and ink painting, which likely laid the foundation for my stylized, flat approach. From a young age, I was drawn to the aesthetics of death themes, which are richly imbued with fantastical elements in Chinese myths and folktales.

Although my preferred style leans towards the darker side, this is merely my mode of expression, not the theme itself—I aim for an unreal, dehumanized, inorganic beauty in my paintings. I enjoy distilling the pure and free forms of objects and 'planting' them in my compositions, a process I view as a form of resistance against reality. I hope for 'beauty' to be ever-changing, formless, and unbound. In fact, many of my works revolve around the theme of 'ephemeral yet profound emotional experiences', with a subtle hint of 'death' in the air serving merely as seasoning.

I hope my paintings can offer viewers a unique emotional experience—although I admit that I have yet to fully realize this capability. Some people comment that the figures in my paintings, especially my original characters, possess a divine quality, which is the result of my intentional and unintentional efforts to shape characters in a dehumanized, sexless way.

I would like to pose a question about the prior preferences on character and portrait design?

Carbon Mechanics: When it comes to character design, I have a particular fondness for religious and natural elements. I don't limit myself to humanoid designs; however bizarre their forms may be, they all possess distinct personalities and life. In designing portraits, I also tend to de-genderize characters. I don't want them to be the object of the gaze, which results in them appearing cold and unreal. Occasionally, I do design gender-specific and even sexualized characters, but this is deliberately done to serve their individual personalities and backstories.

Evidently there is a moment comes and pokes you to evolve into a better form in terms of getting nearer somewhere better. An urge maybe. Do you remember what triggered your evolvement?

Carbon Mechanics: This moment came after I graduated from university, a time when I started to deeply reflect on what I truly desired from life. More precisely, it was a change in the way I viewed things; the mists from my past gradually lifted, and my vision became sharp.

Previously, my work was overshadowed by anxiety, a canvas for my rawest emotions and most intense feelings, which often left it feeling scattered. Although some issues from my past still linger, I have navigated through the toughest times. Now, I hold hope for the unknown and start to appreciate every detail of the present. This shift has also influenced my art -- it has gained depth and coherence, becoming less chaotic and more substantial.

Is there any situation occurs and disheartens you?

Carbon Mechanics: When health issues temporarily deprive me of the freedom to express myself, or when I am unable to create the images I envision, my sense of self-worth becomes blurred, and I retreat into the harsh realities I’ve long avoided. My spirit finds refuge in a nest weaved by my imagination, and losing access to this realm leaves me deeply unsettled. Sometimes I get a little bit upset when people misinterpret my art, but I still refuse to change my way of expression.

Could you please tell what influences you that defined your personality and artistic persona?

Carbon Mechanics: I was born a dreamy, sensitive, and introverted child, and perhaps influenced by my cultural background and social environment, I struggled with gender identity early on. Although I now fully embrace my female identity, I often represent myself as a genderless, humanoid creature. Some past experiences weigh heavily on me, so I often imagine myself as light and translucent, with emotions and sensations flowing through me like colorful currents, morphing into clouds and stars, placing me in the tranquil skies of soft dreams. I project this image into my paintings, making them an extension of my personal consciousness.

I would love to hear recommendations from you about; manga, anime, cinema, book, internet/tv shows, or any other type of boosting pill that you like.

Carbon Mechanics: There is a lot to talk about regarding this topic haha, I will just list a few here. Speaking of manga, I like Fire Punch by Tatsuki Fujimoto and Blood on the Tracks by Shuzo Oshimi.

I find music profoundly influences my creative process. I like classical music and OSTs from movies and games, as well as punk, rock, avant-garde, and some experimental music (although my playlist is often filled with Kikuo, Susumu Hirasawa, and Ringo Sheena).

I would suggest everyone to watch Robot Carnival, a film consisting of nine short animations by different directors, which includes my favourite of all time, “Cloud”. It struck a deep chord within me and greatly inspired some of my work.

Do you foresee opportunity in the upcoming decade for artists referring to A.I. and other high-tech advancement?

Carbon Mechanics: I find integrating new technologies into the creative process quite intriguing, but AI is a different case. AI-generated images are composites -- pre-existing ideas and efforts broken down and reassembled. To me, the essence of art lies in the act of creation, with each artist bringing their unique approach to handling information. This individuality is the most fascinating part of art; it allows us to delve into an artist’s personality, thoughts, background, and the cultural nuances of their era through their works.

In contrast, AI-generated imagery often lacks this depth, missing the creative and unique touch that defines true artistry. These images, while technically complex, don't endure the same interpretive scrutiny -- they lack the soul and distinctiveness of human-created art. Nevertheless, I am open to trying new creative techniques, as long as they serve as tools rather than outcomes.

I would like to offer my thanks to you once more, and eager to listen your closing words..

Carbon Mechanics: Thank you for this opportunity. I hope the tranquil power from an unrealistic haven can be conveyed through my work to everyone in need. Sweet dreams nightly. ~✧


Official IG page of Carbon Mechanics, tap @carbon_mechanics


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