“Here’s some art.”
Nate Makuch’s Instagram bio is, in a word, droll. It’s also fittingthe same dry sense of humor displayed in that blunt introduction is ever-present in his imaginative and funny-as-hell designs.
Makuch’s flying dildos, foreskin fairies, and sexy bottles of ranch have us stanning for obvious reasons, but his playful 3D creations have also landed him on the radar of mainstream brands like MTV, which commissioned him for a commercial spot earlier this year.
Check out Makuch’s work and our interview below, where he proves just as funny and charming as the crazy shit he dreams up.
How would you describe what you make?
Not-so-subtly-homoerotic net art
Can you tell us a bit about your background and how you ended up doing what you do?
I always loved making art, but I was impatient and didn’t like drawing. That’s, like, prohibitively bad if you want to be an artist. I went into graphic design in college and found joy in that, but design often means executing other people’s ideas, which gets old after a while.
A few years ago I discovered 3D software, and that really changed things for me. I didn’t have to draw, I didn’t have to study how to replicate natural light sources. I could just make what came into my mind and not focus on the physical minutiae. It was euphoric to realize I had discovered a medium that worked for me, and I still consider my artistic career to be in its infancy.
Talk us through the process of creating something.
Normally I think of ideas as I’m falling asleep. It’s a free space to let your mind wander because you aren’t beholden to creating anything in that moment. Sometimes it’s hard to sit down at a computer and be like “ok, time to make some art!” So as I drift off I’ll write down my thoughts and I keep a running list.
Sometimes I’ll concept and create an entire piece in 24 hours, other times an idea will sit with me for a year until I realize what it needed. I don’t sketch or anything. I prefer trial and error. It mostly ends up being error, but it’s not like anyone gets to see the terabytes of nonsense I have on my computer.
How does sexuality influence your work?
I spent a lot of my life feeling ashamed of who I was. As I get older, I use that as motivation. It’s cathartic to take ownership over something that once caused so much pain. I think that’s why a lot of my work has an element of humor; I spent so long taking everything so seriously. Now I just make foreskin art and wonder why it took me so long to do that.
The juxtaposition of classical antiquity and technology is a recurring theme in your work. What interests you about that contrast?
That was actually part of a series I created for Electric Objects. I love when people say millennials need to get off their phones. When books first became widely circulated, young people loved them and the phenomenon was described as “reading mania.” Young people were believed to be addicted to books. Our phones are nothing different; just a means of disseminating ideas. You better believe that if King David had an iPhone he for sure would have sent some biblical dick pics.
3D artists have gained a lot of popularity through Instagram. How has the platform impacted your work and process?
Instagram really helped me feel like I have an audience. I don’t think it impacts what I create, but it has impacted my motivation. Knowing that there’s the potential for a decent amount of people to view my work has allowed my art to transform from a hobby to something more substantial.
What opportunities has your work brought you so far?
I’ve gotten work through my art and I’ve been in a couple group shows, but the most significant impact has been personal.
Any brands you’ve collaborated with?
MTV, Interscope Records (Gwen Stefani), Electric Objects, Giphy.
What are you working on now?
I just wrapped up a project for Maroon 5’s new album which should go live soon.
What do you hope to achieve with your work?
I’m not sure I’m always conscious of the message I hope to convey, but I think it has to do with relating to people. I think my pieces tend to be like visual tweets – brief ideas that contribute to the conversation people are having.
Where can people see more?
Follow me on Instagram @natemakuch please i need friends.