Visual artists are the cheese to wine, the fertilizer to grass, the nest to hawk. They are necessary to create a full and immersive experience for the viewer. Music festivals are continuing to move to virtual platforms. As a result, the electronic music community is realizing how visual artists impact the entire vibe of a set.
Electric Hawk feels deep gratitude towards every single VJ that’s been a part of Harmony and our other virtual experiences. One of those artists is Darius Davis, also known as Digital.D.
Digital.D is the first of many visual artists who we will spotlight throughout the next several months.
We had the opportunity to ask Digital.D some questions about his experiences as a VJ. We hope you’ll enjoy this interview… and there may be something special for your viewing pleasure.
Abby Price-Offermann, Electric Hawk: Thank you so much for participating in this. We are really excited for this opportunity! To start out: when did you first say, “this is the shit I want to do”? What pushed you to make those first steps?
Digital.D: I honestly didn’t know this was what I wanted to do at first. I started out as your standard graphic design major and switched over to Art’s Technology my sophomore year. I took a class that year that taught me basic intro After Effects things and after that I pretty much fell into the visual rabbit hole from there.
Going to shows and being into the scene and electronic music already was another push. I had never seen any type of visual display like that before, so there’s definitely some influence there too.
Abby, EH: Tell us one thing you wish you would have known when you were starting out. Anything you’d go back and tell yourself?
Digital.D: Just how damn expensive and expansive the visual arts world could be lol. There are literally thousands of options for content creation out there all ranging from free to your soul. It can definitely be a bit overwhelming if you’re just starting out. I guess I’d just tell myself not to sweat the small stuff so much when it comes to making art, everything can’t be perfect even if it is digital….also buy more RAM.
Abby, EH: Could you explain your typical process? How does an idea come from the mind of Digital.D and onto a screen?
Digital.D: If I told you I had a ‘typical’ process I’d be lying lol. An idea can honestly come from any source for me when it comes to conceptualizing art and Vjing in general. I’m sort of a scatterbrain when it comes to ideas like that, haha. If we’re talking technical though, I usually use Blender and Adobe After Effects for most of my content creation nowadays.
Abby, EH: Give us three words that describe your “signature style.”
Digital.D: Cyberpunk. Neon. Futuristic.
Abby, EH: Where do you draw inspiration? What do you normally do to get a charge of creativity?
Digital.D: I draw a lot of inspiration from the media I consume such as the anime or shows I watch, or the video games I play. And I definitely take my breaks aways from the three, (yes three I know the meme lol), monitors at my desk. Typically I go for a skate when my head gets too clogged for comfort… A dab or three also never hurt anyone, haha.
Abby, EH: If you could provide visuals for any artist at any festival or venue, who and where would it be?
Digital.D: I would kill for the chance to throw down for Detox Unit at The Caverns. I’ve always been into the projection mapping side of VJing and those rocks are prime fucking real estate for me and my clips lol.
Abby, EH: 2020 has been… a wild ride to say the least. What have you learned this year that you feel has been helpful to your growth as an artist and a person?
Digital.D: One thing that I’ve always told myself – but this year more than ever – is that progress is progress no matter how small. At the literal start of quarantine, I had a show out in Denver at The Black Box. The Black Box is up there for me in venues across the country. Obviously thanks to COVID, that show didn’t end up happening. However, I recently was able to still participate in one of their online stream series alongside Super Future and that reminded me to take every victory where I can no matter how small it may seem at the time.
Abby, EH: So, what’s next on your radar?
Digital.D: I have a ton of work upcoming with Jonnie Boi, BlurrdVzn, Rooftop Collective, and a couple of other artists yet to be named that you’ll definitely be seeing sooner than later. I also have a run of prints from one of my visuals coming soon that will hopefully fund the larger merch run that I have planned. And whatever else the multiverse might throw my way.
Abby, EH: What is one thing you want people to know about being a visual artist?
Digital.D: That it’s just as much as a grind and craft as the music side is. I know myself and a lot of the homies deal with a lot of hassle when it comes to bookings, payments, schedules, etc. The VJ should get just as much attention to detail as the DJ and I’m happy there are teams out there like EH who are making it a point to push that envelope.
Abby, EH: We are so grateful to have had the opportunity to interview you! We appreciate your insight, as well as everything you’ve done to make quarantine a little more livable for all of us at home.
SURPRISE! Here’s a clip from Digital.D’s set with Super Future from The Black Box’s streaming event back in June:
And next time you’re in the chat, be sure to express your thanks to both the DJ and the VJ. Be on the lookout for our upcoming series on Visual Artists!
Don’t miss Digital.D lighting up your TV screen for DNMO on our final edition of Harmony Virtual Music Festival.
And if you’re needing more incentive, we want to give a huge thank you to HyperX and EDM Identity for being the official sponsors of the Finale. RSVP here for the chance to win some gaming gear, and tune into the stream this September 11-13 to see what else we have up our sleeve!