Inspired by Cyberpunk and Synthwave culture, Leopoldo D’Angelo, known as Dangiuz, creates post-apocalyptic and dystopian scenarios. The Italian artist deals with Computer Graphics, Digital Art and 3D arts. Here is our interview with a deep perspective on his own development as an artist, his creative process and the future of art.
How did your journey into the graphic design start? What does creating art means to you?
First of all… Hi there! I’m glad to answer these questions. I am Dangiuz. My real name is “Leopoldo D’Angelo”. I’m an Italian visual and digital artist, and this journey started long ago. I was always fascinated by the arts. I was always a creative person, I liked to explore and create new things. I liked “visual” things. I attended “Graphics and Photographics Arts” high school in my hometown, Turin. I graduated in 2014 and became a Graphic Designer. I proceeded along with that career for 2-3 years. Then I stopped, because I was feeling tired and not motivated, and got myself a gap-year.
I then discovered 3D arts and many other things related to my old small world. And I decided I wanted to dive deep. So now here I am. Creating Art is much more than one can think. It’s my job, it’s my passion, it’s literally what I live for. I try to express what I like, what I feel, what I want to communicate. Sometimes I just like to display my skills and make something that has no real meaning, something that has a free interpretation. Some other times I try to give it myself a message and see if and how people react. Art changed the world and will keep doing it, hopefully.
How did you develop your style and how would you describe it?
My style is heavily influenced by Cyberpunk and Synthwave art movements. Two completely different styles, featuring futuristic post-apocalyptic/dystopian scenarios and retro-futuristic outrun ’80 scenarios. I must say I’m in love with these styles and the related works, be it movies, books, songs. I listen to a lot of Lo-Fi and Synthwave Music. I like to read some dystopian books as well, such as “1984” and “Man in the High Castle”… And I love Movies / TV Series like Blade Runner, Altered Carbon, and so on.
How do you keep focused and feed your visual imagination?
I try to get inspired by literally everything around me. Be it a song, or something I randomly saw. Everything can become a source of inspiration. Then, of course, I also tend to watch other artists see what they do, and although I tend to not copy anyone, sometimes watching someone else working/creating it’s inspiring and leads to good results eventually.
Please give us a little insight into the creative process behind a piece. What programs are you using?
I mainly use Cinema 4D and Octane Render to create my environments, characters and so on. I then use Photoshop to post-produce my works, it’s really useful to tweak contrast/saturation/hue and whatnot. I also use other programs such as DAZ, After Effects, Premiere. There are way too many programs out there that I would like to learn, I’m taking it one step at a time.
One precious lesson you believe is really important for every artist.
This is a good question. We live in a world where what everyone wants is to feel validated, wanting to be approved, loved and so on. Sure, it’s cool, but I think that if you’re creating arts, you shouldn’t just create trend stuff for the fame, the clout, to ride the wave, etc. Do what you really love, do it because you care, do it because you REALLY feel it and because you can express yourself.
How do you imagine the future of art? Will the role of the artist change?
The world changed in the past, it’s changing right now and it will keep changing. Art will change shape, movements, evolve. But art is an art and it cannot be killed. The artist’s role though, may change and we might discover new art forms; almost everyone can be an artist nowadays, you can be a Computer artist, you can be a Painter or a Sculptor. Artists will regardless always be requested for many different reasons, be it for visual works, for personal adorn purposes, and so on.
You developed many futuristic concepts and visuals, but how do you imagine our real future in the next 20 years?
Well, this is a delicate question. Our world is really close to something no one ever witnessed, with all the things that are happening. Climate change, lack of natural resources, Virus pandemic. I really have no idea where our future is going. But I don’t imagine it to be good… At all.
Should humans worry more about advanced technology taking over or natural disasters?
Definitely both. I don’t know what is worst but I can tell you that technology, which is meant to help us, will somehow overcome us. Natural disasters on another hand will for sure have a bigger physical impact, but the way technology can affect our thoughts and lives is terrifying. Because it means it will also change all future generations. Therefore the human being itself.
As an artist do you feel any responsibility towards the society you are living in?
I think we should all feel responsible for something. If you want to make the world a better place, and therefore live in a better society, you can start by doing your own thing. Your daily good deed is something that could inspire someone, then someone else, and then someone else again. “Rome wasn’t built in one day”, we say in Italy.
Send a codified message to your future self.
“Remember why you started.”
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All images with courtesy of Dangiuz