Brandon Allen Bolmer, born in Los Angeles California, is a self-taught singer, composer/producer, and visual artist.
JANUARY 2019 feature with visual atelier 8 ( @visualatelier8 )
INTERVIEW WITH JOIA MAGAZINE, brazil 2018 (http://joiamagazine.com/entrevista-a-maskarade/)
1. What came first: music or visual art?
They’ve both been an interest of mine for as long as I can remember. I may have taken interest in art slightly before music, but as far as doing either on somewhat of a professional level, it would be music.
2. At what point in your life and why did you decide to dedicate yourself to art? Did you think consciously to be self-taught or was it ‘an accident’?
By the time I was in high school I was pretty dedicated to both music and art. It was a passion I found early and couldn’t see myself doing anything else. My initial plan after graduating was to attend the Art Institute for graphic design, but a band I was singing for at the time was doing pretty well, and that ultimately led me to decide otherwise…we had some great tours and opportunities on the horizon that I couldn’t pass up at the age of 16-17. I always told myself that if I didn’t go to art college, I needed to teach myself some of the things that I may have learned there. Over the course of 8-9 years as a touring musician, I continued to mess around with design software like Photoshop and Illustrator, but it was around 2012-2014 that I started taking design a little more seriously. That’s when I changed my direction as a musician, started my own solo project and design business. When something catches my interest, I tend to hyper focus on it, and I want to get really good at it…all or nothing. I have an unshakable drive to create…its cathartic and essential for me to feel good. I enjoy learning on my own, at my own pace, and being able to say that I did it myself. There are many things I probably don’t know how to do because I haven’t had formal education, but I’ve geared my learning and direction towards what I like and what I want to do, and I enjoy trying to figure out how achieve a certain result.
3. What are the similarities and differences in each creative process (music and visual art)?
I feel like the process is nearly the same for both. Sometimes I have a solid idea what I want to create musically or visually, and sometimes I have no idea what Im doing yet, just experimenting. Sometimes the final version comes quick, and sometimes it takes a long time to get it right. In my experience, one difference could be that music may take longer to “finish” more often than art, because Im a little harder on myself when it comes to music.
4. What are your main influences, role models or people to follow?
There’s too many to list! In general I’d say films / film scores, future tech/A.I., life, space, heavy electronic music/hiphop/r&b…these are some things that inspire me. Joe Rogan is a great human being who I respect and look up to, and some visual artists that inspire me are Storm Thorgerson, Amon Tobin, Ash Thorp, and Adam Martinakis. My friends are a big inspiration as well!
5. Why did you choose the 3D format in particular. What was so attractive about it?
Change. It was something new, something I knew nothing about. I think what intrigued me the most about 3d was the idea that if I could learn the tools, not only would I be able to create three dimensional work, but I could animate it as well. I also saw the benefits of knowing these tools in the growing industry of virtual and augmented reality, and even just marketing in general. Motion is something that my previous work lacked because I was only using Photoshop/Illustrator. Learning 3d design has helped me offer something fresh as a freelance designer, and has given me more ways to express myself as an audio visual artist.
6. Where does the name ‘Maskarade’ come from?
It’s just an alternate spelling of a word I’ve always liked, ‘masquerade’. There were many reasons why I chose it, from the way it sounds, to the masks and other elements associated with a masquerade ball. I also feel modern society / entertainment industry / social media are somewhat of a masquerade, a lot of people are wearing masks out there, hiding their emotions or intentions…this idea is tied to the name as well.
7. Where do the images you design come from? Is it a fictional world, a parallel universe or a kind of prophecy?
I like to let the viewer decide what the pieces are and what they might mean. Sometimes I am creating something based off my emotions/experiences/deep thoughts…and some pieces are simply testing different things, or just making something that pulls the viewer in.
8. In your work the human figures seem to be in an incomplete evolution or in a transition state. To what final form are they evolving to? What is the end of the road?
Sometimes I will suggest that there might be more, while maintaining that mystery element, leaving it unclear and open for debate. I like to make people wonder. “Is the figure entering into another realm, or are they exiting? Are they morphing? Evolving? Floating up, or falling down? Feeling peaceful or suffering? What does it mean?” I like the viewer to use their imagination. One of my favorite things is when someone comes to me and tells me how much a piece means to them, and their explanation of its meaning is far from what my meaning/concept was when making it.
9. In your images there is always an element of action or movement, as in the works of the Italian futurists of the last century. How do you achieve that dynamism?
I guess I just like to play around with physics a little bit. I usually spend a good amount of time just working on the pose, positioning, and arrangement within the shot…it’s just more interesting to me when there is a sense of movement. There are also times when I like to create a very calm and relaxed mood in the work.
10. How does your music feed on the images you create, and vice versa? Is there a common element?
So far the process has been more of the audio feeding on what the visual is doing, like a soundtrack to a film. The visual will inspire moods and sound fx for the audio, which then enhance the entire experience as a whole. I think Im just scratching the surface on reversing that process and starting with music, then creating visuals that feed off the song. That’s something I want to do more of.
11. What are your next projects?
A new music release has been on my mind for some time now. Ill continue working on various design commissions, but my heart wants to finish my next music release.