Other than the technical aspect, what was your process like in terms of thinking up these surreal hair scenarios? At what point do imagination and CGI programme meet and collaborate? It was a combination of being inspired by either a real hair look/behaviour or an idea for a technique that might look interesting in cg. However, the creative process is very organic and sometimes chaotic and what starts as one thing ends up being something completely different. Using CG, and especially hair simulation tools leads to surprising and unexpected results so you can argue that a simulation solver is often your collaborator. These spontaneous tests can spark further ideas which I then refine into more considered pieces.
Could you describe your own relationship with hair? I always enjoyed playing and trying different things with my own hair and sometimes with other people’s. Despite relying more on intuition rather than actual technique I somehow managed not to totally mess it up. Anytime I would feel stuck or uninspired I would turn to my own hair and try something new with it, either by colouring it, getting a fringe or just cutting it altogether. It tends to reflect a point of change in my life and helped me redefine my character and evolve into a better version of myself.
Besides being linked by hair are there other themes you’re hoping to explore? What would you like the viewer to take away from this series?Two major themes that pervade my work are tactility and hyperrealism. Despite it being 100% digital, I wish for my work to spark an immediate sensation and for the viewer to question what is real and what isn’t. It’s about creating something that has a sense of familiarity but is manipulated and presented in a way that would be impossible to do in the real world.
Alexa Sirbu is the co-founder of XK Studio.