Artist Profile: Maxim Zhestkov

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Artist Profile: Maxim Zhestkov

Maxim is a director and visual artist. His main passions are animation, design and cinematography which he combines for clients around the globe. Along with his professional career he is always trying to shift the boundaries of visual language through his short films. He studied architecture and got a master’s degree in graphic design and fine art. Working on films, advertisements and in the design industry he explores the new frontier of art, technology and design and is always looking for a new challenges. Fusing animation, art, design, technology and sound for innovative art films.

Recently he's been working on the titles for our upcoming event FITC Amsterdam 2019 - for which he also designed the creative with the theme Supernova.


You’re born and based in Russia - do you see this as an influence on your work?

I can’t tell that place could influence at some point because we live in one interconnected world with internet, magazines and the same visual flow.

What software are you using on a daily basis - are there drawbacks or limitations to these programs you struggle with? Any future technologies you’re hoping to see happen soon?

We use Houdini almost for all our projects and I think this is the best tool which anyone could imagine. I would better talk about advantages: this software allows you to write scripts on Python, use expressions and dive deep into the bottom of the software. You can dismantle everything to the elemental commands and reorganize them in new orders. This complexity could be perceived as drawbacks for some people.

I don’t think that we need new technology at the moment for art and creation. What we already have at our disposal is enough for decades to explore and experiments with.

Where do you see your work headed - what’s the next step in your learning process or personal story? Are you looking to move out of the screen and into other mediums?

At the moment we are working on our first exhibition in one of the major Russian galleries. For the next step we are going to erase the boundaries between the digital world and real world and start working with installations and real objects.

Do you use your background in architecture in your current work?

I suppose architecture is the main inspirational force for me. For our next art film we are creating something interesting with will erase the boundary between architecture and digital art. I love to put my animations in architectural environments.

Architectural background gave me principles and rules of composition and relationships. I’m trying to implement these rules to my digital artworks.

“Supernova... an explosion of matter which forms new structures, planets, ideas and meanings” - how do you see the FITC Amsterdam 2019 titles exploding and what direction will that Supernova take you?

Everything around us and inside us is made from simple elements which were produced in huge star explosions.

I suppose creative conferences is something like an explosion where people gather together and share their thoughts and ideas and then something new could be shaped from this extremely bright and saturated collision of forces.

How did you get started as a motion designer? Was there a personal “Supernova” that happened for you to get you to where you are today?

While studying architecture and interior design I realized that I love to make something with more creative freedom in the digital universe than to dive deep into numbers and real physics of materials and buildings.

I’m in love with 3D graphics because you don’t have limitations in your creative thinking which you have in the real world. Pure imagination.

What’s your favourite memory or experience from an FITC event? (If this is your first FITC event - please let us know why creative events are important to you/the industry)

This is my first FITC. I think that the digital world has its own drawbacks - isolation. We are extremely happy about Skype meetings and other virtual ways of communications but usually we feel lack of real conversations with people who share the same interests.


Make sure you have your ticket to FITC Amsterdam 2019 to see the titles displayed across 9 screens for the first and only time at Pakhuis de Zwijger.

More info on Zhestkov Studio

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