Modern brands are not just about sales, they’re also about social impact. They help progressive ideas reach audiences and support communities in the fight for their rights.

Huntrezz Janos, an LA-based artist, has been collaborating with brands for years. She carefully considers which ones to work with, because she believes that a successful partnership is built on common values.

Depositphotos partnered with Huntrezz (Cultural Policy) to create a visual manifesto for Social Media Week. Today, we reveal the conference’s agenda, and invite you to learn about the artist’s experience with brands and her ideas on our digital future.

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The SMW Kyiv 2021 agenda has just been released. Check it out.


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The artist’s path and mediums

Huntrezz is a US-based artist and an animation teacher. She received a BFA in Experimental Animation at the California Institute of the Arts. Today, she is a resident artist at Transfer Gallery and NAVEL LA, who presents her works in various mediums.

“I’ve always loved to make art. I did painting, performance, music, and writing. I’ve made films and sculptures. Animation is a medium where I can blend action, stories, meanings, and visual elements with sound,” Huntrezz said.

Besides her artistic practices, she’s been interested in science, technology, and design.

“I love drawing and sculpting in 3D VR. I use my Oculus Quest and the Gravity Sketch software to draw 3D models in a virtual space around me. There, I have complete freedom of scale and shape, and it’s all fun. Then, I like to edit 3D objects on the computer using SculptGL. It’s a fun sculpting application that is free online.”


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In search of educational opportunities and styles

“I taught myself Adobe Photoshop and After Effects online. Eventually, I started going to art classes, and I attended an animation program at CalArts. I learned C4D and ZBrush, and those two programs kick-started my interest in graphics.

I gained a lot of connections with artists around my age, and other peers collaborating. I found that there are a lot of art spaces you can go to and make connections. And it doesn’t have to be in person; it can be online. I make most of my connections post-graduation online.”

When Huntrezz was growing up, she thought she had no style: “I thought that I would always draw things that looked different. Today I have found more of a style through a vast array of media. Style is born through a combination of mediums that transport gestures from 3D and movement to sound.”

To her, style might also limit an artist, so she tries to go beyond and explore various techniques and mediums.

Sharing social messages

There are a lot of political issues that interest Huntrezz. They usually involve the relationship between people and the state, freedom, and the oppression that different groups face. In her artworks, she tries to strive for equality between all groups.

Another issue is discrimination against trans people. This is something the artist has gone through and it affects her personally.

Huntrezz sees her mission in urging people to participate and speak their minds: “My heart goes out to the people who are unable to have a voice, or their voice is being silenced. Or — they are not able to explore themselves to form a voice.”


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Digital art has become a part of modern marketing

In the past few years, the explosion of social media has created micro-celebrities. In her opinion, today, there are different niche groups with opinion leaders among artists. They are not known worldwide, but deserve attention. Brands can help others explore them.

“Brands can both lift artists up and give them a platform for creating a spectrum of different styles and works,” Huntrezz said.

“Sometimes, there is this whole thing when Pride comes around, or Black History month, and all of it becomes a token to artists of those communities. And you could be both — a tokenized artist and someone who’s adding a diverse artistic skill to a brand. You’re creating something they couldn’t have on their own.”


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Choosing the right brand to collaborate with

Huntrezz is interested in working with companies, but at the same time, she tries to keep her artistic integrity.

The artist believes that there are two formats for interaction between brands and artists. First, a company can turn to an artist whose style and ideas are appealing, in order to create something impactful.

Secondly, a brand can benefit a lot from collaborating with little-known artists, who approach them with their ideas or brand-inspired works: “If somebody reaches out to a brand, that’s something to celebrate. That’s a success of the brand, because they inspired someone to make something for them.”

A tip for brands that want to support diversity

“If you’re creating a campaign that is a rainbow campaign, make sure it has a lasting effect and is not a rainbow washing.

For example, you’re a company that makes backpacks, and you want to create a rainbow backpack for pride month. You released it on Pride Month, but also make sure it’s available for buyers throughout the year.

Does that product disappear at the end of the month? Make it lasting. A lot of brands change their logos for Pride Month and at the end of pride month, they change it right back.

When people are queer they are not queer just for a month.”


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The digital future turning “invisible”

“Before, digital art was expensive computer graphics that only certain people knew how to do. It felt unachievable for the average person and required vast budgets, large teams of professionals, and a studio to create computer graphics. That’s what digital art was for me in the past.

Today it is something that is slowly starting to merge with reality. We are building 3D models and entering virtual space. An average person can create a digital piece of work. Digital art became more accessible: Everyone can take a photo with a cellphone, edit it, draw online, or use software to create a meme.

The future, I believe, will just be “invisible”.

Digital and natural will be something that is hard to discern.

In the near future, VR headsets are going to evolve to AR glasses. And they are something that will be available within our lifetime.”

Get inspired by the works of Huntrezz Janos: website, Instagram, SoundCloud

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