Interview with Digital Artist Godfrey Meyer: There Are Endless possibilities with Virtual Reality
“Imagine an empty void, and you have an infinite digital paintbrush, as well as a toolbox of musical instruments. So you can create anything in your imagination! What do you create? With endless possibilities, this is the question that faces digital artists everyday working in VR.”
— Godfrey Meyer
You may not be familiar with the name, Godfrey Meyer, but you will. As a rising star in virtual reality arts production, Godfrey uses color, animation, sound, and any possible mediums to create a “feeling” and pushes his expression beyond the wildest imagination. By incorporating visual arts, music arts, and virtual reality in one piece, his works are alive and vibrant with a touch of spice that can always resonate with the audience. Born and raised in Florida, you can often find palm trees, vivid sunlight and tropical texture in Godfrey’s work. Using bold colors and abstract patterns to create visual shocks seem to have been his second nature when presenting words of expressions. One of his most popular works on VeeR is Beeple – inspired by Mike Winkleman, aka @Beeple, Godfrey re-paints one of Beeple’s imagination worlds in a VR version and adds in his own music track for more Godfrey’s twists to eventually create a new piece of art unique to both artists. Godfrey has a wide range of works born out of the collaboration with other artists; similar to Beeple, the contrasts and sometimes conflicts often sparkle into a new form of creativity, from the whimsy of Godfrey evolve into true works of art. You can check out some of Godfrey’s works here: http://veer.tv/vr/godfreymeyer
“I like to push myself to learn, and not get stagnant in one area, and I think jumping around studies is a great way to broaden your horizons. I want to see things from a spherical perspective and a bird’s eye view, from the micro to the macro. We are here to learn.”
— Godfrey Meyer
Godfrey considers himself not only a musician, a painter, a producer, but also a student, who consistently challenges the possibilities of newest technology and crushes self-doubt along the path. Godfrey’s first exposure to arts is cello, when he first picks up this musical instrument at an early age and breaks into the music composition space immediately. Once he starts dedicating most of his time to creating music, he decides to study at Full Sail University in Orlando. There, he develops the fundamentals for later music productions, encounters talented artists, and gets to see a diverse range of genres, medias, and how they are closely integrated with one another. No longer satisfied with only music production, Godfrey moves onto visual creations and really teaches himself all the graphics from scratches. From a crude piece of design to more refined works of fine arts, Godfrey devotes big chunk of his life learning, improving, and gradually gaining respect for his visual experiments.
“A music needs a visual” Godfrey not only realizes it but also achieves it step by step by starting to add layers of interactions over his new works. With the basics down, Godfrey’s imaginations set free and he is open to another even brand new world of animation and immersive arts, virtual reality. He carries on with excitement and hunger to learn and spends time bringing what he has been doing to a more vivid 360-degree form. 7 years of endeavor staying in a garage, Godfrey gets from one to a hundred with thousands of views per every video he uploads on VeeR.
For the next steps, Godfrey is looking to incorporate AUG/VR and possibly develop Apps to explore any possibilities of audience interaction enhancement with his works. Always humble and ready for his new journey, Godfrey is for sure the real revolutionists and trend-makers to be in arts.
To read more, please see the full script of Godfrey Meyer’s VeeR interview：
About Godfrey Meyer III
VeeR: After listening to your soundtracks with VR visual effects, a lot of people fall immediately and say, this is really DOPE. To those who don’t yet know Godfrey Meyer III – how would you introduce and define the work you do?
Godfrey: Thanks VeeR for the love and support!
Imagine an empty void, and you have an infinite digital paint brush, as well as a toolbox of musical instruments. So you can create anything in your imagination! What do you create? With endless possibilities, this is the question that faces digital artists everyday working in VR. I would say with my art, I try to create art that is going to push us further down the road of how artists blend music and visual together creating one of a kind pieces. I like breaking things and pushing color, texture, and the programs I use themselves to their limit. I push them to the point of “glitching” the works, and using the accidental nature of computer errors re-synthesized into new works in a multi-dimensional cubist or surrealist way. The medium of VR and Augmented reality is a brand new medium, and there is so much potential, I am still trying to figure out what is possible with the medium as I am student of art.
One of the hardest things to do is quantify what the meaning is behind any artwork, when we all are learning about ourselves everyday. I think my work teaches me about myself, and with abstract expressionism, there does not have to be a subject matter every time. I like breaking down processes, and theme and variation. Sometimes the meaning is apparent, and other times it is ambiguous. Or I might use color, animation and sound to create a “Feeling” other then a subject matter… when one experiences sound and visual synced well, they are taken away on a dream. I want people to experience something that they never have before. Bend and morph reality like dreams, and show them what’s possible to inspire others to push the medium past our wildest imagination.
VeeR: What does your work mean to you?
Godfrey: At the most fundamental level, my work is an expression of who I am and a way for me to overcome self doubt and inspire others to do the same. I am a musician, a painter, and jack-of-all-trades. I have chosen a path of dedicating my life to creating something everyday and as much as possible to leave my mark in the world and crush self doubt.
VeeR: How did your pursuit for arts creation evolve overtime?
Godfrey: I always want to know how something works, and since a kid, I would be the annoying kid asking Mom all the questions. “Why? Why? Why?” and then I would get an answer and then ask “but Why?” 🙂 This natural approach to digging deeper into research was the beginning of my crazy lifestyle. Music is an art, and by learning the cello at a young age, I was exposed to music composition. At some point I dedicated my life to creating music, and went off to an Arts school. Full Sail University in Orlando. This changed everything, as they fought me how to read a manual, dig deeper, and I was surrounded by creative people. I dive into everything I touch, so got involved with all genres, media, and realized at some point you can’t have one without the other. Sound needs a visual. It was hard to get anyone to work for me because I had very little money at the time, so I decided to do it myself. I learned that Visual Arts is VERY similar to the Music Arts, and started to make crude graphics moving to sounds called “Audio Visual Experiments”. Over the years I gained a respect for fine arts, and started to refine my works into something more presentable. Now I am trying to bring it all together and I am lucky enough to be in that position thankfully. You really don’t know where your dreams will take you unless you take a shot.
VeeR: Do you see yourself keep creating after 10 years, 20 years?
Godfrey: I do think I will be creating art as long as I am blessed to be here. I think without art, and a way to create something everyday, I would be unhappy. So yes I think I will be working in art, traveling the world the rest of my life putting up art all over the place, and getting up in all the major cities. With the digital age, the Internet changes everything. I can only wonder what the future of painting will be in VR! One day we might be able to paint with just our eyes and our mind. This will enable us to paint well into our later years where the limitations of mobility would otherwise stop me from working when we get older. Am I working too much? It is not work when you love what you do. I would be happy with making music and art the rest of my life even if it was never seen or heard, because that’s the inspiration of how it started.
Back Stage Stories with VR
VeeR: How did the environment you live up with, for example Florida, music classes, family, etc. shape your music and arts expression? If none of the above did, what did?
Godfrey: Everything effects an artist’s expression. I think we get influenced by so many factors of life its hard to really narrow it down. I like to pull from my environment and use things like Palm Trees, vivid sunlight and tropical texture in my work as I grew up by the ocean. Most of my family doesn’t really “get” what I do, but they are supportive in letting me work, and without them I would have nothing. My brother and sister are both very talented people. My sister is a photographer, and taught me about lighting and all the foundations I need to understand light. My brother on the other hand is a poetic genius, actor, and performer. He has always been there to brainstorm with me, and we continue to work on things all the time! So my environment has been one to push me to create.
VeeR: How did you first get into VR?
Godfrey: I first got into VR when I heard about 360-degree video, and thought it would be cool to start doing animations that I was doing in 360 degrees. I had been working on motion graphics a few years, and made tons of content, but nothing was really resonating. Then this new medium comes along, and I wanted to see if I could push the limits of my system and get my art into another perspective, and level the playing field.
VeeR: How’s your work with VR now?
Godfrey: I am working on learning Unity3d and how to make my worlds immersive, and interactive. I think the next level of a passive art form, is an interactive one. So I am working on coming up with ways to change the art world, and open peoples eyes on this medium. I want to bring my painting, and music into VR like no one will. I want to bring to VR a level of creativity that will take us past roller coasters, and simple branded videos. I think VR/AUG is going to be the next Fine Art. The fact that it’s a digital medium is interesting, and what that means for modern art.
VeeR: Beeple and SO DOPE!! Virtual Reality | Samsung Gear VR | Oculus Rift | HTC Vive | Playstation VR are your two most popular works on VeeR. What are the stories behind these two pieces?
Godfrey: Mike Winkleman aka @Beeple is one of my biggest inspirations. This guy is so kind that he has been putting up resources for people to download and learn with for years on end. He makes Cinema4d animations that are out of this world. http://www.beeple-crap.com and that video, is one of his scenes, but re-mixed into a “Gm3” version. I changed all the colors, and put one of his worlds into a VR version to one of my tracks to take you inside beeple’s imagination with my twist on it… I like to collaborate with other artists because it brings a unique aspect to the piece every time.
VeeR: From a professional music producer to a digital artist then to a VR sonic sculptor, you have been taking a lot on the way. What is your motivation for all the strives?
Godfrey: Most people are so afraid of failure that they do not even want to give something a shot. I like to fail until I learn… I have always thought that “trying everything” would lead me down a path of understanding what I “like”. Everyone tells you “follow your dreams” I just really do that. There are many purposes to life. I think my journey at this point is to bring all of the things I have learned together in one cohesive production. It’s like a puzzle that is starting to piece together, but it never will quite be finished. Because the more I think about what the motivation is, the more I realize it is just, one having faith in the now, and confidence in something bigger then what your currently stuck on. I like to push myself to learn, and not get stagnant in one area, and I think jumping around studies is a great way to broaden your horizons. I want to see things from a spherical perspective and a bird’s eye view, from the micro to the macro. We are here to learn.
VR Works Creation Related & Future Plans
VeeR: What would be your dream or goal for VR in a long run, and what’s the next big thing in your project?
Godfrey: I would love to see VR be used to bring people together, as I look around at the state of the world. We need to bring people together, not separate them. Ironically isolation inside a VR world might not be the best thing for Humans. Maybe with Augmented Reality I can change the future of the world in a better light. VR will be the other side of the coin, and maybe one day they will fuse together in an AUG/VR device that can do both integrated non-obtrusive into our daily lives. I see a lot of things for the future of technology, and have ideas all the time! It is very exciting times and I think it is awesome we can create these ideas in a VR environment, which means anything goes!
VeeR: You spend 6 years of self-training in VR. Now you look back, any chance the time could be shortened?
Godfrey: I spent that time more in computer graphics, audio, motion graphics, and animation. The last year VR tools came on the scene, and I have been able to bring what I was already doing into a 360-degree form. Soon I will be building Apps and adding a layer of interaction over my new works. I want to take it even further into my imagination, and give people experiences like they have never dreamed of to push the human mind further and bring art to a whole new level with human input, and AI interaction.
VeeR: Any tips and advice for those new to the field?
Godfrey: I would head over to Unity3d, and start watching every tutorial online that you can. There are so many resources available at our fingertips; it is just a matter of making the time to get started. I am learning everyday, and want to put myself around a team of people, and I think this will be a better way to learn. Put yourself around people in your industry. I am working out of a garage, so what I can say, is don’t let your status, or money stop you from getting started. My friend Ari sent me a Google cardboard and that is what I have been using, in fact, the first 30-50 videos I made, I didn’t even have a headset to work on and just hoped it would work out. Test, test, repeat, and put it out there. Do not hesitate on your intuition and let things be. Don’t worry about the people who ignore you (there has been many people I reached out to who ignored me) Just have confidence. Thats how to go with the flow and learn from our studies in retrospect. If you ever have a question, just give me a shout, and I would be glad to try and help @gm3beats, because we help each other when we create discussion.
I just want to say thank you to VeeR for being so helpful in getting my art to a new audience. You guys have been so kind to me, I feel overwhelmed with LOVE from your team, and I will be forever grateful for what you did for me. So much love -Godfrey Meyer
My social media a and websites;