Friday, October 2, 2009

Friday ProFile: Bytedust

Dennis Douven, a.k.a. Bytedust, always searches for the next creative frontier. As a party photographer, he found inspiration in his own photos and created his first sticker designs. While he studied and received a degree in biomolecular sciences, health issues prevented him from working full-time. This sick leave left him more time to mess around with graphic design. He recalls, "Approaching interpretation of street art gradually evolved into Bytedust."
Bytedust took his career in a new direction, but he never left his scientific roots behind. His "Hazmat" series features variations on the Red Cross. Sometimes he's pictured playing the piano. In the next frame, he realizes his key-tinkling days are over as he desperately waits for a Band-Aid. His most recognizable characters are arguably his smokey clouds. In "The Hot Little Factory," steaming clouds with unhappy frowns spew from smokestacks. With red crosses over their little smokey hearts, these masses of gas mourn for their environment.
When he first created the clouds, Bytedust denied having any activist tendencies. "In 2005, the global warming issue wasn't as prevalent as it is now. It was not my intention to get a point across with these images. Most of my illustrations have a background story or message, and environmental problems definitely deserve attention. Today, people need to be criticized about their environmental behaviors. My images reflect these bad behaviors."
Through his initial forays into street art, Bytedust expanded his repetoire into the third dimension. Today, he also designs lines of 3D toys and plush characters. "I likedconverting my two-dimensional characters into 3D figures," he insists. The added dimension created a huge learning curve for Bytedust, but he accepted the challenge. "I'm not a very good hand drawer or painter, so I have to be creative with different techniques," he admitted. "I mainly use the stencil technique to get the details on the toys done."
Currently, Bytedust has a myriad of projects to keep him occupied. In addition to the toys, posters, and stickers, he's also working on a book for sick children in hospitals. "This story will be very close to my own experiences as a child," he adds. "I hope to have it out by November, but It's quite a huge project. Every day, I realize that releasing a book is more complex than I thought. Fortunately, I've got good help around me."
Thanks, Bytedust! For photos of stuffed critters, artwork, and more, check his website. That's all for now! Hopefully, the stars will align so I can make it to the mural slam this weekend.

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