Inspiration

Even More Stranger Things: Stas Santimov’s Mystical Animation

Stas Santimov, a Ukrainian animator artist, creates his animation films with Photoshop. These films are mostly about fears and the paranormal. The artist has revealed Bird in Flight in what way his esthetics relates to the current world affairs, how an artist can earn money with NFT and how festivals can benefit.
Stas Santimov

A Ukrainian animation artist, director from Dnipro

— I have been learning animation on my own, gradually mastering this specialization up till it became my main occupation. I filled the final order last January and haven’t taken up freelance any more. Since then I’ve been living off my art alone.

I create all my works frame by frame in Photoshop – usually 12 frames, 24 at max. I know that this software isn’t suitable for animation, but I don’t want to abandon it. It is a rather simple process, but it takes a lot of time and demands patience.

My main topics are of duplicity, of the paradoxical and the fearsome ones. For example, my 2020 film ‘Surrogate’ shows a person meeting a friend and realizing that’s not him, despite the same appearance. Typically, I don’t pursue the topical themes, but sometimes they concern me, as it has been for the recent months, and I don’t resist it. This is how the work about russians watching TV and inviting the child to join, so that it becomes the same as the parents, appeared.

Typically, I don’t pursue the topical themes, but sometimes they concern me, as it has been for the recent months, and I don’t resist it.

I am inspired by David Lynch, Nicholas Refn, Estonian Priit Pärn films, early Pilot studio motion pictures. So the aesthetics of my works stem from there.

Currently, Ukrainian animation is drawing a lot of attention in the world. I receive letters asking to provide a film for the festival so often that I sometimes don’t have time to respond. Recently, the aforesaid “Surrogate” was shown in Stuttgart.

Although there are many festival proposals, I am not really into chasing awards, but they help me make new acquaintances. This is extremely important for people who work in animation, because this occupation is very introverted, you need to spend a lot of time in front of the screen.

I sell my animations at an NFT-platform, and in a world of non-fungible tokens, it matters which collector bought the work. It is very prestigious to be included in the collection of some of them, such as NFT Girl, who bought my work last December. Many collectors buy anonymously, even the author will never know who it is from. But there are open and socially active ones, like this NFT Girl who travels to conferences and festivals. She buys very rarely, for today my work was the last.

In the NFT world, it matters which collector bought your work.

Everything is measured in cryptocurrency — Ethereum. The price is constantly changing: today they give a thousand dollars for ethereum, and earlier it cost several thousands. The highest sum for my work is 5 ETH on the secondary market. I receive royalties from those sales, but most of that money goes to the collector who bought it from me. This is good because when the work is sold and resold, the value of the artist in the NFT world increases. It means the artist is in demand, and you can invest in him.

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