The animated art features invisible characters, wearing everything from everyday apparel and accessories to science equipment, rocket launchers, and anything you can think of. Basically, Invisible Friends is shifting the focus from avatars to apparel by emphasizing unique traits. It is perfect for us streetwear lovers, as well as fashion enthusiasts, who love a fun piece of art.
With nearly 500k Twitter followers, the project has become one of the most anticipated NFT collections yet, and as we're getting ready for the minting on February 23, Highsnobiety's Mike Seegars had the chance to speak to the collection's creator, Markus Magnusson aka. Motion Markus.
I looked over your website and noted your work with several notable companies. How did working for big clients prepare for this latest project?
Not much at all to be honest. I, like many other creatives, dreamt early on about doing work for the big brands but as I started to get more experienced I also started appreciating projects where I had more creative freedoms. I just happen to be very lucky because the big brands I’ve worked with have given me a lot of freedom. But yeah, mainly I’ve chosen my path depending on the project itself and what I could add to it rather than the name of the client and/or the money.
Your content even outside of invisible friends seems centered around walk cycles, how did you end up being so intrigued with walk cycles?
Really good question, I think walk-cycles is just one of those things that infuse a lot of life immediately into a character without necessarily having to add a bunch of narratives. I think my main passion is really character design but then I also wanna have it come alive, hence why walk-cycles are great. Later on, it’s just become this thing where I try to perfect it. And it’s worked, if I go back 5-6 years the quality difference is quite significant.
When I saw invisible friends I thought about this old Betty boop clip. Are there any animators you reference or get inspired from?
There’s definitely a lot of reminiscence of Max Fleischer in there. But I’ve also taken inspiration from contemporary toys, clothes, etc. to make the characters feel updated and tangible
I came across your YouTube channel. I’m a student of YouTube university myself. Can you describe the significance of YouTube and Patreon tutorials to creatives and animators like yourself?
It’s a great and effective way to share knowledge for sure. I’ve personally approached my tutorials/courses from a storytelling angle where I try to theme each tutorial to make it more engaging and fun, for both me and whoever watches/reads it.
For most projects, the centerpiece is the animal, human, etc. How important is styling for this project since we’re only seeing clothing and accessories?
The clothes and accessories are very much key, yes. It’s fun though because it’s forced me to cook up some traits I would probably never had before.
What’s been the biggest hurdle to overcome for this project?
Making all the traits work seamlessly when randomizing the traits. Some of the animations are pretty complex but I think people will be very excited to see the final product... I'm proud of what we’ve actually managed to achieve.
Can you describe the type of people you see minting an Invisible Friend and why should they buy in?
It’s for people who are still kids at heart. People who just wanna have a bit of fun on the internet. Just the very easy-going type of person that has a good taste in art, lol.
Best case scenario where would you like to see Invisible Friends this time next year?
I don’t wanna reveal too much but we’re already branching from WEB3. We’ll always make sure that whatever we do we keep the exclusivity for our holders so it’s gonna be limited runs of everything we do.