Is it the night sky or a couple holding each other close? It's both, if you're looking at James R. Eads' Hello Helios. Artist Chris McDaniel, a.k.a., The Glitch, saw the swirling illustrations and felt compelled to animate the motion implied by Eads' van Gogh-inspired brush strokes.
"When I saw [Eads'] work for the first time, I saw it moving already in the still image," McDaniel tells The Creators Project. About a month ago he reached out to Eads, asking if he could "morph" the artist's work. "Not really knowing what that meant, I was intrigued so I told him to go for it," says Eads. "Little did I know he would later blow my mind."
Since then they've been collaborating on a series of animated versions of Eads' existing drawings. With each animation Eads feels McDaniel getting closer to what he sees when he paints: "They weren't moving so as much as breathing. My work started coming to life," Eads says. McDaniel is equally delighted by the product of their union. "James' work brings me mental peace," he says. "I'm still in awe that he allows me to do this."
The combination is mesmerizing. Eads' work already has that visionary quality that evokes other worlds, but the motion McDaniel adds seems to suck your eyes right into the screen. Eads says, "I think what made this collaboration so powerful is at the core of why we both create—we use the process of creation as a form of meditation. It's a place of refuge where we can breathe and take in the world and in return give back some peace. And I think other people can feel that, and when they come across one of these illusions they pause and allow them selves to get lost in it. There's something extremely calming and mesmerizing about the illusions, there is magic is in the subtlety."