In Conversation with Other Minerals
Other Minerals is a digital artist from the UK, perhaps best known for his vector packs and fonts, of which the front page has been crafted from. We talk all things hacking, creative process and more
Q: A lot of your work feels like it hits on both futuristic and nostalgic elements, I am curious if you have a specific inspiration behind things such as your vector packs or whether it’s a more natural process?
A: I think it is quite a natural process. I am interested in how progress is experienced in something like tech, like every current and most up-to-date piece of tech is seen as futuristic and ground-breaking and causes a bit of a frenzy in its day and then 10/15yrs later there are whole new evolutions off that original idea that exceed the original hi-tech status of its predecessor/s. I’m not nostalgic emotionally but I like the visual contrast between ‘then - now - future’ for things like memory storage or mobile phones. I also really like looking at visuals from old tech books and magazines from the early to mid life of the internet - not because I find them relatable but because they are published at a time when the technology was new and general interest was so enthusiastic so they have that kind of ‘new’ energy about something that is now old news. With the vector packs I draw from everything I find visually interesting, tech - DIY - counter-culture, and follow wherever my head goes on it.
Q: I was curious to see you have an interest in hacking and infosec, do you find any relation between this and your graphics-based work?
A: Yeah definitely, I really enjoy using computers and learning about them. There are archives of hacking zines like Phrack, Hack This Zine, 2600 - even Wired to some extent that have a kind of punk clash of tech graphics - and there are old magazines too like the Whole Earth Catalog that spoke on tech/hacking/futures.
Something I have also experienced in the Infosec community is that skill-sharing is really encouraged and challenging yourself to discover and learn is also encouraged. I use platforms like hackthebox.eu to practice compromising machines, for me it’s an opportunity to think creatively about logic problems compared to graphics where it can be a process of thinking creatively about visuals which become subjective properties. I like the balance of having both interests and enjoy opportunities to show that in the graphic work I produce.
Q: Whats something that continuously guides your work?
A: I find it hard to specify something specific. When I was younger I would use clipart and fonts in Microsoft word and would really enjoy the process. I think that has stayed with me and I’ve taken it to where I can create my own libraries of clipart and fonts that I can share with other people.
Also, I really think the internet at large contains so much inspiration especially if you like discovery. It is easy to get locked in online to the cornerstones of daily use / subs / scrolls etc (which is great, I’m not anti-that), but it’s good to find unexpected things that you like or can be inspired or informed by in your own way. That’s the way I try and see it, a balance of motivation and inspiration.
Q: Do you have any upcoming projects or ideas that you are looking forward to trying out?
A: I will be continuing to release digital downloads for my store (https://shop.otherminerals.com/), I’m still growing and figuring out what I’m doing with creative work. I really want to learn AR and VR and get better at those technologies.
artwork by Scuff Zine using Other Minerals Vectors