Meet 550AM, aka Joshua Keeney! Keeney is a visual artist using 3D computer graphics under the identity of 550am. His work explores nostalgia, ego, identity, and queer imagery through vaporwave influenced visuals. He is also helping lead the way into our AR future as an official Snapchat Lens Creator.
H+: What are your favorite color combinations?
JK: My favorite color combos are pink and anything between red/green/yellow. Purple and blue hold second place.
H+: What is your ideal workspace environment?
JK: My ideal work environment is somewhere clean, minimal, well lit. The less desk clutter the better!
H+: What are you currently listening to or do you listen to music while you are working?
JK: Right now I’m listening to Beyoncé! I love her so much. But I listen to a lot of music when I’m working. I don’t really like anything relaxing when I work I like listening to music with a lot of energy.
H+: What inspires your aesthetic?
JK: My aesthetic is inspired by visions of the future from the past, and the idea of the past coexisting with the present future. It’s why my work can be very futuristic for one piece but very retro looking in the next piece!
H+: How long does it normally take you to make a piece?
JK: It can take me anywhere from a few hours to a couple days to make a piece. Sometimes when I see the vision for a piece I have to drop everything I’m doing and capture that idea before it goes away.
H+: Who are your biggest inspirations?
JK: My biggest inspirations are Rhizomatiks and their futuristic aesthetic. Hajime Sorayama. Japanese advertisements, media, and technology in the 1980s. Post Modernism, and old CG.
H+: Why did you choose digital art as your medium?
JK: I chose digital art as my medium because of its versatility and the ability to create anything I want in my computer. I can do anything with my computer!
H+: Who would your dream project be with? (Person or company or brand)
JK: My dream project would be to work with a sportswear company and create artwork for promoting a sneaker. I love sneakers.
H+: If you could see your art anywhere in the world, where would it be?
JK: I would really love to see my art in Paris and Tokyo!
H+: Tell us how you got into becoming an official Lens creator for Snapchat?
JK: I got into creating Snapchat lenses because I LOVE Snapchat and I’m in love with augmented reality so to me it was just the perfect match. I started around April 2018 and a year later Snap reached out to me about joining their community of Official Lens Creators and I was more than happy to be included.
H+: What do you do when you need a break from the computer?
JK: When I need a break from my computer I love going over to Seattle and spending the day in the city.
H+: Where are you based? Do you feel that your location influences what you create?
JK: I’m based in Poulsbo, Washington - it’s about an hour away from Seattle by ferry. My location influences my work because this actually isn’t my ideal environment - I really prefer tropical places instead of the Pacific Northwest so for me I’m realizing my ideal world through my artwork.