Zozimus, Atelier Bebop
Could you tell us a bit about yourself?
I’m Corbin Wood, a contemporary artist focusing on abstract geometry and playful design. Atelier Bebop is my moniker and creative studio, and my work is a continuous practice of minimalism, composition, and colour; it exists in a balance between abstract form and deliberate mark making. I’m forever pursuing a kind of ‘relatable playfulness' designed to provoke feelings of nostalgia and make-believe.
What, or who, influences your creative style and/or ethos?
It’s difficult to define what can be described as influence. It could be the not-so-straight road markings upon freshly laid tarmac, or two overlapping contrasting colours in a scrap paper bin. Truthfully, it can be anything and everything found throughout the travels of daily life.
What is something that we wouldn’t know about you?
My favourite colour (tone) is black.
Talk us through your design process, from the initial idea to finished piece.
Usually ideas will present themselves as crude photographs on my phone of interactions and compositions found in the wild. In turn, these will transformed into rough sketches. Sometimes, these sketches will be transferred directly to canvas and painted, but occasionally I will open Illustrator to help with the overall colouring and composition of the piece. Rarely will I be happy with the initial progress and it often takes many minor tweaks before a painting or print sees the light of day.
What is your biggest art pet peeve, and why?
I really don’t like rules. Particular methods certainly have their place in the art world, but to force that upon others I think is wrong. Everyone should have the freedom to experiment, colliding whatever mediums and materials they desire, no matter what their skill level or training.
What are you most excited about at the moment?
Finding new music. It has to be one of the best feelings. The artist/band may be 70 years old but if it’s new to you it can really feel like a monumental discovery. That energy can sometimes lead to the work I’m most proud of.
Let’s talk about A Decade of Change. What drew you to collaborate with us on this project?
A Decade of Change is something completely new for me. Usually a project with this sort of brief is well suited to artists and illustrators with a very literal and definite style, unlike my own which is relatively abstract and ambiguous. I was excited to collaborate with a company who knew my style and were happy for me to interpret the brief in my own way.
What’s the message behind your piece in the collection, and what does it mean to you?
From a very early age we are pushed into a world where the traditional path of progression has been laid for us. We are conditioned to follow social norms, and are often chastised for our differences. The words and phrases that influenced this piece were: individuality, freedom of thought, and acceptance. To embrace one another, free of judgement, is a small step towards societal liberation and a more integrated world.
What would you like to change over the new decade?
The proposition of this project immediately made me reflect upon the fractured and segmented society we currently live in. Day by day, we are informed of stories containing hate speech, tragedy, and conflict. We have seen significant progress in the world regarding certain communities and social groups, but we still have a very long way to go to achieve a world which embraces difference.
Lastly, if you could have one superpower, what would it be?
Teleportation has to be the ultimate superpower. Imagine visiting Japan for a tonkotsu ramen on your lunch break or the possibility of exploring the moon on a weekend - the possibilities are absolutely endless.