Ogi is a visionary artist who uses virtual reality technology to bring his imagination to life. Based in the United Kingdom, but truly at home in the metaverse, Ogi creates immersive worlds and characters that transport his audience to new realms of possibility. With a background in animation and design, Ogi is a master of crafting mesmerizing meta-realities that challenge and inspire. His passion for pushing the boundaries of VR and animation drives him to constantly seek out new horizons, and his work has helped to expand the collective consciousness of those who experience it.
We spoke with Ogi to learn more about his Metadromoi avatar series, which is meant to evoke the same child-like wonder experienced when opening a new action figure.
Tell me about your artistic background. What brought you to the metaverse?
I am an animator, a designer, a graphic designer, a VR artist, and now, a metaverse builder. I was a fairly early VR adopter back when Oculus Quill came out in 2016. When books and printing presses were first invented, we could dream bigger. I like to think of VR as a similar thing. The metaverse allows creation to be spatial, with unbound scaling and an infinite canvas. At this point, I've clocked well over 20,000 hours in VR creating animations and other projects. I spend time in the metaverse like I spend a lot of time in my real life – on my own, making things.
I got into crypto after seeing a few friends making NFTs. When the pandemic hit, people who love technology started thinking about how to monetize their little weekend experiments for an audience. Web 2.0 rewards churning out a lot of content. There wasn’t any space for people creating art. I suddenly saw the space open up in Web 3.0, allowing me to do larger projects. My first endeavor was launching an eight-minute NFT that was a short animation. I spent nine months on it, developing a new style. Everything is cohesive and flows, and all the particles are in full motion. I played with that same style in the first space that I built for a Build-a-Thon, Vector Horizon. That was a really fun space to play with, and it made me want to do those kinds of challenges relatively frequently.
As you create anything in VR, you start to think differently. It opens up these avenues of possibilities, which expands your imagination. You enter this state of flow really quickly – you kind of get to this place and time disappears.
What is your approach to world-building?
Throughout my childhood, I've always been making worlds and designing a bunch of different characters and backgrounds. It's always been in my work. When coming up with a concept, I might have an idea written down, a short novella, a drawing, or a sketch. Almost all my sketches are in VR. I rarely sketch by hand even though I'm a draftsman, originally.
I spend a lot of time thinking about how we create, and how we imagine things. Do we create things out of nothing? If we have a vision of something, where does it come from? I'm very visual, so I literally will have a vision of a world and I'll see everything. But that led me to question, why do I see that? Where is it all coming from?
I also do a lot of research on world-building mythologies. I’m so interested in how people build their own worlds, mythos, and brands. All artists are barometers of the time we live in. We can see where the wind is blowing and allow ourselves to be swayed by that wind.
I don't really have mental blocks when it comes to world creation. I've learned how my mind works. I know if there's an empty space, that will pass. For the past seven years, I've been keeping a weekend diary. I'll sit down for half an hour every weekend and drop down five concepts – anything from rough to fully formed. The practice of being creative on demand helps. You build it like a skill.
Tell me about your Metadromoi series.
The Metadromoi are highly influenced by Ancient Greek philosophy. They’re all named after Ancient Greek terms. Meta means something that’s beyond or after. Dromon means runner, or messenger. So the Metadromoi are basically runners in the world beyond, made to run throughout the metaverse.
I wanted the Metadromoi to be able to run in other people’s metaverses, not just my own. That was a challenge not just technically – adding multiple layers and textures – but also thematically. They’re very reflective, so they can adapt to each environment. They’re also a bit scuffed, because they may have been to a lot of places already. Their paint is kind of worn off from the industrial line they were created on. They’re a team that explores the metaverse together. I would love for there to be meetups of people who have all the Metadromoi together someday.
Each one has its own attributes and skills. There’s Karabos, which we just dropped as a prototype for the whole series. Karobos is kind of an armored beetle, who is a portal specialist. He explores where portals are and creates maps. There’s Babelos, who is a much more brutish ape-like creature with giant arms and a jovial spirit. He’s more adept at traversing through the metaverse. Or, we have Lympia, who’s a Taurus-like character that’s good at breaking through barriers. At this point, I’ve created 12, and I’m hoping to create more.
I’ve enjoyed action figures since I was very young. With this series, I wanted to give collectors the same kind of joy and wonder I felt when I opened a new action figure. Each avatar has a graphic, where one side is the character bursting out of the box, and the other side is the back of the box with an action shot and a brief bio of the character. I wanted to make sure collectors could imprint themselves upon the avatar, and imagine and dream. I want collectors to feel a combination of nostalgia for the world that isn’t anymore, and excitement for the hyper-tech future we’re moving toward.The series represents childlike wonder and play, allowing us to expand our imaginations and the horizons of what is possible.
Follow Ogi on Twitter: https://twitter.com/ogiworlds