IN CONVERSATION WITH BRENDI WEDINGER

Brendi’s digital art journey began with experimentation in fashion and furniture design, discovering 3D tools during a class. A love for nature fuels a passion for creating abstract, nature-inspired sculptures. The collaboration with Jaeger-LeCoultre seamlessly blended digital and traditional craftsmanship.

Jaeger-LeCoultres Made of Makers-a digital florists turn on shifting high watch making and digital arts
Brendi, how did your journey into digital art begin? And what opportunities do you think this digital expression gives you as an artist, to express your art and the things you want to create?

Yes, I found my path in digital arts through experimentation. Starting in fashion, then exploring furniture design, I stumbled upon 3D design tools during a furniture design class. Instagram opened up a visually rich world beyond physical objects. My early exposure to arts, thanks to my mother, fueled my creative expression. Discovering that this could be a viable career was a game-changer. Trying different industries like fashion and furniture taught me invaluable design lessons, emphasizing tactility and sensory aspects in my work. Today, my focus is on digital sculpture, creating abstract and surreal pieces. Yet, my past experiences, including working with soft materials, seamlessly contribute to my current artistry. 



So the fact that you’re now expressing yourself working with digital art is kind of a result of all your past experiences. With digital tools, you can create new textures, seemingly unprecedented. Considering that the digital medium is highly relevant these days, I think you went through a very fortunate development, right?

Sure, I believe that when I started this journey about six years ago, it has evolved significantly. My work has always been more abstract, heavily influenced by nature, especially corals and flowers—something I’ve been passionate about throughout my life. This passion reflects in my art. I recall a time when people were more reserved about expressive 3D, making it intriguing to witness the change in how people value the kind of work I do. There was hesitation, but now, artists, especially in the digital realm, drive brand expression in a new and exciting way. It’s a fortunate circumstance for me, aligning my artistic values seamlessly in collaborations like this, where I can work for a brand without compromising my core principles and interests. 



Also, what I was really interested in is: what fuels your passion for nature? Why, exactly, do you choose flowers and plants? Is it just a phase for you right now, or is it something you both agreed upon?

I just love it. It’s pretty much that way for me. If it’s not flowers, then it’s more sea life. I can’t explain where my fascination with nature came from. It’s just something that’s always drawn me since I was a kid. When I’m asked to explain it, it’s hard because, for me, everything is so cool. There are so many different shapes and forms. The fact that all of this is coming from 

tiny organisms and DNA—how can you not be captivated by it? When I think about this, it’s really almost overwhelming.



I sometimes even think its almost too stunning to disregard the existence of a higher power. I believe it offers ample opportunity to channel it into one’s creativity and use it as an expression. Do you feel the same way?

Yeah, absolutely. On our planet, we have millions of different living things. It’s hard not to feel lucky and want to spend time exploring that because our planet is one of a kind. I try to stay grounded and grateful for where I am. Focusing on nature feels like a big part of that practice.

The beauty of it is truly captivating. I thoroughly love your collaboration. Shifting gears to the collaboration itself, how would you describe the seamless blend between the traditional craftsmanship of the high-end watchmaking Maison you collaborated with and the digital creative process? Did the two distinct approaches align effortlessly, or was there some adjustment needed for a harmonious collaboration?

The collaboration went seamlessly. Despite the apparent differences between digital design and traditional watchmaking processes, we share a core requirement for precision and intricate work. High-end watchmaking involves meticulous craftsmanship and technology, though not in the conventional computer-centric sense. The collaboration was effortless for me, as digital is simply the medium I use, and it’s the perfect tool. When creating the flowers and considering their connection to the Maison, especially the Reverso collection, I viewed it as an interactive piece, much like interacting with a flower. The details in the watchmaking amazed me; it felt like observing a tiny, intricate city on your wrist. The craftsmanship reminded me of how flowers are composed of various unique parts, each with its own texture, color, and pattern. Flowers, to me, are nature’s art and gifts, much like these watches in their own way. This alignment in values made the collaboration incredibly smooth. 



Yeah, I thought the same. Not many realize that modern high watchmaking delves deep, akin to a scientific field like biology in some cases. As I see you as a nature enthusiast, I can see the ease in connecting with both subjects, given their depth. Considering projects like Jaeger LeCoultre’s ‘Made of Makers’ and your participation, I’m interested in knowing how such initiatives benefit freelancing artists like yourself. The Maison has collaborated with musicians and artists before, and now featuring your talent with the golden flowers, what broader opportunities do you believe these projects present for artists overall?

I think being able to collaborate with a prestigious brand like Jaeger-LeCoultre is incredibly special. Sharing my work on a global and physical scale, reaching a broader audience, is truly exciting. Last year, I was part of a show in Sydney that could be viewed online, but the in-person experience is incomparable. The extensive reach that Jaeger-LeCoultre offers is thrilling, especially for my digital artworks. Digital art’s adaptability, translating into 3D printing and other mechanical processes, allows for a tangible, immersive experience. As an artist, having my work go from a screen to a physical display and witnessing people interact with it is a significant milestone. It’s a fantastic opportunity to connect with more people and showcase my art in a way I haven’t experienced on such a large scale before. 



Yeah, especially in this case, from what I’ve gathered, there’s a shop opening in Munich scheduled for November, where we are allowed to see your work. It’s not merely a collaboration tucked away on a website; it’s a substantial campaign with international representation. Considering all this, it’s quite a harmonious and substantial moment, right?

Yeah, I’m incredibly thrilled! The timing is perfect, aligning with a festive season when the world seems more receptive to wonder, magic, and distinct experiences. It’s a time when we seek things that are a bit more fantastical, adding to the excitement. Personally, I adore the holiday season, especially seeing all the various creative displays. It’s wonderful when we, as humans, put effort into making things as exciting as possible. So, viewing it through that lens and, as you mentioned, having a physical manifestation adds another dimension. It’ll help familiarize others with digital art, making it easier for them to connect with and understand. 



So before this collaboration, have you ever had the chance to work with jewelry or high-watch making companies? Is this collaboration with Jaeger-LeCoultre your debut, your premier endeavor within this industry?

Yeah, it’s truly a premiere for me in this specific industry, and it’s a wonderful experience. I greatly appreciate how they approached me, emphasizing the creation of something beyond simply animating their watch. It’s about crafting art that embodies the essence of the brand while highlighting my identity as an artist. I believe that’s something every artist hopes for, and it’s nothing short of a dream when such projects manifest. 



Yeah, I do believe that the use of materials like gold for the flowers in this form of jewelry does indeed accentuate and emphasize the inherent beauty of nature, or specifically flowers?

Totally. Considering the symbolic value of gold in our society, I found the idea of gilding the flowers truly exciting. I love experimenting with various materials, and with the flowers having such intricate shapes, waves, and curves, exploring their reflectiveness was fascinating. It allowed me to capture their form in a completely novel light. Naturally, we’re drawn to things that shimmer and have a bit of shine. So, especially when the flowers are larger, they pull you in a different way than they would with just a standard texture. Both approaches have their unique beauty; it’s just a matter of distinctiveness—a new and intriguing perspective.

At the moment when the entire digital concept materialized into an actual golden flower in your hands, can you describe the sensation and thoughts that went through your mind? Witnessing a digital artwork transform into a tangible, golden flower in the real world—how did that feel?

Holding the sculpted piece, after investing considerable time in detailing and sculpting, is an emotional experience. While I’ve 3D printed before, having the opportunity to see them in gold was exceptional, especially during our shoot in Paris. The pieces appeared fully metallic without the usual 3D printing lines, a rarity for me due to limited access to such tools. It sparked my curiosity on how I could explore more of this at home—perhaps using 3D printing and various coatings. The tangible experience adds another layer, making the process feel more cerebral. 



Speaking broadly, did you have specific expectations or hopes regarding the audience’s reaction to the presentation of these flowers in your collaboration? Were you aiming for a particular reaction or anticipating any specific feedback, perhaps leaning towards positive expectations?

Personally, in my relationship with nature, I aspire to spark conversations and prompt a shift in perspective. Working with gold, which holds surprise, may encourage people to contemplate nature differently and pay closer attention to their surroundings. Amidst the constant rush of today’s world, we often overlook the greenery or living things we pass by in cities. It would be wonderful for people to pause, reflect, and appreciate the nature around them. I’ve always viewed flowers as a world of their own, and I strive to share that world with others. My hope is that it inspires them, encouraging a deeper connection with nature. This encapsulates my perspective on nature. 



Were you able to draw inspiration from experiencing the environment and landscapes of Jaeger-LeCoultre’s location in Switzerland during the collaboration?

Oh yes, absolutely. The place is truly a gem, boasting the best of everything with its rolling hills and the stunning presence of Mont Blanc along the way. It’s breathtaking. On a charming note, the cows there are a delight. The landscape is truly stunning, with beautiful lakes where the water often appears blue-a rarity compared to the lakes from where I come, where the water isn’t always as pure. It’s a distinct experience, and I hope others can witness and appreciate it too. When you consider what the tour entails, the beauty of the region might not be the first thing that comes to mind, but it’s an integral part of the overall tour experience.



Brendi Wedinger Artworks for Jaeger-LeCoultre will be showcased in the new Jaeger-LeCoultre Boutique opening in November on Maximilianstrasse in Munich.

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