Interview

In Conversation with William Mapan

by Jeff Davis

William Mapan is an artist, coder and teacher based in Paris, France. While he primarily works with computers and code, his curiosity leads him to explore a wide range of different media and techniques. I had the opportunity to learn more about William’s background in advance of his upcoming Art Blocks project Anticyclone.

William Mapan, Hand-drawn motion study, 2021.
Jeff Davis: Hi William! It’s great to speak with you. How did you first get into making art?

William Mapan: I would say making art has been dormant for a long time within me. I grew up far away from it. My journey started with computers and generative design. I learned to program with Flash but when I started it was already the beginning of the end of this era. Then I discovered Processing and took it from there. In parallel to learning programming, I had some Art History lessons which I didn’t really pay attention to but somewhat stuck at the end of the day I guess because I remember them today. Years later, I wanted to affine my eye and my practice with traditional media, so I started drawing, painting but also stretching my skills with a computer: animation, 3d, digital sculpting and such…And a big one: getting better with colors. At some point, all these interests contributed to trigger my will to make my very own art. Later, I became a teacher in my former school (Gobelins, l’école de l’image in Paris) where I occasionally teach creative coding. Very fun! But teaching forced me to know myself better to be able to transmit better. Year after year, it became more and more clear that I needed to create for myself because this is what brings me joy.

William Mapan, Generative tapestry study, 2021.
JD: When would you say you started thinking more seriously about your artistic practice?

WM: I think 5 years ago, I started to pursue generative art when somehow, I made the connection between my creative coding practice and what I was seeing in museums/exhibitions. Pioneer artists like Vasarely, Vera Molnàr, Anni & Joseph Albers, Gunta Stölzl, Sophie Taeuber-Arp, Manfred Mohr…when I stumbled onto their work the first time, I really understood that algorithms could definitely become and produce art. At that point, it began to make sense to try to bring in my other points of interest and it started to merge naturally into my own practice. Practicing other disciplines allows me to expand my mind beyond coding and to have a sensibility I wouldn’t have if I wasn’t so curious.

William Mapan, Untitled, 2021.
JD: And when did you first discover NFTs and crypto art?

WM: I first heard of NFT and crypto art in late 2018/early 2019, I think. Though, when I was clicking the hashtags, I was only seeing stuff that I didn’t really relate to. So, I didn’t really pay attention and moved on like it was some random hashtags. Then in 2020, it exploded (into my face at least, maybe earlier for some) and I started to get interested in it because it was a new paradigm worth exploring. At that time, I was mostly a viewer looking for more information. I didn’t really manifest any interest in creating. In early 2021, When I started to want to create and put my stuff out there, a platform emerged that a lot of generative artists and creative coders adopted: Hic Et Nunc. I heard about it via Quasimondo and Matt DesLauriers. At that time, I was working with Matt on a project, and he gently introduced me to the platform. It was wild and refreshing. I loved it. And it opened the door for me to crypto art and NFTs for good (and I was happy to do the same for other friends after). I started digging and discovered a whole new world and a ton of other artists.

JD: How would you say your creative practice has changed over time?

WM: Historically, my job was taking all my creative energy. Being in the advertising industry means being constantly in a competitive environment and always doing things in a rush. So, when approaching my own creative practice, I was applying the same principles. Because of the little time I had, I was just building up more technical skills as it was easier to not take risks and explore anything else. It was fine for some years but at some point, I realized that I needed to work on my own things, at my own pace and disconnected from this spiral. Basically explore myself and take the time to do so. I started to study, explore, and play with what I really wanted to. Today, one could say I am a very patient person and like to work on my things for months and months. And it’s true. But at the beginning it was really the opposite. Actually, being constrained by a full-time job taught me to be patient, regular and consistent in my own practice to make progress. Now, it has become natural to accept that good things take time. I listen to myself a lot more. Building up slowly whatever I need to learn and explore, accepting failure…All that is way more peaceful. But one thing is constant: I practice regularly. And here’s the thing: instead of focusing on one skill/technique to learn, I wander a lot creatively. Meaning: while I have a vast idea, I often don’t know what I’m looking for or doing but I know it will end up somewhere and assemble in some ways. I know I have different interests, but I don’t know how they will eventually converge. Going with the flow can only be positive if you accept it. In short, I learned to trust the process.

William Mapan, Dragons, 2021.
JD: I think that’s great that you’ve learned to create with patience, especially in the fast-paced world that we live in. Do you have any recent accomplishments you’d like to share?

WM: I’m a recent dad! So, raising my son is definitely the thing I’m the most proud of. Generally speaking, I am quite proud to keep it all together between my very own little family, having a job and being able to practice my own art…and sleep! Because it’s challenging. I don’t see a lot of discussions around that subject but things can quickly get out of hand if we don’t pay attention. The nft space can be very mentally consuming at times. So I made the choice to disconnect a lot more. This was tricky at first but being disconnected really helps to focus. Art-wise, of course finishing Anticyclone is an accomplishment! The long-form version of generative art (as we hear it nowadays) did bring a lot of mental charge. I can’t stress enough how challenging it is. It pushed me a lot once again but at the same time this is very thrilling! Lastly, I recently showed some samples to a lot of non art-savvy persons and they quite appreciate it which makes me feel happy. Being able to communicate with a wide public through your creation is really something special.

William Mapan, Anticyclone, 2021.
JD: Well, let’s chat about your project then! What was the inspiration behind Anticyclone?

WM: This will sound very cliché but: nature. I very much like looking up, contemplating the sky and the clouds. Not sure why, maybe because everything moves really fast up there but from our point of view really slow. I like this paradox. One sad thing to me is when it’s raining. You know: full gray sky, nothing interesting to contemplate, staying at home. Thinking of it, that’s when I wanted to make something about the good weather. And anticyclones are a big player in having our sky clear. Once the idea was defined, I then went all the way down the hole about these phenomena and started looking at super complicated fancy research papers. Not really because I wanted to accurately represent them but more to flood myself. Once I understood what I wanted to communicate (air flow, rotations, vastness, air pressure…), I just stopped with the references and let the wandering process do its job from there. Luckily generative artists have a good set of tools to push into that direction.

JD: How would you like collectors to experience the project?

WM: Firstly, when looking at an output, I’d like you to try to breathe. Just inhale, exhale…that’s the state of mind I was into while creating and watching these. And that’s why I left some space on the border to let the air in. Take a moment to imagine the movement the image is conveying. I want this series to be something bringing calm. Secondly, sometimes an output will be scattered across a grid. This guide has two functions: this is an attempt to bring some structure to an organic drawing and at the same time it will play with your perception. The colors within a cell can shift (switch, disappear…) but you should still be able to capture the flow. Better, let your mind imagine the missing pieces.

JD: Any final thoughts you’d like to share?

WM: I’m not sure if there’s anything else to say apart from the insights above really. This is an abstract art series and I see it as an opened door where the viewers can themselves build their own interpretation. I will be very glad if people let me know what an output makes them feel or what they see. And last but not least, I’m very lucky to have such a supportive partner. Without her, I wouldn’t have the same confidence to continue whatever I’m doing. My passion really took a boost thanks to her. Thank you, Camille.

JD: Thanks William, it’s been great to learn a little more about you and your work! What’s the best way for people to follow you moving forward?

WM: It’s really bad but I haven’t had any website for 10 years. But that’s the plan for this year. Though, I share a lot on Twitter. You can find me there!

William Mapan is an artist, coder and teacher based in Paris, France. While he primarily works with computers and code, his curiosity leads him to explore a wide range of different media and techniques. I had the opportunity to learn more about William’s background in advance of his upcoming Art Blocks project Anticyclone.

William Mapan, Hand-drawn motion study, 2021.
Jeff Davis: Hi William! It’s great to speak with you. How did you first get into making art?

William Mapan: I would say making art has been dormant for a long time within me. I grew up far away from it. My journey started with computers and generative design. I learned to program with Flash but when I started it was already the beginning of the end of this era. Then I discovered Processing and took it from there. In parallel to learning programming, I had some Art History lessons which I didn’t really pay attention to but somewhat stuck at the end of the day I guess because I remember them today. Years later, I wanted to affine my eye and my practice with traditional media, so I started drawing, painting but also stretching my skills with a computer: animation, 3d, digital sculpting and such…And a big one: getting better with colors. At some point, all these interests contributed to trigger my will to make my very own art. Later, I became a teacher in my former school (Gobelins, l’école de l’image in Paris) where I occasionally teach creative coding. Very fun! But teaching forced me to know myself better to be able to transmit better. Year after year, it became more and more clear that I needed to create for myself because this is what brings me joy.

William Mapan, Generative tapestry study, 2021.
JD: When would you say you started thinking more seriously about your artistic practice?

WM: I think 5 years ago, I started to pursue generative art when somehow, I made the connection between my creative coding practice and what I was seeing in museums/exhibitions. Pioneer artists like Vasarely, Vera Molnàr, Anni & Joseph Albers, Gunta Stölzl, Sophie Taeuber-Arp, Manfred Mohr…when I stumbled onto their work the first time, I really understood that algorithms could definitely become and produce art. At that point, it began to make sense to try to bring in my other points of interest and it started to merge naturally into my own practice. Practicing other disciplines allows me to expand my mind beyond coding and to have a sensibility I wouldn’t have if I wasn’t so curious.

William Mapan, Untitled, 2021.
JD: And when did you first discover NFTs and crypto art?

WM: I first heard of NFT and crypto art in late 2018/early 2019, I think. Though, when I was clicking the hashtags, I was only seeing stuff that I didn’t really relate to. So, I didn’t really pay attention and moved on like it was some random hashtags. Then in 2020, it exploded (into my face at least, maybe earlier for some) and I started to get interested in it because it was a new paradigm worth exploring. At that time, I was mostly a viewer looking for more information. I didn’t really manifest any interest in creating. In early 2021, When I started to want to create and put my stuff out there, a platform emerged that a lot of generative artists and creative coders adopted: Hic Et Nunc. I heard about it via Quasimondo and Matt DesLauriers. At that time, I was working with Matt on a project, and he gently introduced me to the platform. It was wild and refreshing. I loved it. And it opened the door for me to crypto art and NFTs for good (and I was happy to do the same for other friends after). I started digging and discovered a whole new world and a ton of other artists.

JD: How would you say your creative practice has changed over time?

WM: Historically, my job was taking all my creative energy. Being in the advertising industry means being constantly in a competitive environment and always doing things in a rush. So, when approaching my own creative practice, I was applying the same principles. Because of the little time I had, I was just building up more technical skills as it was easier to not take risks and explore anything else. It was fine for some years but at some point, I realized that I needed to work on my own things, at my own pace and disconnected from this spiral. Basically explore myself and take the time to do so. I started to study, explore, and play with what I really wanted to. Today, one could say I am a very patient person and like to work on my things for months and months. And it’s true. But at the beginning it was really the opposite. Actually, being constrained by a full-time job taught me to be patient, regular and consistent in my own practice to make progress. Now, it has become natural to accept that good things take time. I listen to myself a lot more. Building up slowly whatever I need to learn and explore, accepting failure…All that is way more peaceful. But one thing is constant: I practice regularly. And here’s the thing: instead of focusing on one skill/technique to learn, I wander a lot creatively. Meaning: while I have a vast idea, I often don’t know what I’m looking for or doing but I know it will end up somewhere and assemble in some ways. I know I have different interests, but I don’t know how they will eventually converge. Going with the flow can only be positive if you accept it. In short, I learned to trust the process.

William Mapan, Dragons, 2021.
JD: I think that’s great that you’ve learned to create with patience, especially in the fast-paced world that we live in. Do you have any recent accomplishments you’d like to share?

WM: I’m a recent dad! So, raising my son is definitely the thing I’m the most proud of. Generally speaking, I am quite proud to keep it all together between my very own little family, having a job and being able to practice my own art…and sleep! Because it’s challenging. I don’t see a lot of discussions around that subject but things can quickly get out of hand if we don’t pay attention. The nft space can be very mentally consuming at times. So I made the choice to disconnect a lot more. This was tricky at first but being disconnected really helps to focus. Art-wise, of course finishing Anticyclone is an accomplishment! The long-form version of generative art (as we hear it nowadays) did bring a lot of mental charge. I can’t stress enough how challenging it is. It pushed me a lot once again but at the same time this is very thrilling! Lastly, I recently showed some samples to a lot of non art-savvy persons and they quite appreciate it which makes me feel happy. Being able to communicate with a wide public through your creation is really something special.

William Mapan, Anticyclone, 2021.
JD: Well, let’s chat about your project then! What was the inspiration behind Anticyclone?

WM: This will sound very cliché but: nature. I very much like looking up, contemplating the sky and the clouds. Not sure why, maybe because everything moves really fast up there but from our point of view really slow. I like this paradox. One sad thing to me is when it’s raining. You know: full gray sky, nothing interesting to contemplate, staying at home. Thinking of it, that’s when I wanted to make something about the good weather. And anticyclones are a big player in having our sky clear. Once the idea was defined, I then went all the way down the hole about these phenomena and started looking at super complicated fancy research papers. Not really because I wanted to accurately represent them but more to flood myself. Once I understood what I wanted to communicate (air flow, rotations, vastness, air pressure…), I just stopped with the references and let the wandering process do its job from there. Luckily generative artists have a good set of tools to push into that direction.

JD: How would you like collectors to experience the project?

WM: Firstly, when looking at an output, I’d like you to try to breathe. Just inhale, exhale…that’s the state of mind I was into while creating and watching these. And that’s why I left some space on the border to let the air in. Take a moment to imagine the movement the image is conveying. I want this series to be something bringing calm. Secondly, sometimes an output will be scattered across a grid. This guide has two functions: this is an attempt to bring some structure to an organic drawing and at the same time it will play with your perception. The colors within a cell can shift (switch, disappear…) but you should still be able to capture the flow. Better, let your mind imagine the missing pieces.

JD: Any final thoughts you’d like to share?

WM: I’m not sure if there’s anything else to say apart from the insights above really. This is an abstract art series and I see it as an opened door where the viewers can themselves build their own interpretation. I will be very glad if people let me know what an output makes them feel or what they see. And last but not least, I’m very lucky to have such a supportive partner. Without her, I wouldn’t have the same confidence to continue whatever I’m doing. My passion really took a boost thanks to her. Thank you, Camille.

JD: Thanks William, it’s been great to learn a little more about you and your work! What’s the best way for people to follow you moving forward?

WM: It’s really bad but I haven’t had any website for 10 years. But that’s the plan for this year. Though, I share a lot on Twitter. You can find me there!

William Mapan is an artist, coder and teacher based in Paris, France. While he primarily works with computers and code, his curiosity leads him to explore a wide range of different media and techniques. I had the opportunity to learn more about William’s background in advance of his upcoming Art Blocks project Anticyclone.

William Mapan, Hand-drawn motion study, 2021.
Jeff Davis: Hi William! It’s great to speak with you. How did you first get into making art?

William Mapan: I would say making art has been dormant for a long time within me. I grew up far away from it. My journey started with computers and generative design. I learned to program with Flash but when I started it was already the beginning of the end of this era. Then I discovered Processing and took it from there. In parallel to learning programming, I had some Art History lessons which I didn’t really pay attention to but somewhat stuck at the end of the day I guess because I remember them today. Years later, I wanted to affine my eye and my practice with traditional media, so I started drawing, painting but also stretching my skills with a computer: animation, 3d, digital sculpting and such…And a big one: getting better with colors. At some point, all these interests contributed to trigger my will to make my very own art. Later, I became a teacher in my former school (Gobelins, l’école de l’image in Paris) where I occasionally teach creative coding. Very fun! But teaching forced me to know myself better to be able to transmit better. Year after year, it became more and more clear that I needed to create for myself because this is what brings me joy.

William Mapan, Generative tapestry study, 2021.
JD: When would you say you started thinking more seriously about your artistic practice?

WM: I think 5 years ago, I started to pursue generative art when somehow, I made the connection between my creative coding practice and what I was seeing in museums/exhibitions. Pioneer artists like Vasarely, Vera Molnàr, Anni & Joseph Albers, Gunta Stölzl, Sophie Taeuber-Arp, Manfred Mohr…when I stumbled onto their work the first time, I really understood that algorithms could definitely become and produce art. At that point, it began to make sense to try to bring in my other points of interest and it started to merge naturally into my own practice. Practicing other disciplines allows me to expand my mind beyond coding and to have a sensibility I wouldn’t have if I wasn’t so curious.

William Mapan, Untitled, 2021.
JD: And when did you first discover NFTs and crypto art?

WM: I first heard of NFT and crypto art in late 2018/early 2019, I think. Though, when I was clicking the hashtags, I was only seeing stuff that I didn’t really relate to. So, I didn’t really pay attention and moved on like it was some random hashtags. Then in 2020, it exploded (into my face at least, maybe earlier for some) and I started to get interested in it because it was a new paradigm worth exploring. At that time, I was mostly a viewer looking for more information. I didn’t really manifest any interest in creating. In early 2021, When I started to want to create and put my stuff out there, a platform emerged that a lot of generative artists and creative coders adopted: Hic Et Nunc. I heard about it via Quasimondo and Matt DesLauriers. At that time, I was working with Matt on a project, and he gently introduced me to the platform. It was wild and refreshing. I loved it. And it opened the door for me to crypto art and NFTs for good (and I was happy to do the same for other friends after). I started digging and discovered a whole new world and a ton of other artists.

JD: How would you say your creative practice has changed over time?

WM: Historically, my job was taking all my creative energy. Being in the advertising industry means being constantly in a competitive environment and always doing things in a rush. So, when approaching my own creative practice, I was applying the same principles. Because of the little time I had, I was just building up more technical skills as it was easier to not take risks and explore anything else. It was fine for some years but at some point, I realized that I needed to work on my own things, at my own pace and disconnected from this spiral. Basically explore myself and take the time to do so. I started to study, explore, and play with what I really wanted to. Today, one could say I am a very patient person and like to work on my things for months and months. And it’s true. But at the beginning it was really the opposite. Actually, being constrained by a full-time job taught me to be patient, regular and consistent in my own practice to make progress. Now, it has become natural to accept that good things take time. I listen to myself a lot more. Building up slowly whatever I need to learn and explore, accepting failure…All that is way more peaceful. But one thing is constant: I practice regularly. And here’s the thing: instead of focusing on one skill/technique to learn, I wander a lot creatively. Meaning: while I have a vast idea, I often don’t know what I’m looking for or doing but I know it will end up somewhere and assemble in some ways. I know I have different interests, but I don’t know how they will eventually converge. Going with the flow can only be positive if you accept it. In short, I learned to trust the process.

William Mapan, Dragons, 2021.
JD: I think that’s great that you’ve learned to create with patience, especially in the fast-paced world that we live in. Do you have any recent accomplishments you’d like to share?

WM: I’m a recent dad! So, raising my son is definitely the thing I’m the most proud of. Generally speaking, I am quite proud to keep it all together between my very own little family, having a job and being able to practice my own art…and sleep! Because it’s challenging. I don’t see a lot of discussions around that subject but things can quickly get out of hand if we don’t pay attention. The nft space can be very mentally consuming at times. So I made the choice to disconnect a lot more. This was tricky at first but being disconnected really helps to focus. Art-wise, of course finishing Anticyclone is an accomplishment! The long-form version of generative art (as we hear it nowadays) did bring a lot of mental charge. I can’t stress enough how challenging it is. It pushed me a lot once again but at the same time this is very thrilling! Lastly, I recently showed some samples to a lot of non art-savvy persons and they quite appreciate it which makes me feel happy. Being able to communicate with a wide public through your creation is really something special.

William Mapan, Anticyclone, 2021.
JD: Well, let’s chat about your project then! What was the inspiration behind Anticyclone?

WM: This will sound very cliché but: nature. I very much like looking up, contemplating the sky and the clouds. Not sure why, maybe because everything moves really fast up there but from our point of view really slow. I like this paradox. One sad thing to me is when it’s raining. You know: full gray sky, nothing interesting to contemplate, staying at home. Thinking of it, that’s when I wanted to make something about the good weather. And anticyclones are a big player in having our sky clear. Once the idea was defined, I then went all the way down the hole about these phenomena and started looking at super complicated fancy research papers. Not really because I wanted to accurately represent them but more to flood myself. Once I understood what I wanted to communicate (air flow, rotations, vastness, air pressure…), I just stopped with the references and let the wandering process do its job from there. Luckily generative artists have a good set of tools to push into that direction.

JD: How would you like collectors to experience the project?

WM: Firstly, when looking at an output, I’d like you to try to breathe. Just inhale, exhale…that’s the state of mind I was into while creating and watching these. And that’s why I left some space on the border to let the air in. Take a moment to imagine the movement the image is conveying. I want this series to be something bringing calm. Secondly, sometimes an output will be scattered across a grid. This guide has two functions: this is an attempt to bring some structure to an organic drawing and at the same time it will play with your perception. The colors within a cell can shift (switch, disappear…) but you should still be able to capture the flow. Better, let your mind imagine the missing pieces.

JD: Any final thoughts you’d like to share?

WM: I’m not sure if there’s anything else to say apart from the insights above really. This is an abstract art series and I see it as an opened door where the viewers can themselves build their own interpretation. I will be very glad if people let me know what an output makes them feel or what they see. And last but not least, I’m very lucky to have such a supportive partner. Without her, I wouldn’t have the same confidence to continue whatever I’m doing. My passion really took a boost thanks to her. Thank you, Camille.

JD: Thanks William, it’s been great to learn a little more about you and your work! What’s the best way for people to follow you moving forward?

WM: It’s really bad but I haven’t had any website for 10 years. But that’s the plan for this year. Though, I share a lot on Twitter. You can find me there!

William Mapan is an artist, coder and teacher based in Paris, France. While he primarily works with computers and code, his curiosity leads him to explore a wide range of different media and techniques. I had the opportunity to learn more about William’s background in advance of his upcoming Art Blocks project Anticyclone.

William Mapan, Hand-drawn motion study, 2021.
Jeff Davis: Hi William! It’s great to speak with you. How did you first get into making art?

William Mapan: I would say making art has been dormant for a long time within me. I grew up far away from it. My journey started with computers and generative design. I learned to program with Flash but when I started it was already the beginning of the end of this era. Then I discovered Processing and took it from there. In parallel to learning programming, I had some Art History lessons which I didn’t really pay attention to but somewhat stuck at the end of the day I guess because I remember them today. Years later, I wanted to affine my eye and my practice with traditional media, so I started drawing, painting but also stretching my skills with a computer: animation, 3d, digital sculpting and such…And a big one: getting better with colors. At some point, all these interests contributed to trigger my will to make my very own art. Later, I became a teacher in my former school (Gobelins, l’école de l’image in Paris) where I occasionally teach creative coding. Very fun! But teaching forced me to know myself better to be able to transmit better. Year after year, it became more and more clear that I needed to create for myself because this is what brings me joy.

William Mapan, Generative tapestry study, 2021.
JD: When would you say you started thinking more seriously about your artistic practice?

WM: I think 5 years ago, I started to pursue generative art when somehow, I made the connection between my creative coding practice and what I was seeing in museums/exhibitions. Pioneer artists like Vasarely, Vera Molnàr, Anni & Joseph Albers, Gunta Stölzl, Sophie Taeuber-Arp, Manfred Mohr…when I stumbled onto their work the first time, I really understood that algorithms could definitely become and produce art. At that point, it began to make sense to try to bring in my other points of interest and it started to merge naturally into my own practice. Practicing other disciplines allows me to expand my mind beyond coding and to have a sensibility I wouldn’t have if I wasn’t so curious.

William Mapan, Untitled, 2021.
JD: And when did you first discover NFTs and crypto art?

WM: I first heard of NFT and crypto art in late 2018/early 2019, I think. Though, when I was clicking the hashtags, I was only seeing stuff that I didn’t really relate to. So, I didn’t really pay attention and moved on like it was some random hashtags. Then in 2020, it exploded (into my face at least, maybe earlier for some) and I started to get interested in it because it was a new paradigm worth exploring. At that time, I was mostly a viewer looking for more information. I didn’t really manifest any interest in creating. In early 2021, When I started to want to create and put my stuff out there, a platform emerged that a lot of generative artists and creative coders adopted: Hic Et Nunc. I heard about it via Quasimondo and Matt DesLauriers. At that time, I was working with Matt on a project, and he gently introduced me to the platform. It was wild and refreshing. I loved it. And it opened the door for me to crypto art and NFTs for good (and I was happy to do the same for other friends after). I started digging and discovered a whole new world and a ton of other artists.

JD: How would you say your creative practice has changed over time?

WM: Historically, my job was taking all my creative energy. Being in the advertising industry means being constantly in a competitive environment and always doing things in a rush. So, when approaching my own creative practice, I was applying the same principles. Because of the little time I had, I was just building up more technical skills as it was easier to not take risks and explore anything else. It was fine for some years but at some point, I realized that I needed to work on my own things, at my own pace and disconnected from this spiral. Basically explore myself and take the time to do so. I started to study, explore, and play with what I really wanted to. Today, one could say I am a very patient person and like to work on my things for months and months. And it’s true. But at the beginning it was really the opposite. Actually, being constrained by a full-time job taught me to be patient, regular and consistent in my own practice to make progress. Now, it has become natural to accept that good things take time. I listen to myself a lot more. Building up slowly whatever I need to learn and explore, accepting failure…All that is way more peaceful. But one thing is constant: I practice regularly. And here’s the thing: instead of focusing on one skill/technique to learn, I wander a lot creatively. Meaning: while I have a vast idea, I often don’t know what I’m looking for or doing but I know it will end up somewhere and assemble in some ways. I know I have different interests, but I don’t know how they will eventually converge. Going with the flow can only be positive if you accept it. In short, I learned to trust the process.

William Mapan, Dragons, 2021.
JD: I think that’s great that you’ve learned to create with patience, especially in the fast-paced world that we live in. Do you have any recent accomplishments you’d like to share?

WM: I’m a recent dad! So, raising my son is definitely the thing I’m the most proud of. Generally speaking, I am quite proud to keep it all together between my very own little family, having a job and being able to practice my own art…and sleep! Because it’s challenging. I don’t see a lot of discussions around that subject but things can quickly get out of hand if we don’t pay attention. The nft space can be very mentally consuming at times. So I made the choice to disconnect a lot more. This was tricky at first but being disconnected really helps to focus. Art-wise, of course finishing Anticyclone is an accomplishment! The long-form version of generative art (as we hear it nowadays) did bring a lot of mental charge. I can’t stress enough how challenging it is. It pushed me a lot once again but at the same time this is very thrilling! Lastly, I recently showed some samples to a lot of non art-savvy persons and they quite appreciate it which makes me feel happy. Being able to communicate with a wide public through your creation is really something special.

William Mapan, Anticyclone, 2021.
JD: Well, let’s chat about your project then! What was the inspiration behind Anticyclone?

WM: This will sound very cliché but: nature. I very much like looking up, contemplating the sky and the clouds. Not sure why, maybe because everything moves really fast up there but from our point of view really slow. I like this paradox. One sad thing to me is when it’s raining. You know: full gray sky, nothing interesting to contemplate, staying at home. Thinking of it, that’s when I wanted to make something about the good weather. And anticyclones are a big player in having our sky clear. Once the idea was defined, I then went all the way down the hole about these phenomena and started looking at super complicated fancy research papers. Not really because I wanted to accurately represent them but more to flood myself. Once I understood what I wanted to communicate (air flow, rotations, vastness, air pressure…), I just stopped with the references and let the wandering process do its job from there. Luckily generative artists have a good set of tools to push into that direction.

JD: How would you like collectors to experience the project?

WM: Firstly, when looking at an output, I’d like you to try to breathe. Just inhale, exhale…that’s the state of mind I was into while creating and watching these. And that’s why I left some space on the border to let the air in. Take a moment to imagine the movement the image is conveying. I want this series to be something bringing calm. Secondly, sometimes an output will be scattered across a grid. This guide has two functions: this is an attempt to bring some structure to an organic drawing and at the same time it will play with your perception. The colors within a cell can shift (switch, disappear…) but you should still be able to capture the flow. Better, let your mind imagine the missing pieces.

JD: Any final thoughts you’d like to share?

WM: I’m not sure if there’s anything else to say apart from the insights above really. This is an abstract art series and I see it as an opened door where the viewers can themselves build their own interpretation. I will be very glad if people let me know what an output makes them feel or what they see. And last but not least, I’m very lucky to have such a supportive partner. Without her, I wouldn’t have the same confidence to continue whatever I’m doing. My passion really took a boost thanks to her. Thank you, Camille.

JD: Thanks William, it’s been great to learn a little more about you and your work! What’s the best way for people to follow you moving forward?

WM: It’s really bad but I haven’t had any website for 10 years. But that’s the plan for this year. Though, I share a lot on Twitter. You can find me there!

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