"Although there's no physical resistance, the ID. concept car creates a striking visual result", Leo Volland says. The graphic artist, from Germany, is part of Via Grafik, a design collective with a strong focus in graffiti art. By utilising a 3D program which allowed him to paint and draw in virtual space, Volland has taken his creativity to the next level. The final result? A three-dimensional, digital artwork created virtually alongside the ID. concept car.
With his curly hair, gentle smile and delicate features, it's hard to believe that Leo was once at the heart of the graffiti scene. Volland reminisces about his early days in the school playground. "Everybody was skateboarding, and my friends started writing their names on walls. You try to imitate...to emulate what you see." With a spray can in hand, he learned to trust his intuition, and found that his graffiti enabled him to create work which afforded a visual shockwave to passers by.
It's evident from the evolution of his work that Volland is influenced by various genres. "I want my work to trigger an emotion at first glance. It needs to leave an impression", says the digital sculptor. He designed the I.D concept car in a studio - an unusual setting for a car. The end-goal for Leo is to keep people interested in what he's creating for an elongated time period, and to take in everything about his art - the small details.
When he first tried the 3D controllers to create the car, he picked it up quickly, and was astonished by the way the equipment worked. "Every little click is followed by a direct visual effect. This feature helps me work fast and fearlessly, as I can undo each step easily. I always react to what's alredy there, and that's how it all comes together - piece by piece. At the start I have no concrete vision of how it will look by the end." His art has developed and progressed throughout his formative years, but Volland has kept grounded. Virtual reality seems to be his adult schoolyard.
There are a myriad of ways to describe what Leo does with 3D programming and virtual reality, but what area of art does his work sit under? Since it's 3D, it can't be considered painting. 'Creating', Leo believes, sounds somewhat omnipotent. Eventually, he settles with 'building'.
The intuitive concept of the 3D software allowed him to utilise his graffiti experience and grasp the new technology quickly. "This makes you sense the potential that lies behind 3D programs and virtual reality." In keeping with the revolutionary technologies available, the ID. concept car will be a beacon of modernity. "Hundreds of buttons and hidden features are usually so annoying!", Leo groans. "With smart technology we can keep it simple, whilst offering a better user experience."
With the ability to implement voice control and a simple, user-friendly design, the handling of the car is simple. When watching Leo, it becomes apparent that using playful and straightforward devices can offer an air of delight. The entire build looks both fun and impressive. Leo agrees. "You feel pretty powerful in terms of space." Shortly after, he asks the team for a ladder. The testing has got him excited but he needs a few extra inches to finish the 3D digital art work.
I always react to what's already there, and that's how it comes together - piece by piece. I have no concrete vision of how it will look by the end.Leo Volland
Leo Volland grew up in Heilbronn, but has lived in Berlin for many years. Since the late 90s, he's established himself as somewhat of a celebrity in the graffiti and street art scene. Together with friends, he founded the art and design collective Via Grafik. Leo has an experimental approach to his art, from installations to new ways of using colours, bringing him nationwise recognition. His art has been exhibited in art galleries and exhibitions, as well as on the streets.