DeeKay Kwon‘s animations in just a few seconds tell a story. This is the communicative power of his art and is what sets him apart in the NFT market. With a simple style with influences from the 2D gaming world of the 1980s-1990s, the South Korean illustrator and adopted American known on social as @deekaymotion is one of the world’s top-rated crypto artists. His has been a rapid rise that has taken him to the Web3 audience in just 12 months.
DeeKay has always been passionate about drawing and grew up developing a strong interest in 2D digital animation, which he then translated into work. For ten years he works for large companies including Apple, which he leaves in February 2021 after minting his first NFT. In the same year comes the turning point: Cozomo de Medici buys his work Destiny for 225 ETH – in 2021 it was worth approximately 830 thousand US dollars. The work tells the love story between two characters who, “thrown” like pinballs, meet by chance triggering love. Destiny sums up DeeKay’s now unmistakable style: colorful, ironic, simple but rich in details, capable of conveying concepts and messages through very short animations. For the artist, communicating a story (of love, life, friendship, social issues) is more important than aesthetics per se.
“I believe that story is more important than the art itself. I love making beautiful designs with beautiful animation. But I love it more when I am able to move people’s hearts.” he says in an interview with The Monty Report.
DeeKay’s success continued with the sale of the work Life and Death for the equivalent of $1 million U.S. dollars also to Cozomo de Medici. This work, too, follows the pattern of a classic 2d level game, depicting the course of human life, condemned to a pre-set pattern of growing up, studying, working, making a family and dying.
To understand DeeKay’s creative process, one need only look at his work Animator creating animation. In fact, the NFT shows a character placed inside a computer desktop creating animation of a boy in motion using Illustator and After Effects.
One of the most recent animated series is LetsWalk which ended in October 2022. The goal of the series was to create 100 characters coexisting in the same world. The work sold at Sotheby’s for $214,000.