Interview: Aumega – Psy Art
Aumega, the psychedelic visionary artist whose creative expression is submerged in the portrayal of the beauty of psy sub-culture. He is also behind the design of the recently released Nano Sonic Sound System 2014 compilation cover art. He talks about disposable cameras, psy clothing brands, what psytrance means to him, and his comic character name.
1. You are the creative mind behind the designs of the cover artwork of the Nano Sonic Sound System 2014 compilation. What was the fuel that inspired this creativity?
Initially, Regan had asked me to design a sticker for Nano which then evolved into the Nano sound system artwork. We spoke briefly on the phone & he mentioned the nano logo over a dark centre surrounded by some organic psychedelia. But while doing the design I thought to myself that this music is more about light than darkness so the centre became lighter. It was quite a challenge for me as I knew Nano’s style is quite sleek, simplistic & always maintained a professional visual style so I felt I needed it to keep in line with that but change things up a bit & bring a more psychedelic vibe to it.
2. You too are doing the amazing cover design for the VA compilation of Dala’s coming soon. Can you tell us about this?
I met Dala back in 2010 while in Mozambique. After Mafia Island festival got cancelled, Tripping Africa was born & I met him somewhere along the Mozambican coast on a very lysergic fuelled evening (one of the first things noticed was that he had GREAT taste in music). Since then we’ve become great friends. So when he approached me to do the cover art I was naturally more than amped. We chatted about it & it soon became clear that he was very interested in cymatics, & that sound has an effect on ourselves way more than just being able to hear it. So the name Sacred Vibrations seemed to fit perfectly.
3. Your designs are used by psychedelic clothing brands around the world. How did this happen exactly?
I only really started on the art in 2010 & coincidently at about the same time I met Dala while in Mozambique. Initially it was just photos of festivals & décor that I rotated over & over again to create a mandala. Pretty basic stuff really. Once back in Cape Town I got really into it & slowly evolved into more of the style I’m in today. Just from posting pictures on Facebook I was approached by a couple of companies to print my stuff.
4. You take beautiful photos at Psytrance festivals. How did you get your start as a photographer in this genre of shooting?
My first party was an Alien Safari & Green Nuns of the Revolution played live. I remember not being able to say much for the entire party. I was overwhelmed by everything & I knew I had found something that I loved. Back then I only had disposable, or really cheap, cameras and it was all just for fun. I always had my camera on me at parties but I only started doing it professionally a few years ago when I got a photography job with Red Bull that required me to go to events in and around Cape Town including all the trance parties. Slowly the Festival organisers started noticing my work & hiring me to shoot for them. If I remember correctly Regan was the first to hire me to to shoot a Festival officially, Origin. Which is always my favourite party in Cape Town. I was literally shaking in disbelief after they asked.
5. Finish the sentence:
Psytrance is, to me, all about sunshine, starlit skies & wide open spaces… & Blasting! (of course) not about ego, how much money you have, or what you wear.
6. Why do you think you chose photography and graphic design as your creative mediums?
I’ve often wondered that, and I’m not really sure of the answer; but I’ve always been interested in imagery so I think I just naturally gravitated towards them. I think it basically comes down to just trying to create or capture beautiful & interesting images. I’ve also never been very disciplined so I needed to go with something that I enjoyed & with has as little admin as possible!
7. What has working in the Psytrance scene taught you?
That you really need to love what you do ’cause you don’t get paid much! [Laughs]
8. If you weren’t doing this what else do you think would you be doing?
No idea. I can’t really imagine doing anything else. I would have loved to be an astronomer, but there is far too much admin.
9. What is it like working with the Nano Records family?
Working with the Nano Family has been great & a pleasure! Such a rad bunch & super easy to deal with. I have been a huge fan since Nano’s ’emergence’ in 2002, so I am humbled & honoured that they trusted me with their vision.
10. If you were a comic character, what would your name be?