Kayne Walker (@mntainwalkr) has been churning out fantastic and fascinating art for years now and we've enjoyed every bit of it! After these years of admiration, we were finally able to catch up with him for a little one-on-one and we are oh so glad that we did. Read along to learn more about Kayne as a human and an artist and dive into the beauty of his work!
My name is Kayne Walker, and I live in Bangkok, Thailand. I've lived here for about 17 years.
WHAT WERE YOU LIKE IN HIGH SCHOOL?
In high school I was an athlete playing soccer, basketball and baseball. But I also liked music and games so I would hang out with many different groups. Sometimes the gamers, sometimes the musicians and sometimes the athletes.
WHAT DO YOU WANT TO BE WHEN YOU GROW UP?
I'm kind of grown up already, but in high school I thought I was going to be a sound engineer because I was heavily influenced by Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon and Wish You Were Here.
WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE COMFORT FOOD?
My favorite comfort food... I guess it's popcorn.
WHAT IS YOUR SPIRIT ANIMAL?
My spirit animal is a wolf because I'm playful, but I'm fierce if you touch my food.
WHAT TWO CELEBRITIES WOULD YOU CHOOSE TO BE YOUR PARENTS?
I would want someone who is fun and funny and someone who is wise and clever. The best of two worlds.
Chris Pratt comes to mind and Cate Blanchett. Cate just seems like a bad ass actress who can do anything.
WHAT WAS THE LAST GIFT THAT YOUR RECEIVED?
The last gift I got was a Christmas sweater from my wife, which was perfect because I didn't have any sweaters and it was great for the cold weather we had during December.
WHAT'S THE MOST INTERESTING THING ABOUT YOU THAT WE WOULDN'T LEARN FROM INSTAGRAM ALONE?
I enjoy working with kids a lot. I've taught kids from kindergarten to grade 6 in my time, but I've spent the most time with little ones. I'm a very patient and kind guy which helps a lot with little kids. In my experience working with kids I've also worked with many parents. I enjoy giving advice and help to parents so their kids are happier and do better. I believe in natural, simple solutions. Amazingly, a lot of people overlook the easy things you can do for kids which will change them for the better. Because I like kids so much, I had my son as soon as I got married. He's 15 now and he's awesome.
HOW DID YOU FIRST GET INTO PHOTOGRAPHY AND DESIGN?
Before Instagram, I was interested in photography simply to record my experiences. I didn't do it "artfully". I was a lazy photographer. A friend of mine introduced me to Instagram and his favorite app, Mextures, and that's how it all started. I always liked photo editing.
When I was first introduced to Photoshop many years ago, I would try making crazy shit, and I thought it was so cool. So after I was introduced to Instagram, I started seeing so many amazing photographs and art pieces everyday, and it blew me away. I wanted to make stuff like that. So many of the first guys I started following were using Mextures too.
Really the thing that keeps me going is seeing all the amazing stuff people make. Sometimes I'll hit a creative block and just feel uninspired. Then I go and see what other people are making and I'll make like ten different things in one day and it will all start flowing again.
I also like to do the Mextures Collective and see what kind of crazy things I can come up with limiting myself to only the photos for the round.
HAS SOCIAL MEDIA PLAYED A ROLE IN YOUR WORK?
Instagram has really been the spark that started this whole craziness. I'm not much of a Facebook user. I like the Instagram community; they're very supportive and appreciative.
IS THERE ANYTHING IN PARTICULAR THAT YOU TRY TO COMMUNICATE THROUGH YOUR WORK?
I love sci-fi art, concept art and album cover art whether they are landscapes or people, or whatever. At this point I feel like I'm still getting experience and learning new things all the time so I usually try new things with every edit.
Sometimes I try to communicate hope, struggles, dreams, or things that I see could be cover art.
HOW DO YOU GENERALLY APPROACH YOUR EDITING PROCESS FROM START TO FINISH?
Sometimes when I start editing, I'll have an idea in mind and try to create it. The editing process is fun because I don't always know how I'm going to make it, so I experiment with a lot of stuff and that helps me improve my skills and creativity. Sometimes, it will go in a different direction though, but that's part of the fun. I used to make crazy stuff without any real plan, but I've learned a lot from other artists on Instagram and looking at lots of other pieces to have a better feel for what makes a nice edIt and when it begins to get out of hand. Other times, I simply start with some photo or shape and try stuff out to see where it goes. And sometimes, it creates itself.
HOW SPECIFICALLY DO YOU USE MEXTURES IN THAT PROCESS?
Mextures has become such a key part of my edits. I use it in almost every edit. I take most of my edits through Mextures towards the end of the edit to make sure the lighting and effects are uniform on all the shapes and assets that I used, but occasionally I'll get crazy and use Mextures multiple times in one edit and get some crazy effects. On some occasions, after I use Mextures, it will change the look of the edit drastically and start the edit in a new direction.
CAN YOU SHARE TWO OF YOUR FAVORITE FORMULAS?
This is one of the formulas I use often right now (HGQINUW). This formula just adds that finishing touch. It makes it more dramatic.
Another formula I like is BCWRSVZ. I like this formula because it adds a cool filter and look to most edits.
WHAT IS IT ABOUT MEXTURES THAT MAKES IT A VITAL PIECE OF YOUR EDITING PROCESS?
Mextures is that something extra that makes edits go from, "ok" to "wow." The filters and the combinations of filters that you can make really add something special to you photos.
PICK TWO OF YOUR FAVORITE PIECES THAT YOU'VE CREATED. WHAT IS IT ABOUT THEM THAT MAKES THEM STAND OUT TO YOU?
Sometimes the reason why I like a piece is simply because I made it and it's simple pride in my own creation. The piece with the spaceman though has just the right amount of things going on. It looks clean and everything looks like it fits. I also really like the way the flat, digital floor blends in with the mountain and that was the first time I did something like it. Everything in this piece just turned out better than I expected.
The second piece here, the rock in the sea one, is another piece I really like because it was a piece I was experimenting with making the rock into a head shape, which I'd never tried before. I was very happy with how it came out and I feel the piece as a whole has a nice feel. The colors are nice, the formula really adds a great look to it.
WHAT INSPIRES YOUR TO CREATE MORE THAN ANYTHING ELSE?
There are maybe two main reasons the keep me creating. One is the likes and comments on instagram and two is the joy of creating. It's a lot of fun to create something, and it's great when people like what you create.
IF YOU COULD STEAL CREDIT FOR ONE INSTAGRAM FEED, WHOSE WOULD IT BE?
Right now, I think I would steal credit for @lacabezaenlasnubes. His work is amazing. Everything is so clean and the colors work. It's just great.
WHO ARE THE PEOPLE THAT HAVE MOST INSPIRED YOUR WORK?
To start off, I have to give credit to Jamie (@prahaboy) because years ago when I was starting out, I asked him how he made a certain edit. After he answered me, it started me down this road. That's the awesome thing about the Instagram community: helping other out, giving them tips. @thegentlemanbronco is amazing and @casualtyofcool and @leftfield_corn are others that are inspirational. Just seeing what they do, makes me try harder and try new things.
Check out more of Kayne's work here!