Stoxart creates art based on stock and asset prices. Founded by Gladys, a data insights designer, Stoxart has generated a lot of buzz online with its innovative blend of finance and artistry. We caught up with Gladys to learn how she came up with the idea, her advice to creatives, and why you should combine two fields to come up with something new.
How did you get the idea for stoxart?
The idea sort of stemmed from two things. One happened when I started to invest in stocks earlier this year and as I kept checking my portfolio and looking at other charts on different platforms, I could not help but see mountains and cityscapes.
They looked so beautiful in my head so one day while sitting on the couch I casually told my husband that I’m going to turn these charts into paintings and with a quick glance he responds, ‘go for it’.
Before I start any project, I like to research and find inspiration and to get a general idea of what others have done. However, while searching I couldn’t really find any and so I thought I could really start something here.
I did a few drawings just to feel it out and shared my first rendition of Tesla in the Robinhood sub on Reddit where I surprisingly got a good amount of attention.
That’s where things kind of took of rather quickly and that’s how stoxart was born.
How did you learn your artistic skills that allowed you to create stoxart?
I’ve been a creative person my whole life. My uncle Rusty who has natural artistic skills introduced me to drawing at a very young age and ever since then I’ve just been the exercising those skills through a plethora of tools and mediums.
I learned a lot from my high school art teacher, Mr. Taguba who introduced digital art (this was back then in 2004 when Photoshop was just making its way through our doors. I went to school in a small country town in Hawaii called Wahiawa, so to have tools like this available to us was quite a privilege. I remember he turned his storage room into a small computer room with only 2-3 students in there at a time playing with Photoshop. He was an incredible artist and his ideas about digital art were so out of the box that back then we couldn’t really understand how far he thought this would go. Since then his goal every year was to work on art that he could enter into the Scholastic Arts competition and not to brag but our school always came out on top in the digital arts category.
I’ve been intrigued by digital art and attended Art school in California to focus and learn more about this medium.
One thing I love about stoxart is that it is interdisciplinary in a really fun way. It’s a mix of finance and art. What has the reaction to your project been like?
It’s been a mixed bag of reactions. I’ve gotten compliments from long-time investors to data people, artists, finance, business graduates and current students who are in data analytics and the arts. A whole lot of commission requests coming from all over the world requesting artwork based on other charts.
I got a message the other day from someone I quote “Your art is incredible, and that’s coming from someone who usually has zero appreciation for art!”.
Do you think you are getting finance people into art or art people into finance?
I think it’s getting more finance people into art vs the other way around. Although I think it’s also getting the art people to think differently now that two completely different things can actually mesh well together.
I’ve been a creative person my whole life.
What are some other artists/creatives who inspire you?
My library of inspiration is quite large and as new things come along; I add them to my ‘inspiration’ library (which is in my head). I’m not really a person of ‘favorites’ because it changes, and inspiration comes in different shapes and sizes and comes at any time.
Like every natural and organic thing created by the Earth is the most inspirational. She is a humongous database and her visualizations are seriously the best. She visualizes her trees like bar graphs. If you cut through a tree bark, you’ll know how old it is by counting its lines, just like how we use lines to represent time.
This artist Craola does some really great work. I admire his ideas because he meshes things together like “no one would have even thought to do that” type of work. It’s amazing.
Do you have a day job? Do you plan on pursuing this project full time?
I have a day job, I am a Data Insights Designer contracting at Nike, Inc. I support the Digital Innovation team with data visualization in 3D and 4D environments.
I would love to eventually do stoxart full time and if an opportunity comes along that will require 100% of my attention, I will definitely take it!
How do you balance creativity and the need to make money?
Currently my role at Nike is working alongside creative and innovative people and that alone helps the day-to-day job aspect while still getting a paycheck. This role encourages creativity, so it definitely helps.
What advice do you have for people out there who see your project and want to also start a creative project?
Find two or three things that would never mesh and find a way to make them work together.
What’s next for Gladys and stoxart?
I know what the end goal is, I just need to figure out the steps to get there, and I think stoxart has already helped lead me towards that way so we’ll see. I have so many ideas of where this can go, I’m very excited and can’t wait to share them with the world.