Noizy but Purple (Marina Gröpel) about combining digital and street art

What are the projects that you are working on now?

All I do is closely connected with technology, most of the time new technologies, because I am a strong believer that technology can help us to make people’s life better, that is why I research with my art to find the ways to do it. By day I am a UX designer and an artist by night, so to say, and I use a lot of what I learn in my job for my art and vice versa. So for me this is a great combination.

Where is this fine line between art and design for you?

The autonomy makes the difference — as a designer I am creating for specific users, the product needs to function, while with my art I can be free and try out whatever I want to find new ways to do things.

Do you have any specific topics that you are keen on now?

Everything about digital worlds and living with technologies, a the aliens I create have stories behind, which explore a world of a digitalized society. With these stories I am trying to find out how such a digitized world might function, would it be worse, better or just different from our reality. For example, Niel, one of my alien characters created an artificial sun, which has led to the world running out of water, so everyone was drinking some kind of milk. But the problem is that Niel is allergic to that, so others are living their improved lives with having more food and so on, but for him it is worse.

How do you find the inspiration for the characters and the stories behind them?

From people around me. Most of the time they are based on interesting character traits or hobbies of that person, but translated into the fantasy digital world. Some stories are also completely fictional. While I was studying in Stuttgart I had a really inspiring professor, who was also a new media artist, and that is when I met and fell in love with new media and digital art.

How do you combine digital and street art in your creative work?

Street art is pure physical and connected to a certain place, while digital art can be anywhere. I have been to many street art festivals and always found it sad that there is nothing I can take with me. And if I see the art on the street I need to know the artist or have to google it. This is how I came up with the did you find my sticker project.If you find one, you can scan it and get the story behind the character, you will know the artist and you collected “evidence” that you got it. I also follow 2 rules for choosing a place to put my stickers: I always do it as legally as possible and secondly: Street art is for everyone, it is a conversation, so if anyone does not want my stickers there — they are easy to remove. Maybe this is the designer in me — if you want to create a good experience it should not be forced

What are the main pros and cons of digital art in your opinion?

Main con is that it is still pretty new and not everything is established, but at the same time it is a plus, because you can still invent something new. That is the cool thing about V-Art too. With physical art you already know where to go and whom to ask, so it is more established, while with digital art you have to find people who think in the same direction. Which is a great chance, but can also bea bit challenging and can take a while. The idea to connect my art to blockchain I had for a while before I encountered V-Art. So now I am super happy to have found people who think the same way about how the future of digital art should be.

What are the further areas of your artistic growth?

Currently I am trying out virtual reality to connect our reality with a digital world on an additional level. In the virtual reality you will get to know the aliens in their digital habitat and you will learn about their digital society. But it the same rhetoric as did you find my sticker — you need to find the alien and get to know the story behind them. To make the Alien Tale Experience a reality I joined forces with three super talented friends of mine and together we founded the Purple8Studios. Thanks to V-Art I am now also inspired by the idea to create a virtual gallery with my alien characters, where the visitors can rate them to control their pricing.


Marina’s website: