Two Artists Collaborate to Create Psychedelic GIF Art

'Wherever you go there you are' (James R. Eads and The Glitch)

By Matthew Reitman
‘Hello Helios’ (James R. Eads and The Glitch)

When two strangers work together, it may take some time to find their collective rhythm. Yet, when Chris McDaniel saw James R. Eads’ work for the first time, he could already visualize what he wanted to do. Inspired by Eads’ van Gogh-style illustrations, McDaniel reached out to the artist to “morph” his art. Quite simply, Eads would draw, and McDaniel would animate.

‘Paint’ (James R. Eads and The Glitch)

Not knowing quite what McDaniel had in mind, Eads was blown away with the effect motion had within his illustrations. The artist saw his own work in a new light. But McDaniel gets something out of it, too. In an interview with The Creators Projects, McDaniel expressed gratitude to his partner on the project: “James’ work brings me mental peace. I’m still in awe that he allows me to do this.”

‘Each Day Spent’ (James R. Eads and The Glitch)

The way McDaniel animates Eads’ work differentiates the images from your ordinary GIF. Each brush stroke is manipulated to appear in motion, giving them life as they wriggle and swoop through the frame.

‘Fowl forty fives’ (James R. Eads and The Glitch)

Working with McDaniel has brought Eads a peace as well. “I think what made this collaboration so powerful is at the core of why we both create—we use the process of creation as a form of meditation,” Eads shared in the same Creators Project interview. “It’s a place of refuge where we can breathe and take in the world and in return give back some peace. And I think other people can feel that, and when they come across one of these illusions they pause and allow themselves to get lost in it. There’s something extremely calming and mesmerizing about the illusions, there is magic is in the subtlety.”

‘Wherever You Go, There You Are’ (James R. Eads and The Glitch)


Interested in Eads’ art? You can find him at The Brewery, an art loft in Los Angeles, where he lives and works. In addition to seeing his work here, Eads is also partaking in The Brewery’s biannual art walk on October 22 and 23. If you’d like to see more of Chris McDaniel’s work, check out his Instagram page, where he goes by the name “The Glitch.”

‘Goodbye helios’ (James R. Eads and The Glitch)
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